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Great Songwriters from the 1960's


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This conversation started on the Neil Diamond thread. Here's what I came up with off the top of my head. Who am I missing/who else do you feel should be on this list?

Neil Diamond

Gerry Goffin / Carole King

Ellie Greenwich / Jeff Barry

Neil Sedaka

Burt Bacharach / Hal David

Lennon / McCartney

Jagger / Richards

Paul Simon

Clarke / Hicks / Nash

Phil Spector

Brian Wilson

Barry Mann / Cynthia Weil

B-M-R Gibb

Robbie Robertson

Isaac Hayes / David Porter

Smokey Robinson

Holland / Dozier / Holland

Norman Whitfield / Barret Strong

Stevie Wonder

Bob Dylan

Sam Cooke


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A few that come to mind (some might debate their "greatness", but I like 'em):

McGuinn - G. Clark - Hillman - Crosby

John Phillips

Pete Townshend

Arthur Lee

Steve Marriott - Ronnie Lane

Tim Buckley

Bob Mosley - Skip Spence - Peter Lewis - Jerry Miller

and just who wrote the Easybeats' "Friday on My Mind"? I really loved that song, and I remember Bowie putting that on a collection of covers in the early '70's.

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Bernie I actually thought about Boyce and Hart also and agree that they deserve recognition.

John, Pete Townsend was a serious omission on my part! As far as the Springfield connection goes (Furray, Young, Stills), wouldn't you think that the bulk of their songwriting prowess was in the 1970's?


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I totally agree with oldblue the Moby Grape guys mentioned above. All 5 of that band wrote - Mosley, Lewis and Spence wrote songs for the most part on their own, and Jerry Miller and Don Stevenson were a songwriting team.

BTW, Bob Mosley just released an excellent new solo CD, "True Blue", on the Taxim label out of Germany. He still has those great pipes!

P.S. The Easybeats's songs, including "Friday", were written by Harry Vanda - George Young....George being the older brother of Angus and Malcolm Young of AC/DC.

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Other 60's songwriters of note:

- P.F.Sloan

- Graham Gouldman

- Otis Redding, who co-wrote most of his material with several others, notably -

- Steve Cropper

- Dan Penn (also Penn/Oldham

There are also a bunch of writers who, while starting in the 50's, continued to write well into the 60's - Otis Blackwell, Leiber/Stoller, Chuck Berry, etc.

And on the C&W side of the house - Harlan Howard, Tommy Collins, J.Cash, M.Haggard, B.Owens, W.Nelson, etc. - who did their best work, IMO, in the 60's

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Some great names mentioned - Jimmy Webb, Ray Davies, Bob Gaudio, etc, - I guess my list is based on songwriters who've written 'hits' or well-known songs. There are a plethora of songwriters who have written good song but relatively unknown songs. Sorry but I couldn't name a single Moby Grape song, let alone know who was in that band.


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Marvin - call me an unreconstructed hippie about some things. Among them - the contention that Buffalo Springfield Again, with "Bluebird", "Mr. Soul", "Expecting to Fly", etc. was one of the finest albums of the period. AND - Check out the first Moby Grape album with "Omaha", "8:05", "Someday", etc. for some fine listening.

And it's good that Gram Parsons got mention too. The Flying Burrito Bros. first album was a knockout.

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IMO, I wouldn't call Ringo a 'songwriter', at least not in the 1960's, but George certainly deserves credit. As far as Art Garfunkel is concerned, he wrote little if any of the S&G material. It was all Paul.

Some of the other names mentioned (Gabriel & Banks, Page & Plant, John Fogerty, etc) were really more fruitful as songwriters in the 1970's than the 1960's. We'll have to start a "1970's Songwriters" thread.


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Marvin you are right but Led Zeps 1st album was pretty big in 1968-69 and wasnt Jimmy Page a member of the Yardbirds? You have to admit that leaving out Ray Davies, Hendrix, Eric Clapton of Cream and The Doors were big mistakes on your part. Syd Barrett Of Pink Floyd was the father of psychodelic music and inspired the Beatles to go in that direction in the mid to late 1960's.

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Yup leaving out Davies was an omission on my part. Leaving out artists like Hendrix and the Doors was more a matter of taste than anything else. Although I've never been a fan of that music, there's no denying the power of some of that music.

CCR's first album came out in late 1968, so yes Fogerty defintely deserves to be included in the "60's Songwriters" group.


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How about Tony McCaulay, Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway? Maybe the "Boyce & Harts" of British bubblepop. Straddled the 60s and 70s, but what the hay.

McC: Love Grows ...

Baby now That I've Found You

Build Me Up Buttercup

Smile a Little Smile for Me

Don't Giove Up On Us (yep, that one...)

C&G: My Baby Loves Lovin'

You've Got Your Troubles

Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again

I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing

Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress

Doctors Orders

among others.

Cook went on to Nashville and wrote:

Talking in Your Sleep

and wound up in the Country Songwriters' Hall of Fame. Whew!

Some great songs and BIG hits in that list!


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