Songwriter Gerry Goffin passed away on Thursday of natural causes. He was 75.
Goffin was married to Carole King for 10 years and together they formed one of the greatest songwriting tandems in the second half of the 20th century. They met at Queens College in New York where they studied chemistry. As it turned out, their chemistry was found in music. King wrote the music while Goffin wrote the lyrics.
Less than I week ago, my Dad and I were at the Ultimate Doo-Wop Show at New York’s Beacon Theatre featuring Dion. During this show, two Goffin-King songs were performed – “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” by Shirley Alston-Reeves of the Shirelles and “Up on the Roof” by Charlie Thomas’ Drifters.
Let’s also consider a few other Goffin-King collaborations:
“Take Good Care of My Baby” – Bobby Vee
“The Loco-Motion” – Little Eva (later Grand Funk Railroad and later still Kylie Minogue)
“Hey Girl” – Freddie Scott
“One Fine Day” – The Chiffons
“I’m Into Something Good” – Herman’s Hermits (originally recorded by Earl Jean of The Cookies)
“Don’t Bring Me Down” – The Animals
“Pleasant Valley Sunday” – The Monkees
“(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” – Aretha Franklin
Ladies and gentlemen, this is a greatest hits collection.
Before collaborating with King, Goffin co-wrote “Who Put the Bomp (In The Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)” with Barry Mann which became a hit for The Viscounts. After his divorce from King, Goffin entered into a songwriting partnership with Michael Masser. Two of their notable songs were “Tonight, I Celebrate My Love”, a duet between Roberta Flack and Peabo Bryson and “Saving All My Love for You” which was originally recorded by Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. and later became a number one hit for Whitney Houston.
But my favorite Goffin-King collaboration has to be “The Porpoise Song” by The Monkees which was recorded for their movie Head featuring a then unknown Jack Nicholson.