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Songwriter Cynthia Weil is famous for singles including "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" for The Animals and "Walking in the Rain" for The Ronettes.
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Born in New York City in 1940, Cynthia Weil began writing hit songs in the 1960s and went on to have a long and diverse career as a composer. Her early singles include "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" for The Animals and "Walking in the Rain" for The Ronettes. She continued writing into the 1980s, however, and helped write songs such as "Running With the Night" for Lionel Ritchie. Many of her best-known songs were written in partnership with her husband and fellow composer Barry Mann.
When you feel good about what you've written, there is just no high that is greater.
Songwriter. Born October 18, 1940, in New York City and raised on the Upper West Side, Cynthia Weil began her long and prolific songwriting career when she was in her early 20s. She started out working at Frank Loesser's music publishing company, but her remarkable ability to pen lyrics that went to the core of human emotion and experience eventually led her to Aldon Music. Aldon, a company whose name is a blend of its cofounders, Al Nevins and Don Kirshner, was a hot spot of songwriting in the early 1960s, producing hits that have since been proven to have decades-long staying power. Weil joined a team of fellow greats nicknamed the "Brill Building Writers," joining Carole King, Gerry Golfin, Neil Sedaka, Phil Spector, Jerry Lieber, Mike Stoller, and Howie Greenfield in challenging convention while taking pop music to new heights.
For Cynthia Weil, though, the most important songwriter in the Brill Building was Barry Mann, an immensely talented composer. The two became a songwriting team in 1960 and soon began churning out hits at the same time as their professional partnership became personal. Weil later remembered that an instant crush on Mann was actually the reason she joined Aldon Music: "While I was writing with Teddy, Barry came up with Harry Greenfield to play him a song. So I said, 'So who's the cute guy?' I asked who he was, and if he had a girlfriend and the whole thing. Judy Tannen, who was the receptionist there, said, 'Well he writes for a friend of mine named Don Kirshner. So why don't you go up there and maybe you'll see him and get him to ask you out.' I went up there, actually stalking Barry, and ended up with a career. But it all begins with lust!"
By 1961, the pair's relationship had blossomed into full-blown romance and they married in August of that year. The couple continued working at Aldon Music, writing hit after hit in the heady, chaotic and creative environment of the Brill Building: "It was kind of like songwriter's boot camp. You had to produce. You had to produce fast. You had to learn. You made a lot of mistakes, and you wrote a lot of crap. But it was all part of the learning process." Their best friends and biggest competitors were Gerry Golfin and Carole King, another husband-wife songwriting team at Aldon. Mann and Weil would go on to enjoy one of the most successful songwriting careers in history; the two are said to be responsible for the sale of 200 million records worldwide.
Mann and Weil enjoyed huge success through the 1960s, writing smash singles such as "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" for The Animals, "Uptown" for The Crystals, "On Broadway" for The Drifters, and "Walking in the Rain" for The Ronettes.
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American society experienced a revolution in the late 1960s and early 70s, especially for African-Americans and women. Janis Joplin was the finest white blues singer of her generation; female singer-songwriters like Carole King and Joni Mitchell shared their innermost thoughts and feelings; Aretha Franklin emerged as the Queen of Soul; and Bonnie Raitt established herself as both a strong vocalist and a brilliant guitarist. Through their music, the women of this era created the soundtrack of social progress.
Influential Female Musicians of the 1960s 17 people in this group
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Famous Songwriters and Composers 463 people in this group