The last couple of years Diane and I have vacationed in New York, we have hit a couple of plays. Last year, The Book of Mormon and Larry David’s Fish in the Dark were it, and this year, I grabbed tickets to The Humans which had just moved to Broadway a month before our trip, and perfectly, the play won four Tonys including best play, actor, and actress, two nights before the tix I copped.
But, for the second show, I opted for Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. There is no question how much I loved King’s songwriting, then with her (now late) husband Gerry Goffin. The Locomotion, Up on the Roof, Chains, and especially Will You Still Love Me, Tomorrow?–which is among my favorite songs ever–are all such great and timeless cuts. In fact, I wrote this obit when Goffin passed away a couple of years back.
But, last year, when Di and I were in NYC for the FSTA, as we walked up Broadway to Central Park, I noticed the Brill Building for the first time, so I stopped, and looked and took a photo of the front.
Somewhere, that shot was lost, but this year when we walked by I got another snap, and though I knew the bulk of the Brill Building story, the show brought out so much and so many great songs and just what amazing and productive songwriters like Lieber and Stoller, and Neil Sedaka, and Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil in addition to Goffin and King, and all of this orchestrated by Don Krischner.
One of the things that plagued Goffin and Mann, in particular, with the British invasion and new propensity for bands to write their own materiel was writing songs that were relevant, rather than just pop tunes that appealed to the generally superficial life of teenagers.
Goffin. who wrote the words, and King banged out this really great tune immortalized: