It would be impossible to imagine the last four decades of pop music without the melodies of Barry Mann and the lyrics of Cynthia Weil. One of the most successful pure songwriting teams in history; Mann and Weil have created a body of work so significant it has often been described as “a soundtrack to our lives.”
Together, this husband and wife team have written songs like You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling (with Phil Spector), On Broadway with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller), Walking In The Rain, Kicks, Soul And Inspiration, We Gotta Get Out Of This Place, I Just Can’t Help Believing, Here You Come Again, Never Gonna Let You Go, Just Once, and the Grammy nominated Don’t Know Much (with Tom Snow) to name a few. The list of their chart hits spans the decades from the sixties through the nineties.
However, no mere list can describe how influential their work has been. Early Mann/Weil successes like He’s Sure The Boy I Love, Blame It On The Bossa Nova and Walking In The Rain established them as writers with the ability to create catchy songs. But soon they were producing words and music that had an impact far beyond that of the average hit.
You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling and Soul And Inspiration were not just songs that launched The Righteous Brothers, they defined the genre we call “blue eyed soul”. On Broadway, Uptown and Only In America transcended early rock and roll’s romantic “moon and June” fixation. Kicks proved that Mann and Weil, could not only write for rock bands but that a commercial hit could address a serious issue like drugs. We Gotta Get Out Of This Place is not only considered one of the classic rock songs of all time but it became an anthem for Viet Nam soldiers and protesters alike.
Here You Come Again provided country star Dolly Parton with her first crossover hit and helped country artists gain their rightful place in the world of popular music. Just Once launched the career of a great emotional vocalist named James Ingram and the soulful Don’t Know Much reintroduced the world to the angelic voice of Aaron Neville.
Throughout their collaboration, Barry and Cynthia have worked with other writers. Cynthia wrote the lyrics to Running With The Night with Lionel Richie, He’s So Shy with Tom Snow, If Ever You’re In My Arms Again with Snow and Michael Masser, the Grammy nominated Through The Fire with David Foster and Tom Keane and Wrong Again with Tommy Lee James, which hit #1 on the country charts.
Barry was both co-writer, with Gerry Goffin and recording artist on Who Put The Bomp and he co-wrote I Love How You Love Me with Larry Kolber, How Much Love with Leo Sayer and Sometimes When We Touch with Dan Hill.
Barry and Cynthia currently appear in the hit show, Beautiful, The Carole King Musical, portrayed by actors as their young selves. Their friendship and competition with their pals, Carole King and Gerry Goffin are an important part of the story line of the show and many of their hits are part of the song score.
From songs, to books, to photography, to theater, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil continue to explore new directions for their creativity.