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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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Weil's lyrics helped shape the rebellious attitude that came to characterize the decade. She wrote about real people with real problems and wasn't afraid to tackle hot-button topics like racism, war, and urban decay. She was also one of the most emotionally honest and provocative lyricists of her time, writing love songs that resonated widely. "I was very fortunate," Mann said,
"to have a writing partner that truly is brilliant with words and at the same time very soulful. Cynthia's lyrics always expressed the feelings people felt but they couldn't express themselves."
One of the duo's greatest songs was 1964's "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling," written for The Righteous Brothers. As Mann tells the story: "Phil Spector… played us a record by a new duo from Orange County: Bill Medley & Bobby Hatfield… We loved what we heard, went back to the hotel, and wrote two verses and choruses of 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling.' We weren't sure how to end the chorus and thought the title wasn't strong enough. We called and played what we had over the phone for Phil. He told us that when we hit the line 'something beautiful's dying' it brought tears to his eyes… He went on to produce one of the most soulful, innovative and creative records ever made." BMI Music later named "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" the Top Song of the Century in 1999, honoring its status as the most-played song on American radio and television.
When the musical revolution of the 1960s waned as a new decade began, many of the hit makers and songwriters of the decade faded away as well. But Mann and Weil kept going strong, demonstrating an ability to stay current by adapting to new times and new styles. As Weil said, "We never consciously shifted styles. We wrote what sounded good to us and hoped it would find a home… We somehow managed to live through the trends without succumbing to them. When disco came in, we survived without writing a disco song."
Weil and Mann may have avoided disco, but they transitioned seamlessly from pop and rock into country, adult contemporary, and even musicals and movie soundtracks in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. In 1977, Weil helped Dolly Parton cross over from country into pop music with the hit "Here You Come Again." Twenty years later, Weil wrote the chart-topping country record "Wrong Again" for Martina McBride. In 1983, Weil co-wrote "Running With the Night" with Lionel Ritchie and helped launch R&B singer James Ingram's career with "Just Once." Weil and Mann also co-wrote "Somewhere Out There" with composer James Horner. This song, performed by Ingram and Linda Ronstadt, became an unlikely hit on the soundtrack of the animated kids' film An American Tail. The song won Weil, Mann, and Horner two Grammy Awards in 1987, including Song of the Year. In the same year, Mann and Weil jointly won induction to the Songwriter's Hall of Fame.
Weil and Mann have continued to work together through recent decades. Weil, who had dreamed of a career as a dancer or actor as a young girl, was thrilled to get a chance to appear on Broadway.
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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
Famous Libras 535 people in this group
Famous Songwriters and Composers 421 people in this group