"By the Time I Get to Phoenix" is an American pop song written by Jimmy Webb. It was originally recorded by Johnny Rivers in 1965, but was made famous by Glen Campbell (appearing on Campbell's 1967 album of the same name).
Campbell's version reached #2 on the U.S. Country charts in 1968, and won two Grammy awards—for Best Vocal Performance, Male; and Best Contemporary Male Solo Vocal Performance.
Frank Sinatra called the song "the greatest torch song ever written."
The song consists of a man describing his decision to leave his woman, by writing her a note telling her, and his descriptions of what he expects she will be experiencing as he arrives at certain locations. (When a woman sings the song, she is the one leaving, and the man is the one staying, but otherwise the song is unchanged.)
Webb, a Los Angeles resident when he wrote the song, was raised in Elk City, Oklahoma. As far as the geography implied, "[a fan] told me, 'This song is impossible.' And so it is. It's a kind of fantasy about something I wish I would have done, and it sort of takes place in a twilight zone of reality." He states that he should have left but didn't; "it's more of a song about something I wish I...