The Brilliance of Brill … Pomus/Shuman

Old Rockers

The Musical Journey of Grendel You can view it all here:

Doc Pomus

Born Jerome Solon Felder in 1925 in Williamsburg,[5]BrooklynNew York, he was the son of Jewish immigrants.[6] He attended Brooklyn College from 1943 to 1945. Felder became a fan of the blues after hearing a Big Joe Turner record, “Piney Brown Blues”. Having contracted polio as a boy, he walked with the aid of crutches. Later, due to post-polio syndrome exacerbated by an accident, Felder relied on a wheelchair.

Doc Pomus was the subject of this documentary film. If you find out where you can watch it, let me know.
Dion and the Belmonts on American Bandstand, that’ll bring you back. In a note about the changing times, Dion is now a Facebook friend of mine!

Mortimer “Mort” Shuman

Shuman was born in BrooklynNew York, United States,[3] of Polish Jewish immigrants and went to Abraham Lincoln High School, subsequently studying music at the New York Conservatory. He became a fan of R&B music and after he met Doc Pomus the two teamed up to compose for Aldon Music at offices in New York City‘s Brill Building. Their songwriting collaboration saw Pomus write the lyrics and Shuman the melody, although occasionally each worked on both. Their compositions would be recorded by artists such as DionThe Flamingos,[4] Andy WilliamsBobby DarinFabianAjda PekkanThe Drifters, and Elvis Presley, among others.[3] Their most famous songs include “A Teenager in Love“, “Turn Me Loose“, “This Magic Moment“, “Save The Last Dance For Me“, “Little Sister“, “Can’t Get Used to Losing You“, “(Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame“, “Viva Las Vegas” and “Sweets for My Sweet“.[3]

With the advent of the British invasion, they moved to London where they penned songs for a number of British musicians. After the partnership with Doc Pomus ended in 1965, Shuman moved to Paris, France, where he wrote songs for Johnny Hallyday and embarked on his own recording career.

This is not the best Pomus/Shuman collaboration, nor the best, but it gives you an excuse to watch some pretty girls shuffle dancing, and that will make you smile.

(from Wikipedia: Many significant American and international publishing companies, music agencies, and record labels were based in New York, and although these ventures were naturally spread across many locations, the Brill Building was regarded as probably the most prestigious address in New York for music business professionals.

By 1962, the Brill Building contained 165 music businesses.[5] A musician could find a publisher and printer, cut a demo, promote the record and cut a deal with radio promoters, all within this one building. The creative culture of the independent music companies in the Brill Building and the nearby 1650 Broadway came to define the influential “Brill Building Sound” and the style of popular songwriting and recording created by its writers and producers.

 In the Brill Building practice, there were no more unpredictable or rebellious singers; in fact, a specific singer in most cases could be easily replaced with another. These songs were written to order by pros who could custom fit the music and lyrics to the targeted teen audience. In a number of important ways, the Brill Building approach was a return to the way business had been done in the years before rock and roll, since it returned power to the publishers and record labels and made the performing artists themselves much less central to the music’s production.)

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