What do you get when you take an enormously talented song writer and have him marry a great lyricist? – Then you put that couple in the Brill Building with Gerry Goffin and Don Kirshner? Well, you get a singer who had a #7 Song in 1961; but beyond this, the song writer and his wife Cynthia Weil would become better known for their tremendous song writing abilities.
Their Song “Kicks“, sung by Paul Revere and the Raiders:
1. Who Put the Bomp (In the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)/ ABC-Para. 10237/ August 1961/ #7
Songs written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil:
- “Absolutely Green” – Dom DeLuise (written for A Troll in Central Park)
- “Black Butterfly” – Deniece Williams
- “Blame It on the Bossa Nova” – Eydie Gorme
- “Christmas Vacation” – film title song
- “Coldest Night of the Year” – Twice As Much featuring Vashti Bunyan
- “Don’t Know Much” – Aaron Neville and Linda Ronstadt (written with Tom Snow)
- “Don’t Make My Baby Blue” – The Shadows
- “Good Time Living” – Three Dog Night
- “Here You Come Again” – Dolly Parton
- “He’s Sure the Boy I Love” – The Crystals
- “Hungry” – Paul Revere & the Raiders
- “I Just Can’t Help Believing” – B. J. Thomas, Elvis Presley
- “I’m Gonna Be Strong” – Gene Pitney; Cyndi Lauper
- “(Walking) In the Rain” – The Ronettes
- “It’s Getting Better” – Cass Elliot
- “It’s Not Easy” – Colin Blunstone
- “I Will Come to You” – Hanson
- “Just a Little Lovin’ (Early in the Morning)” – Dusty Springfield, Carmen McRae, Billy Eckstine
- “Just Once” – James Ingram with Quincy Jones
- “Kicks” – Paul Revere & the Raiders
- “Looking Through the Eyes of Love” – Gene Pitney, Marlena Shaw
- “Love Led Us Here” – John Berry, Helen Darling
- “Magic Town” – The Vogues
- “Make Your Own Kind of Music” – “Mama” Cass Elliot
- “Never Gonna Let You Go” – Sérgio Mendes
- “None of Us Are Free” (Mann, Weil, Brenda Russell) – Ray Charles, Solomon Burke
- “On Broadway” – The Drifters, George Benson
- “Only in America” – Jay and the Americans
- “Proud” – Johnny Crawford
- “Saturday Night at the Movies” – The Drifters
- “Shades of Gray” and “Love is Only Sleeping” – The Monkees
- “Shape of Things to Come” – Max Frost and the Troopers
- “She’s Over Me” – Teddy Pendergrass
- “Somewhere Out There” – James Ingram and Linda Ronstadt (written with James Horner for the film, An American Tail) – a double Grammy Award winner
- “Sweet Sorrow” – Conway Twitty
- “Too Many Mondays” – Barry Mann, Wicked Lester (unreleased)
- “Uptown” – The Crystals
- “We Gotta Get out of This Place” – The Animals
- “We’re Over” – Johnny Rodriguez
- “(You’re My) Soul & Inspiration” – The Righteous Brothers
- “A World of Our Own” – Closing theme song from Return to the Blue Lagoon – Surface
- “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” – The Righteous Brothers (written with Phil Spector)
Mann and lyricist Cynthia Weil operated a publishing company called Dyad Music. Mann’s first hit single as a writer was “She Say (Oom Dooby Doom)“, a Top 20 song for The Diamonds in 1959. Mann co-wrote the song with Gerry Goffin.
In 1961, Mann had his biggest hit to that time with “I Love How You Love Me“, written with Larry Kolber and a #5 single for The Paris Sisters. (Seven years later, Bobby Vinton would take the song into the Top 10.)
Also in 1961, Mann himself hit the Top 40 as a performer with a novelty song co-written with Goffin, “Who Put The Bomp“, which parodied the nonsense words of the then-popular doo-wop genre and made the Top 40.
Despite his success as a singer with “Who Put the Bomp“, Mann chose to channel the bulk of his creativity into songwriting, forming a prolific partnership with Cynthia Weil, a lyricist he met while both were staff songwriters at Don Kirshner’s and Al Nevin’s Aldon Music (whose offices were located near the famed composing-and-publishing factory, the Brill Building).
Mann and Weil, who married in 1961, helped pioneer the more socially conscious side of the Brill Building-era songbook with hits such as “Uptown” by The Crystals, “We Gotta Get out of This Place” by the Animals, “Magic Town” by the Vogues and “Kicks” by Paul Revere & the Raiders. (Mann and Weil were upset when “Only in America“, a song they’d written with the team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller and originally conceived for and recorded by The Drifters as a cynical broadside against racial prejudice, was re-worked by Leiber and Stoller into an uncontroversial hit for Jay & the Americans.)
As of May 2009, Mann’s song catalog lists an incredible 635 songs! He has received 56 pop, country, and R&B awards from Broadcast Music Incorporated, and 46 Millionaire Awards for radio performances numbering over one million plays.
The song “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’“, co-written with Weil and Phil Spector, was the most played song of the 20th century, with more than 14 million plays.
Mann has composed songs for films, most notably “Somewhere Out There“, co-written with Weil and James Horner, for the 1986 animated hit “An American Tail“. Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram, who performed the song as a duet over the film’s closing credits, saw their version released as a single, which reached #2 on the Billboards charts and became a gold record.
“Somewhere Out There” would go on to win two 1987 Grammy Awards, as Song Of The Year and Best Song Written for a Motion Picture or Television. “Somewhere Out There” was also nominated for a 1986 Oscar as best song, but lost to “Take My Breath Away” from “Top Gun”.
Mann’s other film work includes the scores for I Never Sang for My Father and Muppet Treasure Island, and songs for National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and Oliver and Company.
In 1987, Mann and Weil were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Mann and Weil were named among the 2010 recipients of Ahmet Ertegun Award from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – (wikipedia)