Gerry Goffin – February 11, 1939 – June 19, 2014

June 25, 2014

GErry Small

Every fan of 60s and 70s music will know at least one (or two or three) Gerry Goffin songs.  Gerry died this week (June 19, 2014), aged 75.

gerry goffin fax

Gerry Goffin 2Gerry wrote the words, collaborating with a number of musicians including, most famously, his wife, Carole King.

Together Gerry and Carole wrote a plethora of hit songs including:

  • Will You Love Me Tomorrow (The Shirelles and Carole King)
  • Take Good Care of My Baby (Bobby Vee)
  • The Loco-Motion (Little Eva)
  • Go Away Little Girl (Donny Osmond)
  • It Might As Well Rain Until September (Carole King)
  • Up on the Roof (The Drifters)
  • One Fine Day (The Chiffons)
  • I’m into Something Good (Herman’s Hermits)
  • Oh No Not My Baby (The Shirelles)
  • Sweet Young Thing (The Monkees)
  • Sometime in the Morning (The Monkees)
  • Pleasant Valley Sunday (The Monkees)
  • (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman (Aretha Franklin)
  • I Wasn’t Born to Follow (The Byrds)
  • Smackwater Jack (Carole King)

After Gerry and Carole divorced Goffin wrote with other composers, helping to create songs like:

  • Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To) (Diana Ross)
  • Saving All My Love for You (Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr)
  • Tonight, I Celebrate My Love (Roberta Flack and Peabo Bryson)

Gerry wrote the words for 59 US Top 40 and 21 UK Top 40 hits.  Seven of them reached #1

In 1990, he and Carole were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Gerry died on June 19, 2014 in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 75

On hearing of his death, Carole King said:

[Gerry was] my first love and had a profound impact on my life.  His words expressed what so many people were feeling but didn’t know how to say… Gerry was a good man and a dynamic force, whose words and creative influence will resonate for generations to come.

(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman – Aretha Franklin – Video

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Because The Night – Patti Smith – 1978

June 19, 2014

Patti Smith Because The Night single coverOne of the great songs from the 70s punk era is a Patti Smith/Bruce Springsteen collaboration – from 1978, Because The Night.

patti smith fax

  • Patricia Lee Smith was a key figure in the New York City punk rock movement back in the mid-70s; primarily as a result of her much acclaimed 1975 debut album Horses.
  • In fact, her name is so synonymous with punk that she is called, the Godmother of Punk.
  • Patti was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.
  • She is also widely regarded for her poetry and writing.  In 2010, she won the National Book Award for her memoir Just Kids.
  • Many artists name Patti as their greatest influence.  Artists such as, Michael Stipe, Madonna and Pussy Riot.

because the night fax

  • Because The Night is a collaboration between Patti Smith and Bruce Springsteen.
  • It was first released in 1978, lifted off the album Easter by The Patti Smith Group.
  • It had previously been recorded by Bruce as he cut tracks for Darkness on the Edge of Town.  He didn’t like it so Patti recorded it instead.  Bruce never released it on a studio album but still often sings it in concert.
  • Because The Night peaked at #13 in the US and #5 in the UK.
  • For many years it was included in NME magazine’s list of The Top 150 Singles of All Time.
  • Because The Night has been covered by 10,000 Maniacs (reaching #11 on the US charts), Sonic Youth, Kim Wilde KT Tunstall and the Patti Smith 3Buena Vista Social Club, Michael Stipe (with Bruce Springsteen), U2 (with Patti and Bruce) and The Waterboys.
  • Because The Night lyrics.

because the night – patti smith – 1978 – video

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You’re So Vain – Carly Simon – 1972

June 5, 2014

Carly Simon You're So Vain 1972 Single CoverAbout three years of 70 songs blogging, over 300,000 visits to this site, over 170 songs featured—you think this one would have come up before now!  But no, it was only last week the familiar bass line pattered its way through my car radio meaning I could finally feature Carly Simon’s 1972 smash, You’re So Vain.

Carly Simon 1carly simon fax

  • 23 Top 100 US hits, 13 Top 40 US hits, three gold records…Carly’s done pretty well.
  • For the record, her three golds are: Jesse, You’re So Vain, and Nobody Does It Better, from the James Bond movie, The Spy Who Loved Me.
  • Carly began her singing career as half of a duet with her sister Lucy.  They called themselves the Simon Sisters.
  • In 1971, she released her first solo album and won the Best New Artist Grammy.
  • Carly Simon 2Carly’s second album hit #1 and stayed there for five weeks.  It included You’re So Vain.
  • Carly was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Grammy Hall of Fame for You’re So Vain in 2004.
  • Carly was once married to James Taylor.
  • Carly won an Academy Award in 1988 for Let the River Run, from the movie Working Girl.

the you’re so vain question

  • For many years the topic of the subject of You’re So Vain has been debated.  Before the song became a hit, Carly told an interviewer that it was not about a specific man, but rather about men in general.
  • Suggestions about the subject of the song have included Mick Jagger, Nick Nolte and, most often, Warren Beatty.
  • In 1983 Carly declared that the song is not about Mick Jagger (who sang backing vocals on the song).  However, in 1993, Angela Bowie claimed to be the “wife of a close friend” mentioned in the song’s lyric.
  • In 2001, Carly said,

The apricot scarf was worn by Nick (Nolte). Nothing in the words were referred to Mick.

  • Previously, back in 1989, she acknowledged that the song is a little bit about Warren Beatty.  Warren agreed, saying,

Let’s be honest. That song was about me.

Carly Simon 3you’re so vain fax

  • You’re So Vain was written and performed by Carly Simon.
  • You’re So Vain was released in November 1972 and peaked at #1 on the US charts (for the first three weeks of 1973) and #3 on the UK charts.  The song was rereleased in 1991, peaking at #41.
  • You’re So Vain is ranked at #82 on Billboard’s Greatest Songs of All-Time.
  • You’re So Vain has been covered by: Liza Minnelli, Jack Klugman and Tony Randall (as “The Odd Couple”), Janet Jackson, Smokie, Foo Fighters, and Marilyn Manson (featuring Johnny Depp).
  • Carly also performed You’re So Vain with Taylor Swift on her Red Tour in 2013.
  • You’re So Vain lyrics.

you’re so vain – carly simon – 1972 – video

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