The songwriter Gerry Goffin, who alongside former wife Carole King wrote some of the most indelible songs of the ’60s, died of natural causes early Thursday morning at his home in Los Angeles. He was 75.
Goffin and King began their songwriting team soon after they were married in 1959, working out of New York City’s legendary Brill Building, which housed a number of influential songwriters (as well as musicians, producers, and assorted music industry professionals), who churned out hit songs at a factory-like pace in the years between rock and roll’s first wave of popularity and the rise of album-oriented radio in the ’70s. The Goffin-King credit appeared beside some of the era’s biggest hits, including “The Loco-Motion,” “Take Good Care of My Baby,” “Some Kind of Wonderful,” and “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” the pair’s first No. 1 hit and most frequently recorded song.
Goffin and King continued to collaborate following their divorce in 1968, and after their partnership dissolved, Goffin would go on to team up with several other writers to produce songs that were recorded by Rod Stewart, Gladys Knight & the Pips, and Whitney Houston, whose 1984 version of “Saving All My Love for You,” originally recorded in 1978 by Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., eventually sold 3 million copies worldwide.
In a statement, King wrote, “Gerry Goffin was my first love. He had a profound impact on my life and the rest of the world. Gerry was a good man and 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. He will be missed by his wonderful wife Michele, his devoted manager, Christine Russell, his five children, and six grandchildren.
“His words expressed what so many people were feeling but didn’t know how to say,” King continued. “If you want to join his loved ones in honoring him, look at the names of the songwriters under the titles of songs. Among the titles associated with me, you’ll often find Gerry’s name next to mine.”
Many of King and Goffin’s songs are currently featured in the Broadway musical Beautiful.