Gonna Get Me a Piece of the Sky
June 20, 2014 9:13 AM   Subscribe

Gerry Goffin, lyricist for many of the songs that those of us over 50 grew up on, passed away Thursday at his home in Los Angeles, at age 75.

Many of his best-known songs were written with Carole King, both during and after their marriage, which is
the subject of the current Broadway hit "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical."

His songs included:

Up On the Roof
You've Got a Friend
Saving All My Love for You
Will You Love Me Tomorrow
One Fine Day
(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman
Take Good Care of My Baby
The Loco-Motion
Sometime in the Morning
Take Good Care of My Baby
Crying in the Rain
Pleasant Valley Sunday
Who Put the Bomp
posted by still_wears_a_hat (22 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Goffin/King was one of Lennon/McCartney's favorite songwriting duos. Before Beatlemania happened, Lennon & McCartney had hoped that the Beatles would be successful enough so that they could set up a songwriting career for themselves as promising as Goffin and King.
posted by jonp72 at 9:21 AM on June 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


("Crying in the Rain" is not one of Goffin's, even though many obits are mentioning it)
posted by in278s at 9:23 AM on June 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

Creative partnerships are always interesting things, and I can never help wondering when I see one whether one partner or the other carries most of the weight. My own opinion tends towards believing that King was the stronger half of the Goffin/King partnership but even if that's true they, well, they made beautiful music together..
posted by Nerd of the North at 9:26 AM on June 20, 2014 [2 favorites]

The Animals - Don't Bring Me Down
posted by in278s at 9:27 AM on June 20, 2014

posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 9:50 AM on June 20, 2014

I can never help wondering when I see one whether one partner or the other carries most of the weight.

What is there to "wonder" about with Goffin/King? Goffin did the lyrics, King did the music, no?
posted by yoink at 9:55 AM on June 20, 2014

I'd just add that these songs were (and are) gold to many who are not yet 50, even though we may not have quite grown up on them. That is to say: they're pop classics and they stand the test of time whether you're 80, 50, 25, or not yet old enough to do much more than toddle. If you're under 50 and haven't heard them, you need to, and all the Brill Building songwriters, if you love pop music. There's a reason that the Carole King bio show is a Broadway hit.
posted by blucevalo at 10:37 AM on June 20, 2014 [8 favorites]

posted by Cash4Lead at 10:50 AM on June 20, 2014

posted by Thorzdad at 10:58 AM on June 20, 2014

posted by tommasz at 11:03 AM on June 20, 2014

posted by hydrobatidae at 11:16 AM on June 20, 2014

Like Holly's, King and Goffin's songs - unlike much of the industry garp aimed simply at exploiting the new teen market - talk straight at young love, with real heart. (Can't help but think that, born 20 years later, they'd have teamed up with John Hughes.) The zest and hotness of their songs really popped on AM radio (~10k bandwidth!). The Beatles just had to do likewise (e.g. early songs are loaded with one-syllable words).
Goffin (at Secondhandsongs) lists all titles and the number of covers for each. Click on the number after a title (WYSLMT 122!!) and goto a complete list of covering artists for that title. Click on a name in that list, goto artist bio.

Great resource. (Secondhand defines 'cover' to include samples).
posted by Twang at 11:34 AM on June 20, 2014 [2 favorites]

Good lord, for "Porpoise Song," alone, this man has my eternal respect.
posted by Dr. Wu at 11:57 AM on June 20, 2014 [2 favorites]

I don't see I'm Into Something Good (Goffin / King) listed above. Maybe you don't dig Hermans Hermits, but here's Earl Jean McCrea, a member of the Cookies stepping out for a solo side about six months earlier than the Hermits' take.

posted by Herodios at 11:58 AM on June 20, 2014

Herodios, if I'd known about Secondhandsongs (thank you Twang) earlier, it certainly would have been. And Crying in the Rain not.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 12:04 PM on June 20, 2014

posted by Paris Elk at 2:46 PM on June 20, 2014

One of my favorite later 60s Goffin/King songs is this rather gorgeous slice of folk-rock by The American Breed:

I Don't Think You Know Me

I love The Monkees version as well, there are actually three (with vocals by Mike and Micky, but I'm partial to the off-key Peter take):

I Don't Think You Know Me - The Monkees
posted by plasticpalacealice at 5:40 PM on June 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

from Carole King's memoir A Natural Woman:

"A lot of people think I wrote the lyrics for "Will You Love Me Tomorrow," because they express so eloquently the emotions of a teenage girl worried that her boyfriend won't love her anymore once she gives him her most precious one-time-only prize. Those lyrics were written by Gerry, whose understanding of human nature transcended gender. My contribution to "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" included writing the melody, playing piano in the studio, and arranging the string parts. Though I had previously written choral parts, I had never composed a string arrangement. But when Gerry suggested we use strings I was fearless in volunteering."
posted by sophieblue at 7:20 PM on June 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

posted by bryon at 11:17 PM on June 20, 2014

I cry immediately whenever I hear "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow". Always have, even as a little girl.
posted by Hermione Granger at 11:50 PM on June 20, 2014

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