The Info List - Norman Gimbel

Norman Gimbel (born November 16, 1927) is an American lyricist of popular songs, television and movie themes whose writing career includes such titles as "Sway", "Canadian Sunset", "Summer Samba", "The Girl from Ipanema", "Killing Me Softly with His Song", "Meditation", and "I Will Wait for You", along with an Oscar for "It Goes Like It Goes" - from the film Norma Rae. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame
Songwriters Hall of Fame
in 1984.


1 Early successes 2 Two Broadway musicals 3 Hit English-language lyrics to Brazilian and French songs 4 Career as a lyricist of film songs and TV themes 5 References 6 External links

Early successes[edit] A native of Brooklyn, son of businessman Morris Gimbel and Lottie Gimbel,[1] Norman Gimbel was self-taught in music and following initial employment with music publisher David Blum, progressed to become a contract songwriter with Edwin H. Morris Music. Small successes and moderate fame came as a result of lively novelty songs "Ricochet", which was popularized in a 1953 recording by Teresa Brewer from which was developed the 1954 Judy Canova
Judy Canova
film Ricochet Romance, and "A Whale of a Tale", sung by Kirk Douglas
Kirk Douglas
in another 1954 production, Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Greater success was earned with Dean Martin's recording of "Sway", which reached #6 on the UK Singles Chart, followed by his first big success, Andy Williams' rendition of "Canadian Sunset", which scored to #1 in 1956. Two Broadway musicals[edit] Top songwriter Frank Loesser
Frank Loesser
became Gimbel's mentor and, through Loesser, he met composer Moose Charlap with whom he wrote the first of his numerous songs to appear in films, "Past the Age of Innocence", from the 1951 Monogram musical, Rhythm Inn. At the end of the decade, he collaborated with Charlap on the only Broadway musicals for which he has written lyrics, Whoop-Up
and The Conquering Hero. Whoop-Up
is set within a modern-day Native American community located on a reservation. The novel which provided the basis for the show, Dan Cushman's Stay Away, Joe, was filmed ten years later, under its original title, as a vehicle for Elvis Presley, using an unrelated screenplay and score. The show's Joe was portrayed by Ralph Young, who achieved stardom in the 1960s and 70s as one-half of the singing duo, Sandler and Young. The production was directed by Cy Feuer and choreographed by Onna White who received a Tony nomination for her contribution to the show, with another nomination going to Julienne Marie for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. Cushman, along with Feuer and Ernest H. Martin, also wrote the book of the show. Eleven of the eighteen songs by Gimbel and Charlap were heard in the first act, and the remaining seven in act two. Whoop Up opened at the Shubert Theatre on December 22, 1958 and, despite some encouraging reviews, ended after a disappointing 56 performances on February 7, 1959. The opening night of Conquering Hero was almost two years later, on January 16, 1961. The production, at the ANTA Playhouse, had a book by Larry Gelbart, based on Preston Sturges' 1944 screenplay and film, Hail the Conquering Hero. It was directed by Albert Marre, choreographed by Todd Bolender
Todd Bolender
and starred Tom Poston
Tom Poston
as Woodrow Truesmith, the character originated in the movie by Eddie Bracken. Ella Raines' Libby was portrayed by Kay Brown, and Lionel Stander, as Sgt. Murdock, took over William Demarest's Sgt. Heppelfinger. Act one had ten of Gimbel's and Charlap's fourteen songs, while four songs (and four reprises from the first act) were sung in act two. Ultimately, Hero fared even worse than Whoop-Up, closing on January 21, after only 7 performances. Hit English-language lyrics to Brazilian and French songs[edit] In 1963, Gimbel was introduced by music publisher Lou Levy to a group of young Brazilian bossa nova composers, including Antônio Carlos Jobim, Luiz Bonfá
Luiz Bonfá
and Baden Powell, for whose works he started writing English-language lyrics. Most notably, he created the lyrics for Marcos Valle's "Summer Samba," also known as "So Nice", as well as Jobim’s "How Insensitive", "The Girl from Ipanema" (turning it into a top hit for Astrud Gilberto) and "Meditation", which has gained the status of a "classic" in the jazz and bossa nova genres. He also provided the lyrics for French composers Michel Legrand (two themes from The Umbrellas of Cherbourg—"Watch What Happens" and the Oscar-nominated "I Will Wait for You"), Eddy Marnay and Emil Stern ("Amazing") and singer-composer Gilbert Bécaud
