Their website says it well: "It would be impossible to imagine the last four decades of pop music without the melodies of Barry Man and the lyrics of Cynthia Weil. Mann and Weil have created a body of work so significant it has often been described as 'a soundtrack to our lives.'" Uploaded by rockhall.com.
This husband and wife team were a part of the famous Brill Building songwriters (Great American Things, June 18, 2010), and they wrote some of the greatest and biggest hits of the second half of the twentieth century. Here’s a partial list of their hits, along with the artists with whom they’re most closely associated:
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- “Don’t Know Much” (Aaron Neville and Linda Ronstadt)
- “Here You Come Again” (Dolly Parton)
- “Hungry” (Paul Revere and the Raiders)
- “I Just Can’t Stop Believing” (B.J. Thomas)
- “Just Once” (James Ingram)
- “Make Your Own Kind of Music” (Mama Cass Elliott)
- “On Broadway” (The Drifters)
- “Only in America” (Jay and the Americans)
- “Somewhere Out There” with James Horner (Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram)
- “Uptown” (The Crystals)
- “Walking in the Rain” (The Ronettes)
- “We Gotta Get Out of this Place” (The Animals)
- “(You’re My) Soul and Inspiration” (The Righteous Brothers)
- “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feeling” with Phil Spector (The Righteous Brothers
That’s a very impressive list. Mann and Weil won an incredible 112 awards from BMI, and “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” was determined to have been the most-played song in the entire twentieth century. “Somewhere Out There” won the Grammy for Song of the Year, and received an Oscar nomination. The couple are members of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They will receive the Johnny Mercer Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Songwriters Hall of Fame, at its annual awards next month.
Bobby Hatfield asked producer Phil Spector what he should do while Bill Medley sang the verses of this song. Spector said, 'You can go straight to the (freaking) bank.' Uploaded by bbc.co.uk.
In 1964, The Righteous Brothers had released two singles, neither of which made it higher on the charts than number 49. Fortunately for their flagging career, Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, and Phil Spector wrote this emotional song, and gave them the first opportunity to record it. It was “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” and it went to number one in both the US and the UK.
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The song features the now-famous “wall of sound” that became Spector’s trademark. Deep-voiced Bill Medley performed the lead, and partner Bobby Hatfield was miffed that he had nothing to do until the chorus. (He would later turn the tables with “Unchained Melody.”) Hatfield asked Spector what he was supposed to do while Medley sang, and Spector reportedly said, “You can go straight to the (freaking) bank.”
And he did. According to BMI, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” was the most-played song of the 20th century in the United States. It came in at number 34 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The song went to number one for two weeks in February, 1965, right in the middle of the British invasion. Curious about what song knocked it from its perch? Would you believe “This Diamond Ring” by Gary Lewis and the Playboys…