June 19, 2014

Modcast #300: The Brill Building Sound (RIP Gerry Goffin)

modcast 300 the brill building sound
[Update 6-19-14] Just heard the sad news that one of the Brill Building's greats has passed away. According to The AP: "Gerry Goffin, a prolific and multi-dimensional lyricist who with his then-wife and songwriting partner Carole King wrote such hits as "Will You Love Me Tomorrow," ''(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," ''Up on the Roof" and "The Loco-Motion," died early Thursday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 75."

It's been eight crazy years I've been producing the modcasts. When I started the show was pretty basic and the focus was on the music. The show is still pretty basic and the focus is still on the music. It seemed fitting to celebrate the eighth anniversary with a stroll through a musical treasure trove. The Brill Building.

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The Brill building is a big old art-deco thing that has one of the greatest music stories you could imagine. From the 1930s on the Brill Building has been at the center of American music; home to producers, writers, publishers, and musicians who all work and collaborate together.

“Expressing the optimism and outrage of the early civil rights movement, [the Brill Building catalog] amalgamated black, white, and Latino sounds before multiculturalism became a concept, much less a cliché, and integrated audiences before America desegregated its schools. It helped create a youth market – teenagers were a new breed of human being and a brand-new consumer category – and trafficked in teen idols from whom Justin Timberlake and the Simpson sisters directly descend.” -- Ken Emerson, Always Magic In The Air: The Bomp And Brilliance Of The Brill Building Era

The Brill launched the careers of the likes of Burt Bacharach, Paul Simon, Sonny Bono, Carol King, Neil Diamond, Paul Anka and many more. The Brill sound was made famous by Dionne Warwick, Lesley Gore, The Monkees, Frank Sinatra, Sonny & Cher, and many more. So, it seemed like as good a time as any to finally pay tribute to the Brill Building Sound.

Edwin Starr -- Twenty-Five Miles (1968)
The Crystals -- He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss) (1962)
Steve Lawrence -- Go Away Little Girl (1962)
Cristina -- Is That All There Is? (1980)
The Monkees -- Pleasant Valley Sunday (1967)
Boyce & Hart -- I'll Blow You A Kiss In The Wind (1969)
Paul Revere & The Raiders -- Hungry (1966)
The Rolling Stones -- She Said Yeah (1965)
Buddy Rich -- The Beat Goes On (1967)
Lesley Gore -- 98.6/Lazy Day (1964)
Annette Funicello -- Blame It On The Bossa Nova (1965)
Tom Jones -- Promise Her Anything (1965)
Paul Weller -- Needles & Pins (2005)
Evie Sands -- I Can't Let Go (1966)
Doris Troy -- Just One Look (1963)
Laura Nyro -- Stoned Soul Picnic (1968)
Cal Tjader -- My Little Red Book (1969)