Jimmy Webb is that rarity in rock music, a professional songwriter who achieved stardom in that capacity. Rock music has its share of great songwriters, but most of them -- Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Gene Clark, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Pete Townshend -- became best known for their own recordings of their best work. Webb has also performed live, and recorded fairly extensively, but his performing career never approached his success as a composer. His songwriting was sufficiently distinctive to make him one of the few stars of that profession outside of the Broadway stage during the '60s. Between 1966 and 1969 alone, he was responsible for writing such platinum-selling classics as "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "Wichita Lineman," "Up, Up and Away," "MacArthur Park," and "Didn't We," producing and arranging the hit versions of several of those songs. Webb, in fact, may well have kept the craft of the songwriter in popular music alive and kicking in a new generation of popular music, saving the songwriting profession from being ghettoized on the Broadway stage and the world of the commercial jingle.