Beautiful Music

vic fortezza
3 min readJun 2

RIP songwriter extraordinaire Cynthia Weil, 82, a pioneer of rock n roll. Born in NYC, she trained as an actress and dancer before turning to the craft that led to her induction in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. She teamed with Barry Mann, whom she married in ’61. They often worked out of the famed Brill Building, where so many classic songs were created. Their first hit was Tony Orlando’s Bless You, which rose to #15 in ’61. The Crytasls Uptown hit #13 and James Darren’s Conscience #11 that same year. In ’62 Paul Peterson’s My Dad went to #6, The Crystals’ He’s Sure the Boy I Love # 11, Eydie Gorme’s Blame It on the Bossa Nova #7, and The Drifters’ On Broadway #9. In ’63 Jay and The Americans’ Only in America went to #25, as did the Drifters’ I’ll Take you Home, The Ronettes Walking in the Rain #23 and The Drifters’ Saturday Night at the Movies #23. In ’64 The Righteous Brothers’ You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling climbed to #1 and would go on to be the most played song on radio in the 20th century. Weill and Mann did not restrict themselves to pop. In ’65 Paul Revere and the Raiders hit #4 with the rousing Kicks and #6 with Hungry, and The Animals #13 with We Gotta Get Out of This Place. Working solo, Weill wrote Just Once for Quincy Jones and James Ingram, which peaked at #17 in ’81, Somewhere Out There for Linda Ronstadt & James Ingram in 86, which rose to #2, and I Will Come to You for Hanson in ’97, which hit #9. Those are just the highlights. The pair and Weill herself had many other songs that cracked the top forty let alone the top 100. She was nominated for six Grammys, winning two, and one Oscar. In 2015 Weill published a novel, I’m Glad I Did, set in 1963. She is survived by her husband and a daughter. Awesome, Madam. Thank you so much.

I learned a new word: Sapiosexual — finding intelligence sexually attractive or arousing.

Another gorgeous day, although a bit warm. My thanks to the kind folks who bought donated and swapped books. Here’s what sold: three Russian music CDs; .45s of Bruce Springsteen’s My Hometown and Donna Summer’s The Woman in Me; Billy Joel’s Piano Man album on vinyl; Knight and Day (2010) on DVD; My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult; She Made Me Laugh: Mother Teresa and the Call to Holiness by Stephanie Emmons; and One Thousand New York Buildings by Bill Harris.

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vic fortezza

I was born in Brooklyn in 1950 to Sicilian immigrants. I’ve had more than 50 short stories published world wide. I have 13 books in print.