Gerry Goffin died of natural causes June 19—but he was a supernatural talent.
Music historians often overuse the phrase "Great American Songbook," but his songs, which were recorded by Aretha Franklin, The Beatles and every artist in Phil Spector's infamous wall of sound. If there was a soundtrack for the last half of the 20th century, it would be made up mostly of Goffin's songs.
Goffin's most prolific collaborator was Idaho resident Carole King, his co-writer and first wife.
"His words expressed what so many people were feeling but didn't know how to say," wrote King in a statement.
Though their marriage lasted less than a decade, King and Goffin wrote a slew of hit singles together and their personal and professional relationship is the centerpiece of a new smash musical, Beautiful, which is playing to sold-out audiences on Broadway.
Goffin is survived by his wife, Michelle, a brother, five children, six grandchildren, and an amazing treasury of popular music.
Below is just a sample of Goffin and Goffin/King songs (with the original recording artist is parentheses):
"Will You Love Me Tomorrow?" (The Shirelles)
"Take Good Care of My Baby" (Bobby Vee)
"Some Kind of Wonderful" (The Drifters)
"Go Away Little Girl" (Steve Lawrence)
"The Loco-Motion" (Little Eva)
"Don't Bring Me Down" (The Animals)
"Hey Girl" (Freddie Scott)
"Up On the Roof" (The Drifters)
"One Fine Day" (The Chiffons)
"(You Make Me Fee Like) a Natural Woman" (Aretha Franklin)
"Tonight, I Celebrate My Love" (Roberta Flack and Peabo Bryson)
"Saving All My Love for You" (Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr.)—this was a No.1 hit for Whitney Houston in 1985