Gerry Goffin, Songwriter, Ex-Husband Of Carole King, Dead At 75
Legendary Brill Building songwriter Gerry Goffin, the original lyricist for first wife Carole King, died of natural causes at home in Los Angeles at age 75, according to Billboard. Goffin & King were among the cornerstones of the New York City pop based songwriting teams, which served as early inspirations for John Lennon & Paul McCartney -- both of whom had gone on record saying they wanted to become, quote, "the next Goffin & King." Goffin & King were childhood sweethearts in Brooklyn, and while Goffin worked days as a chemist, the pair honed their craft and eventually provided the soundtrack to the early rock era.
Carole King, who divorced Goffin in 1968, said in a prepared statement: "Gerry Goffin was my first love. He had a profound impact on my life and the rest of the world. Gerry was a good man and a dynamic force, whose words and creative influence will resonate for generations to come. His legacy to me is our two daughters, four grandchildren, and our songs that have touched millions and millions of people, as well as a lifelong friendship. He will be missed by his wonderful wife Michele, his devoted manager, Christine Russell, his five children, and six grandchildren. His words expressed what so many people were feeling but didn't know how to say. If you want to join his loved ones in honoring him, look at the names of the songwriters under the titles of songs. Among the titles associated with me, you'll often find Gerry's name next to mine."
Other Goffin/King songs included "Some Kind Of Wonderful," and "Up On The Roof" by the Drifters, "Halfway To Paradise" by Tony Orlando, "He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss) by the Crystals, "Don't Say Nothin' Bad (About My Baby)" by the Cookies, "Chains," recorded by both the Cookies and the Beatles, "One Fine Day" by the Chiffons, "Pleasant Valley Sunday" by the Monkees, "I'm Into Something Good" by Herman's Hermits, "Goin' Back" by the Byrds, "Don't Bring Me Down" by the Animals, "Go Away Little Girl" by Steve Lawrence -- and later Donny Osmond, "(You Make Me Feel) Like A Natural Woman" by Aretha Franklin -- and literally hundreds more.
Gerry Goffin and Carole King were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987 and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 as non-performers. The couple's life and career is chronicled in the Tony-nominated Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.
Renowned record producer Lou Adler, who worked with Goffin & King in the 1960's -- and produced King's breakthrough album, Tapestry, said the two were equal partners in the songwriting process: "I mean, they were 50-50. At times, she might have been 75 and he was 25, but the next one he’d be 75 and she’d be 25. He was on it as far as defining the emotions of that age group. He was a poet. . . no doubt." "; Roberta Flack & Peabo Bryson's 1983 Top 20 hit, "Tonight, I Celebrate My Love," and Whitney Houston's first Number One "Saving All My Love For You." In recent years, Goffin was among the first to discover Kelly Clarkson's talent, employing her as a demo singer prior to her ascent to fame on American Idol.
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