'Lovin' Feeling' by Cynthia Weil

Legendary Songwriter Cynthia Weil Dead at 82 Age?

Cynthia Weil and her husband and writing partner, Barry Mann, were one of the best songwriting teams of the 1960s and later. They wrote songs like “On Broadway” by the Drifters and “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” by the Righteous Brothers, which became defining songs of the baby boomer era. Weil died on Thursday at her home in Beverly Hills, California. 82 years old.

Her daughter Jenn Mann announced her death on Friday, but she didn’t say why.

In a statement shared on social media, chart-topping singer and songwriter Carole King said, “We lost the beautiful and brilliant lyricist Cynthia Weil Mann.”

Ms. King said, “The four of us were close, caring friends despite our fierce competition to write the next hit for an artist with a No. 1 song.” She was talking about the friendship she and her ex-husband and songwriting partner, Gerry Goffin, had with Ms. Weil and Mr. Mann, which is remembered in the 2014 Broadway musical “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.”

Ms. Weil and Mr. Mann, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010, had their first hit, “Bless You,” which was recorded by Tony Orlando in 1961. This was two years after the Iowa plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson was thought to be the end of music.

Cynthia Weil Dies

In fact, the pop and rock explosion of the 1960s was just getting started, thanks in no small part to key contributions from songwriters like them, Burt Bacharach, Neil Sedaka, Neil Diamond, and Ms. King, who were all part of the star-studded songwriting community centered on the Brill Building, the legendary hit factory on Broadway and 49th Street in Manhattan.

In fact, Ms. Weil and her husband worked at 1650 Broadway, which was two blocks away. It was a simple place to make great pieces of music.

In a phone chat on Friday, Mr. Mann said, “There were like three or four writing rooms there, and each one had a desk and an ashtray because everyone smoked like crazy back then.” “Even though it was small, we worked hard, and some good things came out of it,” he said with a lot of modesty.

d radio and TV songs of the 20th century, and “(You’re My) Soul and Inspiration,” which came out in 1966.

“We Gotta Get Out of This Place” (1965), another song that could have been a hit for the Righteous Brothers, ended up in the hands of Eric Burdon’s band, the Animals. They gave it some edge, which made it an anthem for war-weary soldiers in the Vietnam War. “Where the sun refused to shine, people told me there was no point in trying,” Ms. Weil’s lyrics started.

No matter what style or subject she was writing in, Ms. Weil always added her signature poetry and wit. Ms. King said in her statement that her favorite Weil line is from the Dusty Springfield song “Just a Little Lovin’ (Early in the Morning)”: “Just a little lovin’ early in the morning beats a cup of coffee for starting the day.”

Even though many of their songs became symbols of the 1960s, Ms. Weil’s lyrics were still popular a long time after Woodstock.

With the Weill-Mann song “Here You Come Again,” Dolly Parton hit No. 1 on the Billboard country chart and No. 3 on the pop chart in 1977. Ms. Parton won a Grammy Award for best female country singing performance for this song. In 1980, the Pointer Sisters’ song “He’s So Shy,” which Ms. Weil and Tony Snow wrote, reached No. 3 on the pop lists.

In an interview with The Los Angeles Times in 1986, she said, “There’s no reason why a person shouldn’t get better at writing 20 years after they start.” “Writers know more and have more life experiences to draw on.”

'Lovin' Feeling' by Cynthia Weil

That doesn’t mean it was easy for her to stay on top in the music business. “You kind of have to sit through the trends,” she went on. “Live through bubble gum and disco and everything else we have lived through. You have to be clever to make it through.”

Ms. Weil was born on October 18, 1940, in New York City. She was the younger of Morris Weil and Dorothy (Mendez) Weil’s two children.

She grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and later moved to the Upper East Side. There, she learned as an actress and dancer and dreamed of a life in the theater, which is what she majored in at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, N.Y.

In a 2016 video chat with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, she said, “Broadway was always my thing.” “I always pictured myself doing something on Broadway. I wanted to write for Broadway.”

She turned those longings into the lyrics for “On Broadway,” which she originally wrote from the point of view of a small-town girl who dreams of a future on the Great White Way—a dream that, as the lyrics pointed out, often ends in disappointment:

  • People say that Broadway’s lighting lights are bright.
  • They say that magic is always in the air.
  • But if you’re walking down the street
  • You haven’t eaten enough.
  • The sparkle comes right off, and you’re back to square one.

Ms. Weil finally made the main character of the song a man for the Drifters’ version, which was released as a single in 1962 and reached No. 9 on the charts. Sixteen years later, George Benson put a jazz-influenced version of the song at number seven.

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She is survived by her husband and her daughter, Dr. Mann, who is a psychologist. She also has two grandkids.

Even though Ms. Weil wanted to be on Broadway, her career took a different path when she met Mr. Mann in 1960. He had already co-written a couple of Top 40 hits, including the doo-wop parody “Who Put the Bomp (In the Bomp Bomp Bomp),” which he recorded in 1961.

Ms. Weil was the one who first noticed the man she would build a business and life with. Her daughter told her over the phone that her mother had asked Don Kirshner, a powerful music editor in the Brill Building, to find her a writing partner. She was hoping that Mr. Mann would be the one. Dr. Mann said, “She thought he was really hot.”

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Mr. Kirshner instead set up a meeting with another upcoming artist. On the day of that meeting, Ms. Weil “was sitting and waiting, and Carole King walked in,” Mr. Mann said. She thought, “Oh, that’s a drag, I don’t want to have to write with that girl.”