Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, and the Persistence of Experimental Popular Music

July 9, 2014 7:43 PM

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Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, and the Persistence of Experimental Popular Music

The summer of 1961 was one of my favorites: Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris were hitting home runs, Whitey Ford was winning games, and "Who Put the Bomp" was a big hit on my transistor radio. I didn't usually like novelty songs, but I liked "Who Put the Bomp;" I think I realized that whoever wrote it really loved pop music, so the parody was an affectionate one. I now know that the song was written by Barry Mann and Gerry Goffin, and I've only recently begun to realize why it is that I know so little about artists whose work I am so familiar with.

Album cover of Barry Mann's recording, "Who Put the Bomp (In the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)." ABC-Paramount Records (1961). All images courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

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