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Monday, August 02, 2004

Damn I love Carole King....saw a great film last night

Drove all the way down to Mountain View last night to catch this great documentary on the early 60's songwriters that cranked out some of the biggest, most well-loved songs of all time.....

Hitmakers: The Teens Who Stole Pop Music
Director: Morgan Neville, 2001

A bunch of Jewish kids from Brooklyn jump-started the music business in the 1960s, and it’s never been the same. Hitmakers is a fabulously entertaining look at these "teens who stole pop music." The amazing convergence of songwriting talent at Manhattan’s Brill Building created a competitive but prolific community of songwriters, almost all of them Jewish, and few of them older than 27. At the Brill, wordsmiths like Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller ("Hound Dog") wrote hit songs for teen idols such as Elvis Presley, and increasingly for explosively talented black artists like Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, and The Shirelles. Songwriting team Carole King (later to become a renowned singer) and husband Gerry Goffin ("Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow") composed at an upright piano in a small cubicle. Their friends and rivals Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil ("You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling") were hard at work just a few millimeters of pressboard away in the next
cubicle. Burt Bachrach, Hal David, and Neil Sedaka were riffing down the hall. Many of them worked for music producer Don Kirshner, who had tapped into the zeitgeist of 1960s youth, and understood that young teen
audiences wanted to buy records by both white and black artists. These were magical years, when smart kids from Brooklyn hopped the subway into Manhattan with crumpled song sheets in hand, swept along by the passion and raw energy of rock ‘n roll. John Turturro narrates this toe-tapping documentary about a formative period in the history of American music, race relations and the nascent record industry. Featuring interviews and archival footage of The Drifters, Aretha Franklin, Ellie Greenwich, Doc Pomus & Mort Shuman, The Righteous Brothers, The Shirelles, and Dionne Warwick.


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