You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling – the most widely played song in radio history, Just Once, Here You Come Again, On Broadway, Somewhere Out There, Don't Know Much, Never Gonna Let You Go, Sometimes When We Touch, We Gotta Get Out Of This Place... the songs are familiar, enduring favorites penned by one legendary songwriter, Barry Mann.
In the ever changing, ever fickle music industry, it is a rare feat for an artist to achieve and maintain staying power. Songwriter Barry Mann, together with his wife, lyricist Cynthia Weil is one of the few outstanding creators of American popular music – crafting 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, 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.
Mann first landed on the pop charts as a teen songwriter with the novelty hit She Say. Shortly after he began working at Don Kirshner's Aldon Music – part of the legendary Brill Building where songwriters dominated the pop charts and raised the bar for the American pop song. Among his colleagues were Carole King and Gerry Goffin, Neil Sedaka, Carol Bayer Sager, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller and Phil Spector and the woman who would become his partner in life and music, lyricist Cynthia Weil. The two soon embarked on their remarkably successful personal and professional relationship.
Mann's seemingly endless stream of hit songs followed: Uptown, Who Put The Bomp (which also put him on the charts as a teen singing sensation), On Broadway and Only In America (both written with Leiber and Stoller), We Gotta Get Out Of This Place, I Love How You Love Me, Blame It On The Bossa Nova, Kicks, Hungry, He's Sure The Boy I Love, Walking In The Rain, Soul and Inspiration, I Just Can't Help Believing, Rock and Roll Lullaby... and that was just the beginning.
Unlike many of the golden hit makers of the sixties, the Mann/Weil team continued strong into the seventies and eighties. 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 in Here You Come Again which also earned the distinction that year of Broadcast Music's “most played country song” and were instrumental in launching the careers of other artists like The Righteous Brothers and James Ingram. Continuing to strike gold in the nineties, they produced yet another hit – I Will Come To You – in their collaboration with multi-platinum teen pop sensation, Hanson.
Films became another area of expertise for Mann. Mann and Weil penned the song score for the acclaimed animated film An American Tail – including the double Grammy award winning and Oscar and Golden Globe nominated instant standard Somewhere Out There. They also wrote song scores for films as diverse as the cult classic Wild In The Streets and the children's classic Muppet Treasure Island . Mann contributed songs to National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Oliver and Company and Balto among others. He also co-scored I Never Sang For My Father. Mann and Weil were once again Grammy nominated for the song Whatever You Imagine from The Pagemaster.
In addition to his Grammy awards Mann has amassed 56 pop, country and R&B; awards from Broadcast Music Inc., recognizing highest performance popularity on American radio and television and 46 Millionaire Awards for radio performances numbering over 1 million plays. You've Lost That Lovin Feeling was the most played song of the twentieth century. It has accumulated more than 14 million plays, which, if played back to back would equal more than sixty five years of continuous air play.
In addition to countless other industry accolades including induction into the prestigious Songwriters Hall of Fame and the 2003 Heroes Award from the New York Chapter of NARAS, Mann has worked as producer, arranger and instrumentalist with the likes of John Lennon, The Pointer Sisters, Michael Bolton, Mavis Staples, Gladys Knight and many other greats.
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.
A talented, dynamic singer in his own right, he has finally offered his own voice to some of his greatest hits with the Atlantic Records album, BARRY MANN – SOUL & INSPIRATION. Featuring guest artists such as Carole King, Daryl Hall, Bryan Adams, Richard Marx and Peabo Bryson on harmonies, the album presents 11 jewels from Mann's extraordinary catalogue in a totally new light. Sung by the man who wrote them, we hear an intimate, insightful interpretation of his songs. Produced by Fred Mollen, known for his work with Kris Kristofferson and Jimmy Webb, the album presents an opportunity for Mann to convey the emotion behind the songs as he wrote them, to showcase his history and to collaborate with old friends.
In January 2004, Mann and Weil opened in New York for a limited run of “THEY WROTE THAT?” a show based on their catalogue of hit songs. Backed by a five piece band and three back up singers, Barry sang while Cynthia wove their personal and professional history, stories about the creative process and behind the scenes dish, through an evening of their songs. The show was directed by Tony award winning director, Richard Maltby, Jr.
In March of 2008, Mann and Weil's original pop rock musical based on the motion picture classic, "MASK", also directed by Richard Maltby, Jr. premiered at Pasadena Playhouse . Anna Hamilton Phelan, screenwriter of the film also penned the book for the theatrical version. For visuals check out the scrapbook section of the web site.
Barry Mann's talents, however, are not solely limited to music. He is also an accomplished photographer whose work has won a place in numerous group exhibitions. He has also been exhibited in one and two person shows at multiple galleries in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Barry Mann continues to create both musical and visual works that are powerful, unique and timeless.