Cynthia Weil

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Cynthia Weil
Cynthia Weil in 2012
Born (1940-10-18) October 18, 1940 (age 82)
SpouseBarry Mann
ChildrenJenn Mann

Cynthia Weil (born October 18, 1940) is an American songwriter who wrote many songs together with her husband Barry Mann.

Life and career[edit]

Weil was born in New York City, and was raised in a Conservative Jewish family.[1][2] Her father was Morris Weil, a furniture store owner and the son of Lithuanian-Jewish immigrants, and her mother was Dorothy Mendez, who grew up in a Sephardic Jewish family in Brooklyn.[1] Weil trained as an actress and dancer, but soon demonstrated a songwriting ability that led to her collaboration with Barry Mann, whom she married in August 1961.[3] The couple has one daughter, Jenn Mann. Weil became one of the Brill Building songwriters of the 1960s, and one of the most important writers during the emergence of rock and roll.

She and her husband went on to create songs for many contemporary artists, winning several Grammy Awards as well as Academy Award nominations for their compositions for film. As their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame biography put it, in part: "Mann and Weil's... [works went from] epic ballads ('On Broadway', 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'') to outright rockers ('Kicks', 'We Gotta Get Out of This Place') [and they also] placed an emphasis on meaningful lyrics in their songwriting. With Weil writing the words and Mann the music, they came up with a number of songs that addressed such serious subjects as racial and economic divides[,] 'Uptown', ...and the difficult reality of making it in the big city ('On Broadway'). 'Only in America'... tackled segregation and racism, making it rather too controversial for the Drifters, who were the intended artists. 'We Gotta Get out of This Place' became an anthem for [the] Vietnam soldier, antiwar protesters, and young people who viewed it as an anthem of greater opportunities."[3]

In 1987, she was inducted with her husband, Mann, into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2004, Mann and Weil's They Wrote That?, a musical revue based on their songs, opened in New York. In it, Mann sang and Weil related stories about the songs and their personal history.[3]

Weil, along with Mann; was named among the 2010 recipients of Ahmet Ertegun Award from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and was the first woman to receive the honor.[4] At the ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria, which was telecast on the Fuse TV cable network, songwriter Carole King inducted Mann and Weil and other songwriting colleagues from the 1950s and early 1960s, including Ellie Greenwich (posthumously) and Jeff Barry, Otis Blackwell (posthumously), Mort Shuman, and Jesse Stone (posthumously).[5] "From the bottom of my heart and with the greatest humility," Ms. Weil said in her acceptance, "I thought you guys would never ask." Eric Burdon of the Animals and Ronnie Spector of the Ronettes performed at the ceremony.[6] In 2011 Mann and Weil received the Johnny Mercer Award—the highest honor from the Songwriters Hall of Fame.[7]

In 2015, Weil published her first novel, I'm Glad I Did, a mystery set in 1963.[8]

Songs written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil[edit]


  • Weil, Cynthia (2015). I'm Glad I Did. Soho Press. ISBN 978-1-61695-357-7.
  • Weil, Cynthia (2018). 806: A Novel. Tanglewood. ISBN 978-1-939100-26-9.


  1. ^ a b Benarde, Scott (2003). Stars of David: Rock'n'roll's Jewish stories. Hanover, NH: Brandeis University Press. p. 49.
  2. ^ Bloom, Nate (December 15, 2011). "Jewish Stars 12/16". Cleveland Jewish News.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Mann & Weil", Inductees (biography), Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, archived from the original on July 27, 2018, retrieved March 16, 2010
  4. ^ "Congratulations to the 2010 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees!". Archived from the original on December 23, 2009. Retrieved December 15, 2009.
  5. ^ Bauder, David (March 16, 2010), "Rock Hall welcomes Genesis, ABBA, Iggy", Toronto Sun, Associated Press, archived from the original on March 22, 2010, retrieved March 16, 2010
  6. ^ Jon Pareles (March 16, 2010) [March 15, 2010], "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inducts New Members", The New York Times, NY, p. A16, retrieved March 16, 2010
  7. ^ "Garth Brooks, Billy Joel perform together during Songwriters Hall of Fame ceremony". Sound spike. June 17, 2011. Archived from the original on October 4, 2013. Retrieved April 16, 2012.
  8. ^ Cynthia Weil (2015). I'm Glad I Did. Soho Teen. ISBN 9781616953560.
  9. ^ Beatles Lyric Archived July 30, 2012, at, Jiri Wagner 1999 – 2010 at Retrieved 2010-03-16.

External links[edit]