top of page
Search

Jimmy & Me

Updated: Mar 12, 2019

Written By: Jon Butcher


In reflection, I've never thought it was normal for a 14 year-old boy to become so

heavily immersed in the melancholy songs of Jimmy Webb, yet that was my

experience. Growing up in the deep woods of Hillsborough, NJ, it was difficult to

interact with my peers, and by default my little grey Admiral AM radio, which I had

received when I was five, became my best friend and remained so for too many

years.


In mid-April of 1968, my friend had a surprise for me, courtesy of 77 WABC AM

radio, the "hot prospect" of the week being the unlikely add of the single

"MacArthur Park," incredibly ambitious in its composition, performance and length.

Its singer, actor Richard Harris, was melodramatic and theatrical (and perhaps a

bit off-key), nothing like the usual crooners that still managed occasional hits on

rock 'n' roll radio. In every way, "MacArthur Park" defied the conventions of radio,

but in the end would change Top 40 radio forever. It's composer, Jim Webb (as he

was known at the time), by disallowing an edit of the recording for radio airplay,

ushered in an era of unprecedented artistic freedom, largely reflected in the length

of the single releases.


Now often hailed as an early example of prog rock, the success of the lengthy

"MacArthur Park," over 7 minutes, brought a quick successioin of chart hits that

challenged our patience, ranging from over 5 minutes to nearly nine. The

perpatrators included the Beatles, Cashman & West, Elton John, the Eagles and

Don McLean. Roy Orbison in 1969 had a b-side, "Southbound Jericho Parkway,"

that ran 7 minutes, but perhaps the greatest impact the modern music listener

might understand is to say that without the success of "MacArthur Park," there

would be no "Bohemian Rhapsody," the latter hit, like the former, being essentially

a suite of songs.


All this talk of ambition and length aside, the real charm of "MacArthur Park"

comes in its expression of profound regret, culminating in the line "After all the

loves of my life, you'll still be the one." It was not an unrealistic statement of

endless love, but enduring sentiment. As a lonely boy in the deep woods of

Hillsborough, soon to be parted from the local farm girl he had his first serious

crush on, the message was hugely influential. The girl and I, rarely physically

together after that, remained friends for decades.


511 views20 comments

Recent Posts

See All

"Someone is Standing Outside" (2020)

“Someone is Standing Outside” 2020 Thelma Houston and Jimmy Webb – video and song release this week!  Here is the backstory on this “call to kindness”: Longtime friends Jimmy Webb and Thelma Houston g

20 Comments


Anna Myagkaya
Anna Myagkaya
2 days ago

Looking for assistance with college homepage term papers? School Drillers provides a platform where you can find college term papers for sale. This resource offers students the opportunity to access professionally written term papers to serve as examples or references for their own work. By exploring the term papers available on School Drillers, students can gain insight into proper formatting, structure, and content for their own assignments. Additionally, using these term papers as study aids can help students improve their writing skills and academic performance. Trust School Drillers to provide valuable resources to support your academic journey and enhance your understanding of college term paper requirements.

Like

I value that you wrote this great post for us. I promise that this will be good for most people mapquest driving directions


Like

Evelynn
Evelynn
May 04

The thrill of surfing big waves is something I chase, and I get a similar rush playing at https://john-vegas.casinologinaustralia.com in Australia, especially with their live casino options. The adrenaline is real! Their customer support team is incredibly responsive, which makes a huge difference if you encounter any issues. It’s awesome to have such reliable entertainment available online.

Like

The quordle wordle game offers hours of fruity fun for puzzle enthusiasts as well as casual gamers searching for some light entertainment.

Like

The article on written here provides a comprehensive guide on crafting a successful coursework for college students. It offers valuable tips and insights on how to excel in academic writing and effectively communicate ideas. From outlining the structure to conducting research and citing sources, this resource covers every aspect necessary for creating a top-notch coursework. Whether you're a freshman or a senior, this guide is a must-read for enhancing your writing skills and achieving academic success. Don't miss out on the opportunity to elevate your coursework to the next level with the help of this insightful piece.

Like
bottom of page