Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil are one of the most prolific songwriting teams of the rock era.
Barry Mann was born in 1939 in Brooklyn. When he was twelve years old he began writing songs as a hobby. He studied architecture at the Pratt Institute for a year before dropping out to write and record songs. He played piano on some demos. His first hit as a writer was She Say [Oom Dooby Doom], which was a top twenty song for the Diamonds in 1959. He tried recording but met with little success, save for his lone top forty song Who Put The Bomp [In The Bomp, Bomp, Bomp], which made it to number seven in 1961. Mann had co-written the song with Gerry Goffin. He signed with Aldon Music and individually he wrote hit songs for such artists as Bobby Rydell, The Lettermen, Steve Lawrence, The Paris Sisters, and Teddy Randazzo.
Cynthia Weil, born in 1941 in Manhattan, was trained as an actress and dancer. She began to write for songwriter Frank Loesser before switching over to Aldon Music.
By 1961 Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil were both staff songwriters; they were married to each other the same year. They found that they could write songs independently of each other, in pairs with other songwriters or with each other. They were adept at writing pop songs of almost any type. Under contract with Aldon, they wrote songs for many pop stars in the 60's, including Eydie Gorme, Paul Peterson, Shelley Fabares, and Dickey Lee. As the 60's wore on, they turned to urban protest songs, love songs, and songs that in general were in tune with the times.
In the late 60's, 70's and 80's, Mann came up with songs such as Sometimes When We Touch and movie scores such as that for I Never Sang For My Father. Weil co-wrote He's So Shy with Tom Snow for The Pointer Sisters and worked on some projects with Lionel Richie. Together their ambition has always been to write a Broadway show, but so far it is unfulfilled. With the exception of Mann's recording career, nearly everything the two of them have attempted to do has been a resounding success. They currently have their own publishing company, Dyad Music.
Some of the hit songs written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil -- and the artists who performed them -- include:
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