Chart Position: 2

  • Won Best arrangement accompanying vocalist Grammy award
  • Written and produced by Jimmy Webb
  • Guitar: Mike Deasy, Tommy Tedesco
  • Keyboards: Larry Knechtel
  • Harpsichord: Jimmy Webb
  • Recorded in Los Angeles CA
  • Jimmy Webb originally offered this song to The Association as part of a cantata; they turned him down
  • Actor Richard Harris played the lead in the stage and film versions of the musical Camelot
  • The inspiration for this song was the relationship Jimmy Webb had with a young lady whom he frequently met for lunch at Los Angeles’ MacArthur park in the mid 1960s
  • The same young lady was the subject of Webb’s ‘By the Time I Get to Phoenix’
  • Harris incorrectly refers to the park as ‘MacArthurs’ (possessive) throughout the song, despite Webb’s efforts to correct him during recording
  • Webb has said that the metaphor of a cake melting in the park representing lost love was based on his recollections of birthday parties with cake at a park
  • This is Richard Harris’ biggest U.S. hit single
  • Richard Harris died in 2002
  • Later recorded by Ray Conniff & Singers (1968), Percy Faith His Orchestra & Chorus (1968), Carmen McRae (1968), Stanley Turrentine (1968), John Gary (1968), Ferrante & Teicher (1968), Floyd Cramer (1968), Larry Carlton (1968), Liza Minnelli (1969), Four Tops (1969), Waylon Jennings & Kimberlys (1969), Woody Herman (1969), 101 Strings (1969), Tony Bennett (1970), Liberace (1970), Maynard Ferguson (1970), Ray Charles Singers (1969), Long John Baldry (1969), Soulful Strings (1969), Vic Damone (1969), Three Degrees (1970), Jerry Reed & Chet Atkins (1970), AtlanVentures (1970), Glen Campbell (1970), Neighborhood (1970), Revells (1970), Don Reeve Sound (1971), Dionne Warwick (1972), Andy Williams (1972), Sammy Davis Jr. (1972), Beggars Opera (1972), Lettermen (1973), Rod McKuen (1974), Tony Monopoly (1976), Ronnie Aldrich, His Pianos & Orchestra (1977), Donna Summer (1978), Links (1978), Jugular Vein (1978), Mirror Image (1979), Frank Sinatra (1980), Elaine Paige (1985), Allen Toussaint Orchestra (1988), Justin Hayward w/Mike Batt & London Philharmonic Orchestra (1989), Amii Stewart (1994), Edgar Cruz (1994), Queers (1994), Jimmy Webb (1996), Liz Callaway (2001), Gerard Joling (2004), Jeff Duff Band (2006), Maureen McGovern (2008), Supremes (2008), Only Men Aloud (2008), Ruth Jacott (2012), Yuki Koyanagi (2012), Nancy Sinatra (2013), Shirley Bassey (2014) and many others

macarthur park

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