Gerry Goffin 1939-2014

Gerry Goffin and Carole King

Within minutes of England’s World Cup defeat last night, a tweet from Carole King came through stating her first husband and songwriting partner had died at the age of 75.

My first thought when I woke up this morning reflecting on the night before wasn’t that England are (unofficially) out of the World Cup, it was that Gerry Goffin is dead. It was only a couple of weeks ago we sat down to watch the Carole King story on BBC4 and my wife could not believe two people could write so many songs that are ingrained in our lives, songs that are so perfect it almost feels unbelievable that someone had to sit down and write them.

After moving to LA, King and Goffin separated in 1968 and Carole King went on to have huge success with her solo album Tapestry selling 25 million copies. Gerry Goffin continued writing massive chart hits right through the 1980s many of which people would never associate with his previous work. In his final days he must have despaired at the lack of decent songwriting in today’s modern chart music.

It would impossible to talk about all the songs he wrote, but here’s some personal highlights:

The Monkees – Porpoise Song

The Shirelles – Will You Still love Me Tomorrow

The Byrds – Wasn’t Born To Follow

Carole King – (You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman

The Monkees – Pleasant Valley Sunday

The Beatles – Keep Your Hands Off My Baby

The Crystals – He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss)

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