Gerry Goffin dies: 'Natural Woman' songwriter aged dies 75

The man behind 'Will You Love Me Tomorrow', 'Take Good Care of My Baby' and 'The Loco-Motion' formed a brilliant songwriting partnership with first wife Carole King

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The Independent Online

The lyricist Gerry Goffin, who with his then-wife and songwriting partner Carole King wrote such Sixties hits as Will You Love Me Tomorrow and The Loco-Motion, has died at his Los Angeles home aged 75.

Mr Goffin, who married Ms King in 1959 while they were in their teens, penned more than 50 top 40 hits, including Pleasant Valley Sunday for the Monkees, Some Kind of Wonderful for the Drifters and Take Good Care of My Baby for Bobby Vee.

The couple divorced in 1968, but Mr Goffin kept working, co-writing Savin' All My Love for You, which became a hit for Whitney Houston.

Ms King said in a statement that Goffin was her “first love” and had a profound impact on her life.

She said: “Gerry was a good man with 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."

Mr Goffin was born in Brooklyn in 1939 and was a chemist who loved music when he met Ms King. A whirlwind romance led to a marriage and their first hit, when she was only 17, Will You Love Me Tomorrow for the Shirelles.

Both quit their day jobs to focus on music.

The Goffin-King love affair is the subject of the Tony Award-nominated Beautiful: The Carole King Musical on Broadway. Ms King, while backing the project, had avoided seeing it for months because it dredged up sad memories. She finally watched it in April.

The musical shows the two composing their songs at Aldon Music, the Brill Building publishing company in Manhattan that also employed Neil Sedaka, Howard Greenfield and Carole Bayer Sager. The show ends just as King is enjoying fame for her ground-breaking solo album Tapestry. It also alleges Mr Goffin's womanising and depression were causes of the breakup.

After their divorce, Mr Goffin garnered an Academy Award nomination with Michael Masser for the theme to the 1975 film Mahogany for Diana Ross. He also earned a Golden Globe nomination for So Sad the Song in 1977 from the film Pipe Dreams.

Mr Goffin and Ms King were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three years later.

Mr Goffin is survived by his five children and Michelle, his second wife.