Gilbert Bécaud
("You'll See" and other songs). He also provided the lyrics for Belgium jazz harmonica player Toots Thielemans
Toots Thielemans
("Bluesette")."Only Love" sung by Nana Mouskuri – No 2 United Kingdom (Performed in a Command Performance for the Queen Mother). Career as a lyricist of film songs and TV themes[edit] In October 1967 Norman Gimbel moved to Los Angeles, where he became active in film and television. Among the Hollywood
composers with whom he worked were Elmer Bernstein, Bill Conti, Jack Elliott, Charles Fox, Dave Grusin, Maurice Jarre, Quincy Jones, Fred Karlin, Francis Lai, Peter Matz, Lalo Schifrin, David Shire
David Shire
and Patrick Williams. Gimbel received four Golden Globes
Golden Globes
nominations, the first of which was for the song "Circles in the Water," with music by Francis Lai), written for the American distribution of the 1967 French film Live for Life, while the second honored "Stay" (with composer Ernest Gold), heard in the 1969 film The Secret of Santa Vittoria. The other two were for the songs "Richard's Window," from 1975's The Other Side of the Mountain, and "Ready to Take a Chance Again," used in 1978's Foul Play. Both songs, whose lyrics Gimbel wrote to music that had been composed by Charles Fox, his most frequent collaborator, were also nominated for Oscars. In 1973 Gimbel experienced another great success when Roberta Flack sang a cover of "Killing Me Softly with His Song". Co-written with Charles Fox, it was originally written for LA bistro singer Lori Lieberman after she shared a poem with them that she had written after seeing Don McLean
Don McLean
live in concert. The song won him his second Grammy Award for Song of the Year. The same year his and Fox's "I Got a Name", recorded by Jim Croce, from the 1973 film The Last American Hero, was voted "Best Film Song" by the Young New York Film Critics. In 1979 he had his only Emmy
nomination for "Outstanding Music Composition for a Series" for The Paper Chase, which he again shared with Fox. Los Angeles
Los Angeles
theater work with Fox included a rock/pop version of A Midsummer Night's Dream
A Midsummer Night's Dream
for the city's Shakespeare Festival, seen at the Ford Amphitheatre, and The Eleventh, which played the Sunset Theater. The year 1980 was a banner year at the Oscars for Norman Gimbel with a win for "Original Music Score" and "Best Original Song" ("It Goes Like It Goes"), written with David Shire for the film Norma Rae. Continuing his working relationship with Charles Fox, Gimbel wrote lyrics for the theme songs of many TV series, including The Bugaloos, Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Angie, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, Wonder Woman, the Emmy-winning theme for The Paper Chase, and the song score for Pufnstuf, the 1970 film version of the 1969–71 Saturday-morning children's series H.R. Pufnstuf. In 1984, Gimbel was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and continued to be active in film into 2009. He has written all the songs, including "A World Without Fences" for Disney's 2001 direct-to-video cartoon feature, Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure, receiving a nomination for the Video Premiere Award, in addition to having provided song scores for The Phantom Tollbooth (1969), Where's Poppa?
Where's Poppa?
(1970), A Troll in Central Park
A Troll in Central Park
(1994) and The Thief and the Cobbler (a/k/a Arabian Knight) (1995 U.S. version). Over the years, his songs have been used in over ninety films, with some of the most popular titles, such as "The Girl from Ipanema", heard in 1997's Deconstructing Harry, 2002's Catch Me If You Can, 2005's V for Vendetta and Mr. & Mrs. Smith and 2007's The Invasion, and "Sway" heard in 2004's Shall We Dance? and 2046, 2006's Bella, 2007's No Reservations and 2008's Paris. Additional films which used his songs include 1984's Johnny Dangerously, (with composer John Morris), 2006's Invincible ("I Got a Name") and Click ("So Nice") and the 2007 French film Roman de Gare, which featured his English-language lyrics to Gilbert Bécaud's "You'll See." To date, Imdb Filmography credits Norman Gimbel with having over 646 entries of his songs in films and television. He has been a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences since 1970. References[edit]

