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Alex Gladstone

Alex Gladstone

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Gerry Goffin was one of the most successful and influential pop music songwriters of the 1960s. Together with his then-wife Carole King, Goffin co-wrote dozens of Top 40 hits, many of which went on to become staples of the rock and roll songbook. But for Goffin, a career in songwriting was never something he entirely planned on. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Queens, Goffin entered the Naval Academy after high school. He planned on a career as a naval officer, but grew bored after a year and quickly resigned. From there, Goffin enrolled at Queens College where he majored in chemistry. It was during his brief time there that Goffin met a young songwriter who went by the name of Carole King, thus changing his life forever. Smitten with the 17-year-old piano player, Goffin quickly began writing songs with King, and by the late 1950s their professional relationship quickly turned into a personal one. Goffin and King married in 1959, which was the same year the duo was offered a songwriting contract with a Manhattan-based publishing company. Over the next few years, Goffin and King wrote a string of successful pop songs, including "Will You Love Me Tomorrow," which became a Number 1 hit for the Shirelles;...

Gerry Goffin was one of the most successful and influential pop music songwriters of the 1960s. Together with his then-wife Carole King, Goffin co-wrote dozens of Top 40 hits, many of which went on to become staples of the rock and roll songbook. But for Goffin, a career in songwriting was never something he entirely planned on. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Queens, Goffin entered the Naval Academy after high school. He planned on a career as a naval officer, but grew bored after a year and quickly resigned. From there, Goffin enrolled at Queens College where he majored in chemistry. It was during his brief time there that Goffin met a young songwriter who went by the name of Carole King, thus changing his life forever. Smitten with the 17-year-old piano player, Goffin quickly began writing songs with King, and by the late 1950s their professional relationship quickly turned into a personal one. Goffin and King married in 1959, which was the same year the duo was offered a songwriting contract with a Manhattan-based publishing company. Over the next few years, Goffin and King wrote a string of successful pop songs, including "Will You Love Me Tomorrow," which became a Number 1 hit for the Shirelles; "One Fine Day," performed by The Chiffons; "Pleasant Valley Sunday," performed by The Monkees; and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," which was made famous by Aretha Franklin. Together, Goffin and King wrote over 50 Top 40 hits during the 1960s. By 1969, due to Goffin's mental health issues, increasing reliance on hard drugs like LSD, and repeated infidelity (including fathering a child with another woman), he and King split both personally and professionally. Goffin continued to write hit songs throughout the '70s and '80s, including "Saving All My Love for You," a number one hit for Whitney Houston in 1985. In 1976, Goffin was nominated for an Oscar for Best Song, along with Michael Masser, for co-writing the theme to the Diana Ross film "Mahogany" (1975). With his reputation as a songwriting maestro long cemented, Goffin and King were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1985, and then together once again as members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. Although Goffin's musical output slowed by the late '90s, his influence continued to be felt on television and the movies, with Goffin-King songs appearing on everything from "Glee" (Fox 2009- ) and "Dancing with the Stars" (ABC 2005- ), to the 2012 action comedy "Hit and Run." By the time of his death at the age of 75 in June of 2014, Goffin had been lionized by both his peers and fans as one of the 20th century's defining figures in pop music.

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