Legendary Songwriter Cynthia Weil Dead At 82
Cynthia Weil, a songwriter who penned dozens of classic hits over a period of decades, has died. Weil’s daughter Jenn Mann, the psychotherapist and Couples Therapy host, tells TMZ that Weil died last night. No cause of death has been reported. Weil was 83.
Cynthia Weil grew up in a Jewish family in New York, and she studied acting and dance at a young age. In 1961, Weil married Barry Mann, the pop songwriter who’d already recorded the novelty hit “Who Put The Bomp.” Weil and Mann were still married at the time of Weil’s death. The same year that they got married, Weil and Mann started writing songs together; their first minor hit was the young Tony Orlando’s “Bless You.”
In the early ’60s, Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann were fixtures at New York’s Brill Building. In those days, the thriving pop-songwriting industry was full of married couples who worked as teams, and the Weil/Mann unit was right up there with Carole King/Gerry Goffin and Ellie Greenwich/Jeff Barry. Weil and Mann wrote hits like the Drifters’ “On Broadway,” the Crystals’ “Uptown” and “He’s Sure The Boy I Love,” Eydie Gorme’s “Blame It On The Bossa Nova,” and the Ronettes’ “Walking In The Rain.” They’re best-known for working with Phil Spector on the Righteous Brothers’ 1964 blockbuster “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” and they also wrote the Righteous Brothers’ 1966 chart-topper “(You’re My) Soul And Inspiration” without Spector.
Brill Building songwriters typically had a harder time after the arrival of the Beatles, but Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann stayed busy through the whole British Invasion. They wrote the Animals’ “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place,” Paul Revere & The Raiders’ “Kicks” and “Hungry,” and Max Frost & The Troopers’ “The Shape Of Things To Come.” “Make Your Own Kind Of Music,” a Weil/Mann song recorded by Mama Cass in 1969, just popped up in the Barbie trailer.
In the ’70s, Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann wrote “Here You Come Again” for B. J. Thomas, and Dolly Parton’s cover of that song was her first major pop-crossover hit. In the ’80s, they were nominated for an Oscar for co-writing “Somewhere Out There,” the theme from An American Tail, with composer James Horner. Without Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil also co-wrote hits like the Pointer Sisters’ “He’s So Shy,” Chaka Khan’s “Through The Fire,” and Lionel Richie’s “Running With The Night” and “Love Will Conquer All.” Weil and Mann’s final big hit was Hanson’s “I Will Come To You,” which they co-wrote with the Hanson brothers in 1997. In 2010, Weil and Mann were given the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame’s Ahmet Ertegun Award.
Below, check out some of Cynthia Weil’s classic songs.