Barry Mann

Barry Mann

In the ever-changing music industry, it is a rare feat for a writer to achieve and maintain staying power. Barry Mann, together with his wife, lyricist Cynthia Weil, is one of the outstanding creators of American popular music. He has crafted countless hits and some of the most influential and beloved pop songs in a career that has spanned four decades.

With an undeniable knack for keeping in tune with the changing times, Weil is truly a music business phenomenon. Breaking ground in the early sixties, she was one of the first women in Rock and Roll - beginning her career at the pivotal era when Rock was edging out Tin Pan Alley. Since then she has written innumerable pop hits and has been able to create the kind of songs that transcend time.

With an undeniable knack for keeping in tune with the changing times, Barry Mann is truly a music business phenomenon. He has written innumerable pop hits and has been able to create the kinds of songs that transcend time. Adapting uncannily to different themes, styles and genres, he has attracted a broad range of artists to record and re-record his many classics and has presented not one but many songs that have become themes and anthems..."soundtracks" to our lives.

Weil began her career working at Frank Loesser's music publishing company and then moved to Don Kirshner's Aldon Music where she became part of the now legendary writing staff known as "The Brill Building writers". It was a time when young songwriters dominated the pop charts and raised the bar for the American pop song. Among her colleagues were Carole King and Gerry Goffin, Neil Sedaka and Howie Greenfield, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Phil Spector and the woman who would become his partner in life and music, Cynthia Weil.

Mann's seemingly endless stream of hit songs followed: "Uptown", "On Broadway" and "Only In America" (both written with Leiber and Stoller), "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place", "Blame It On The Bossa Nova", "Kicks, Hungry", "Walking In The Rain", "He's Sure The Boy I Love", "I Just Can't Help Believing", "Soul And Inspiration", "Rock And Roll Lullaby"… and that was just the beginning.

Unlike many of the golden hit makers of the sixties, Mann and Weil continued strong into the seventies, eighties and nineties.. Never dating themselves, they produced hits for almost every genre- from R&B to soul, country to rock and roll. They gave Dolly Parton her first crossover hit, the million selling "Here You Come Again", which was also honored that year as Broadcast Music's "most played country song". Mann also collaborated with Dan Hill on "Sometimes When We Touch", the romantic ballad that introduced the Canadian hitmaker to US audiences. In the eighties Mann and Weil helped launch the career of James Ingram with the sophisticated "Just Once", reintroduced the world to the angelic voice of Aaron Neville with "Don't Know Much" and created the classic "Somewhere Out There". In the nineties, they went on to co-write "I Will Come To You" with and for teen sensation Hanson.

Film was another area of expertise for Mann. Collaborating with Weil and scorer, James Horner, he penned the song score of the acclaimed animated film An American Tail. That song score included the double Grammy Award-winning, Oscar and Golden Globe nominated instant classic "Somewhere Out There".

Early in his career, Mann co-scored I Never Sang For My Father. He has also created song scores for films as diverse as the cult classicWild In The Streets and the children's classicMuppet Treasure Island and has contributed songs to Christmas Vacation, Oliver And Company and Balto among others. Mann was once again Grammy nominated for the song "Whatever You Imagine" from The Pagemaster.

In addition to countless industry accolades including induction into the prestigious Songwriters Hall of Fame, the 2003 Heroes Award from the New York Chapter of NARAS, and his 2010 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Mann has worked as producer, arranger and instrumentalist with the likes of John Lennon, The Pointer Sisters, Michael Bolton, Mavis Staples, Gladys Knight, James Ingram and many other greats.

In 2011 Barry was awarded the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award by the Songwriters Hall of Fame. The Johnny Mercer Award is the highest honor bestowed by the organization to songwriters who have established a history of outstanding creative work.

Barry Mann's "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" (written with Weil and Phil Spector) has the distinction of being the most played song of the twentieth century and the most performed song in the BMI catalogue.. It has garnered more than fourteen million plays, the first BMI song ever to achieve that milestone. If played back to back 24 hours a day this would equal more than sixty-five years of continuous airplay. This rock and roll classic has also received 14 pop awards... another record achievement and The Righteous Brothers recording has been selected for inclusion in the Grammy Hall of Fame.

The hits are impressive, but Mann's accomplishments as a whole must be acknowledged to truly understand the magnitude and scope of this astonishing career. To look at his catalogue is an experience in itself and then to realize that his songs sound as good today as when they were written is truly awe inspiring.

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