Goffin and King

The music world has been paying tribute to lyricist/songwriter Gerry Goffin, who died 19 June at the age of 75. Alongside one-time partner Carole King (and others), Goffin was responsible for more than 50 top 40 songs in the U.S.

He and King married in 1959 when they were teenagers. They divorced in 1968, but their productive partnership led them to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

One of Goffin’s remarkable talents was to write heartfelt lyrics for female singers. The Shirelles’ “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” was his lyric, as was Aretha Franklin’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.”

U.K critic David Hepworth noted on Goffin’s passing, “This is like finding out Jane Austen was a bloke.” Goffin was the lyricist behind hits by The Crickets, Bobby Vee, The Drifters, The Monkees (“Pleasant Valley Sunday”), The Byrds (Goin’ Back”) and numerous others.

King said, “Gerry was a good man with a dynamic force, whose words and creative influence will resonate for generations to come. His legacy to me is our two daughters, four grandchildren, and our songs that have touched millions and millions of people, as well as a lifelong friendship.”

Numerous artists have paid their respects on Twitter, including fellow Brill Building writer Neil Sedaka, Billy Bragg, Kylie Minogue, Brian Wilson, Duane Eddy and the Grammy Awards organization.

U.K guitarist Bernard Butler Tweeted: “time for your jaw to drop at that list of songs.” And here are those hits.

Brian Wilson Tweeted: “I loved the songs Gerry Goffin and Carole King wrote together - a big influence for me as a young songwriter. Gerry will be missed.”

Here are The Byrds making beautiful guitar music from Goffin and King’s work.