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Profile of Neil Sedaka

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Neil Sedaka during a tribute to his fifty years in music held at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall in New York City on October 26, 2007

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Born:

Born on March 13, 1939 to Mac Sedaka and Eleanor Appel Sedaka

Birthplace:

Brooklyn, New York, USA

Early Years:

When he was young, his mother bought him a second-hand upright piano. By 8 years old he was playing the piano quite well that he was accepted into the Juilliard School of Music's Preparatory Division for Children on a piano scholarship. He formed his first singing group called the Tokens while attending Lincoln High School. The group released a single under Melba Records containing two songs co-written by Neil. Another song he penned titled "Never Again" was recorded by Dinah Washington under Mercury Records.

Becoming Famous:

After graduating from high school, Neil went on to Julliard. During this time he and co-writer Howard Greenfield continued pitching their songs eventually landing a contract with Aldon Music. They scored their first hit with the song "Stupid Cupid" recorded by Connie Francis. This was followed by "Fallin", again recorded by Connie Francis. In 1958, Neil left Julliard and auditioned for RCA Victor Records. His debut single under RCA featuring the song "The Diary" was a hit. In 1960, his fifth single under RCA, "Staurway to Heaven", was also a success and Neil began touring to promote his records.

Sedaka/Greenfield Partnership:

Neil and Howard were neighbors; they were teenagers when they became friends and began a songwriting partnership. In the early 70's, after 20 years of co-writing, the two parted ways. They did however worked on songs occasionally afterwards. The end of their team-up inspired the writing of "Our Last Song Together". The Sedaka/Greenfield partnership produced several hits including "Stupid Cupid". In 1986, Greenfield passed away and in honor of him, Sedaka released the album My Friend which contains the most known songs they wrote together.

Other Songs He Wrote:

Some of the hit songs he wrote or co-wrote include: "Breaking Up is Hard to Do," "Laughter in the Rain," "Bad Blood," "Love Will Keep Us Together," "You Mean Everything to Me, "Run Samson Run," "Calendar Girl," "Little Devil" and "Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen."

His song "Should've Never Let You Go " was recorded as a duet with his daughter Dara Sedaka.

Other Accomplishments:

  • Sedaka and Greenfield wrote the song score for Connie Francis' movie debut "Where the Boys Are".
  • He also co-wrote songs for an animated tv series titled "The Globetrotters".
  • In 1959, he was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Performance by a "Top 40" Artist.
  • In 1962, his song "Breaking Up is Hard to Do" was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock & Roll Recording.
  • The song "Love Will Keep Us Together" was the most performed song on the radio in 1975, according to BMI.
  • Neil Sedaka was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1983.
  • He was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2007.
  • Love Life:

    "Oh! Carol", his fourth RCA single, was a huge success. This song was dedicated to his former girlfriend and fellow singer/songwriter Carole King.

    Interesting Facts:

    Neil Sedaka was a piano prodigy. His songs were covered by many artists from varying genres, from pop to R&B to jazz. Songs he wrote that were recorded by other artists include: "Stupid Cupid," (Connie Francis) "Fallin'," (Connie Francis) "Frankie," (Connie Francis) "I Waited Too Long," (LaVern Baker) "Since You've Been Gone," (Clyde McPhatter) "Time Marches On," (Roy Hamilton) "What Am I Gonna Do?," (Jimmy Clanton) "Venus in Blue Jeans," (Jimmy Clanton) "If I Could Write A Song," (Carol Burnett) "Don't Hide Your Love" (Cher) and "Solitaire" (recorded by several artists including The Carpenters.

    More Information:

    For more of Neil Sedaka, visit his official website. Also see this video of him singing "Laughter in the Rain" from Youtube.
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