1987 Award and Induction Ceremony



Cynthia Weil

Cynthia Weil is one of the most gifted and influential pop lyricists of the last twenty-five years. Along with collaborator Barry Mann, she received the first-ever National Academy of Songwriters (NAS) Life Achievement Award, honoring her for their many early hits, including "On Broadway," and "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" as well as their contemporary successes ranging from "Just Once,” "Here You Come Again," "Never Gonna Let You Go" and the Academy Award and Golden Globe nominated Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram hit, "Somewhere Out There" from Steven Spielberg's An American Tail.

Weil has achieved her preeminent place in contemporary music not simply because her lyrics have endured, but because they have defined what it means to be young, to be in love, to be committed and passionate-in short, to define the many emotions that make up the human condition. Considered by some critics to be the most socially conscious writing team among their early peers, Mann and Weil delivered such classics as "Uptown" (the Crystals), "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" (the Animals), and the anti-drug song, "Kicks" (Paul Revere and the Raiders).

From the Drifters to the Girl Groups to the British Revolution, Mann and Weil's songs encompassed every genre of music, establishing them as one of the most stylistically diverse teams of the early pop era. This diversity remains stronger than ever today.

Cynthia Weil was born on October 18, 1937 in New York City. As a young actress, singer and dancer, she began her songwriting career as a protégé or Tin Pan Alley songwriter, Frank Loesser. She was soon put under contract with Al Nevins and Don Kirsher’s Aldon Music during one of the most pivotal periods in music-the transition from Tin Pan Alley to Rock and Roll. She was one of the young writers at Aldon Music who greatly influenced rock and roll and monopolized the pop charts in the process.

In 1961, Weil met her greatest professional collaborator and eventual husband, Barry Mann. Their first success was "Bless You," recorded by Tony Orlando. They quickly became one of the most prolific and successful of the Brill Building songwriters, a group that included Neil Sedaka, Howard Greenfield, Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich, Gerry Goffin and Carole King.

Working with some of the most popular artists from the 1960’s to the present, the Mann-Weil catalog has produced such hits as "Uptown", "On Broadway", "Blame It On the Bossa Nova", "My Dad", "Johnny Loves Me”, "I'm Gonna Be Strong”, "Saturday Night at the Movies", "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling", "Home of the Brave", "Walking in the Rain”, "Only in America”, "We Gotta Get Out of This Place", "Kicks", "Magic Town", "I Just Can't Help Believing”, "It's Getting Better", "Make Your Own Kind of Music”, "New World Coming", "The Shape of Things to Come", "Here You Come Again", and "Just Once".

In recent years, both Weil and Mann have achieved considerable success with other collaborators. Weil wrote "Running With The Night" with Lionel Richie, and has collaborated with him on "Love Will Conquer All," "He's So Shy," "Through The Fire”, Peabo Bryson's "If Ever You're In My Arms Again".

Living in Los Angeles for the last twenty years, this native New Yorker has recently added film scores to her list of successful endeavors. In addition to two songs featured in About Last Night, Weil (with David Foster) wrote material for the Grammy-nominated soundtrack to St. Elmo's Fire.

In December 1999, BMI, the performing rights organization, announced the Top 100 Songs of the Century, a list of the most played songs on American radio and television. The number one song on the list was "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling," which had recently passed the eight million performance mark and surpassed The Beatles’ hit “Yesterday”. Weil had another song on this short list, “On Broadway” (# 45).

Mann and Weil have been honored with over 108 pop, country and R&B awards from BMI as well as Lifetime Achievement Awards from the National Academy of Songwriters, The Clooney Foundation’s Award for Legendary Song Composition, BMI’s Robert Burton Award for most performed country song of 1977 (“Here You Come Again”), an Oscar and Golden Globe Nomination for “Somewhere Out There” and double Grammy Awards for “Song of the Year” and “Motion Picture or Television Song of Year” for “Somewhere Out There” (“Somewhere Out There” also received an Oscar and Golden Globe nomination for “Best Song in a Motion Picture”).

Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil continue to create and produce their memorable songs, most recently, as part of Atlantic Records songwriters’ series, which released the Mann tribute album “Soul and Inspiration”.