The year is only a week old and it is already proving to be a rough one for the entertainment world.
Lyricist Marilyn Bergman died January 8, 2022 in her Los Angeles home as a result of non-Covid related respiratory failure at the age of 93. Her husband of over 60 years was at her side at the time of her death.
Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1980, the Bergman’s have hundreds of songwriting credits to their name. Over the years the Bergman’s have collaborated with numerous entertainers and songwriters including Marvin Hamlisch, Cy Coleman, and Michel Legrand. Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Dean Martin, James Ingram, Patti Austin, Stephen Bishop, Aretha Franklin, and Michael Jackson are among the hundreds of artists who have performed their songs. Streisand recorded some 60 of the Bergman’s songs throughout her career.
Songs composed by Marilyn Bergman and her husband Alan could be heard on the radio, Broadway, in films, and as themes for television series. Bergman has penned lyrics for “In the Heat of the Night” – film and television series, “The Happy Ending”, “Bracken’s World”, “Funny Face”, “The Sandy Duncan Show”, “Harry and Walter Go to New York”, “The Nancy Walker Show”, “Sybil”, “Maude”, “Co-ed Fever”, “Good Time”, “Yentl”, “Alice”,”The Powers that Be”, “Brooklyn Bridge”, and “If You’re not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast”.
On Broadway, Marilyn Bergman is responsible for the lyrics from “Something More”, “Ballroom”, “Andre’ DeShields’ Haarlem Nocturne”, “Into the Woods”, “Street Corner Symphony”, and “Come Fly Away”.
They won their first of Academy Awards for the song “The Way We Were” from the movie by the same name. Marily and Alan Bergman have won a total of three Academy Awards, two Grammys, four Emmy Awards, and is the recipient of the Songwriters Hall of Fame Johnny Mercer Award. Marilyn was also a bit of a trailblazer – she was the first female elected to ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) where she later served as a chair and was the first female to chair the National Recorded Sound Preservation Board of the Library of Congress.
She was born Marilyn Katz to Jewish parents in Brooklyn on November 10, 1929. She studied psychology and English at New York University. Alan was born four years earlier in the same hospital and raised in the same neighbourhood, but it would be many years later before to two would meet when they worked for the same composer. They moved to Los Angeles in 1950 and were married in 1958.
Marilyn is survived by husband Alan and daughter Julie.
Some of the hundreds of lyrics penned by Marilyn Bergman include:
“Nice ‘n’ Easy”
“The Windmills of Your Mind”
Pieces of Dreams”
“Sugar in the Rain”
“What are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?”
“The Summer Knows” – theme from “Summer of ’42”
“Marmalade, Molasses and Honey”
“The Way We Were”
“Hello and Goodbye”
“You Don’t Bring Me Flowers”
“The Last Time I Felt Like This”
“It Might be You”
“How Do You Keep the Music Playing?”
“Never Say Never Again”
the music from “Yentl” including “Papa Can You Hear Me” and “The Way He Makes Me Feel”
feature photo credit: [[File:Alan and Marilyn Bergman.jpg|Alan_and_Marilyn_Bergman]]