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October 18: Queen of the Oldies

October 18, 2014
mannweil3Brill Building lyricist Cynthia Weil, whose collaboration with her husband Barry Mann produced such hits songs as “Blame It on the Bossa Nova” (Eydie Gormé), “Hungry” (Paul Revere and the Raiders), “Looking Through the Eyes of Love” (Gene Pitney), “On Broadway” and “Saturday Night at the Movies” (The Drifters), “Only in America” (Jay and the Americans), “Walking in the Rain” (The Ronettes), “We Gotta Get Out of This Place” (The Animals), “(You’re My) Soul and Inspiration” (The Righteous Brothers), and many, many others, was born in New York on this date in 1940. In 1987, she and Mann were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and in 2011 they received the Johnny Mercer Songwriting Award. “Weil’s lyrics helped shape the rebellious attitude that came to characterize the decade” of the 1960s, writes a reviewer at “She wrote about real people with real problems and wasn’t afraid to tackle hot-button topics like racism, war, and urban decay. She was also one of the most emotionally honest and provocative lyricists of her time, writing love songs that resonated widely.” “In this dirty old part of the city/where the sun refuses to shine/people tell me there ain’t no use in trying...” —“We Gotta Get Out of This Place,” Cynthia Weil