^ The Lori Lieberman Team, Billboard Magazine, June 22, 1974, page53

External links[edit]

Norman Gimbel at the Songwriters Hall of Fame Some of Norman Gimbel's awards as listed in IMDb Norman Gimbel on IMDb Norman Gimbel at the Internet Broadway Database
Internet Broadway Database
Norman Gimbel photograph

v t e

Academy Award
Academy Award
for Best Original Song


"The Continental"

Music: Con Conrad Lyrics: Herb Magidson (1934)

"Lullaby of Broadway"

Music: Harry Warren Lyrics: Al Dubin (1935)

"The Way You Look Tonight"

Music: Jerome Kern Lyrics: Dorothy Fields
Dorothy Fields

"Sweet Leilani"

Music and lyrics: Harry Owens
Harry Owens

"Thanks for the Memory"

Music: Ralph Rainger Lyrics: Leo Robin (1938)

"Over the Rainbow"

Music: Harold Arlen Lyrics: E. Y. Harburg (1939)

"When You Wish Upon a Star"

Music: Leigh Harline Lyrics: Ned Washington (1940)


"The Last Time I Saw Paris"

Music: Jerome Kern Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II
Oscar Hammerstein II

"White Christmas"

Music and lyrics: Irving Berlin
Irving Berlin

"You'll Never Know"

Music: Harry Warren Lyrics: Mack Gordon
Mack Gordon

"Swinging on a Star"

Music: Jimmy Van Heusen Lyrics: Johnny Burke (1944)

"It Might as Well Be Spring"

Music: Richard Rodgers Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II
Oscar Hammerstein II

"On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe"

Music: Harry Warren Lyrics: Johnny Mercer
Johnny Mercer


Music: Allie Wrubel Lyrics: Ray Gilbert (1947)

"Buttons and Bows"

Music: Jay Livingston Lyrics: Ray Evans (1948)

"Baby, It's Cold Outside"

Music and lyrics: Frank Loesser
Frank Loesser

"Mona Lisa"

Music and lyrics: Ray Evans and Jay Livingston
Jay Livingston


"In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening"

Music: Hoagy Carmichael Lyrics: Johnny Mercer
Johnny Mercer

"High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin')"

Music: Dimitri Tiomkin Lyrics: Ned Washington (1952)

"Secret Love"

Music: Sammy Fain Lyrics: Paul Francis Webster (1953)

"Three Coins in the Fountain"

Music: Jule Styne Lyrics: Sammy Cahn
Sammy Cahn

"Love Is a Many Splendored Thing"

Music: Sammy Fain Lyrics: Paul Francis Webster (1955)

"Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)"

Music and lyrics: Jay Livingston
Jay Livingston
and Ray Evans (1956)

"All the Way"

Music: Jimmy Van Heusen Lyrics: Sammy Cahn
Sammy Cahn


Music: Frederick Loewe Lyrics: Alan Jay Lerner
Alan Jay Lerner

"High Hopes"

Music: Jimmy Van Heusen Lyrics: Sammy Cahn
Sammy Cahn

"Never on Sunday"

Music and lyrics: Manos Hatzidakis
Manos Hatzidakis


"Moon River"

Music: Henry Mancini Lyrics: Johnny Mercer
Johnny Mercer

"Days of Wine and Roses"

Music: Henry Mancini Lyrics: Johnny Mercer
Johnny Mercer

"Call Me Irresponsible"

Music: Jimmy Van Heusen Lyrics: Sammy Cahn
Sammy Cahn

"Chim Chim Cher-ee"

Music and lyrics: Richard M. Sherman
Richard M. Sherman
and Robert B. Sherman
Robert B. Sherman

"The Shadow of Your Smile"

Music: Johnny Mandel Lyrics: Paul Francis Webster (1965)

"Born Free"

Music: John Barry Lyrics: Don Black (1966)

" Talk
to the Animals"

Music and lyrics: Leslie Bricusse (1967)

"The Windmills of Your Mind"

Music: Michel Legrand Lyrics: Alan and Marilyn Bergman (1968)

"Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head"

Music: Burt Bacharach Lyrics: Hal David
Hal David

"For All We Know"

Music: Fred Karlin Lyrics: Robb Royer
Robb Royer
and Jimmy Griffin (1970)


"Theme from Shaft"

Music and lyrics: Isaac Hayes
Isaac Hayes

"The Morning After"

Music and lyrics: Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn (1972)

"The Way We Were"

Music: Marvin Hamlisch Lyrics: Alan and Marilyn Bergman (1973)

"We May Never Love Like This Again"

Music and lyrics: Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn (1974)

"I'm Easy"

Music and lyrics: Keith Carradine
Keith Carradine

"Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star Is Born)"

Music: Barbra Streisand Lyrics: Paul Williams (1976)

"You Light Up My Life"

Music and lyrics: Joseph Brooks (1977)

"Last Dance"

Music and lyrics: Paul Jabara
Paul Jabara

"It Goes Like It Goes"

Music: David Shire Lyrics: Norman Gimbel (1979)


Music: Michael Gore Lyrics: Dean Pitchford (1980)


"Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)"

Music and lyrics: Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager, Christopher Cross and Peter Allen (1981)

"Up Where We Belong"

Music: Jack Nitzsche
Jack Nitzsche
and Buffy Sainte-Marie Lyrics: Will Jennings (1982)

"Flashdance... What a Feeling"

Music: Giorgio Moroder Lyrics: Keith Forsey and Irene Cara (1983)

"I Just Called to Say I Love You"

Music and lyrics: Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder

"Say You, Say Me"

Music and lyrics: Lionel Richie
Lionel Richie

"Take My Breath Away"

Music: Giorgio Moroder Lyrics: Tom Whitlock (1986)

"(I've Had) The Time of My Life"

Music: Franke Previte, John DeNicola and Donald Markowitz Lyrics: Franke Previte (1987)

"Let the River Run"

Music and lyrics: Carly Simon
Carly Simon

"Under the Sea"

Music: Alan Menken Lyrics: Howard Ashman (1989)

"Sooner or Later (I Always Get My Man)"

Music and lyrics: Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim


"Beauty and the Beast"

Music: Alan Menken Lyrics: Howard Ashman (1991)

"A Whole New World"

Music: Alan Menken Lyrics: Tim Rice
Tim Rice

"Streets of Philadelphia"

Music and lyrics: Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen

"Can You Feel the Love Tonight"

Music: Elton John Lyrics: Tim Rice
Tim Rice

"Colors of the Wind"

Music: Alan Menken Lyrics: Stephen Schwartz (1995)

"You Must Love Me"

Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber Lyrics: Tim Rice
Tim Rice

"My Heart Will Go On"

Music: James Horner Lyrics: Will Jennings (1997)

"When You Believe"

Music and lyrics: Stephen Schwartz (1998)

"You'll Be in My Heart"

Music and lyrics: Phil Collins
Phil Collins

"Things Have Changed"

Music and lyrics: Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan


"If I Didn't Have You (Disney song)"

Music and lyrics: Randy Newman
Randy Newman

"Lose Yourself"

Music: Eminem, Jeff Bass and Luis Resto Lyrics: Eminem

"Into the West"

Music and lyrics: Fran Walsh, Howard Shore
Howard Shore
and Annie Lennox
Annie Lennox

"Al otro lado del río"

Music and lyrics: Jorge Drexler
Jorge Drexler

"It's Hard out Here for a Pimp"

Music and lyrics: Juicy J, Frayser Boy and DJ Paul
DJ Paul

"I Need to Wake Up"

Music and lyrics: Melissa Etheridge
Melissa Etheridge

"Falling Slowly"

Music and lyrics: Glen Hansard
Glen Hansard
and Markéta Irglová
Markéta Irglová

"Jai Ho"

Music: A. R. Rahman Lyrics: Gulzar

"The Weary Kind"

Music and lyrics: Ryan Bingham
Ryan Bingham
and T Bone Burnett
T Bone Burnett

"We Belong Together"

Music and lyrics: Randy Newman
Randy Newman


"Man or Muppet"

Music and lyrics: Bret McKenzie
Bret McKenzie


Music and lyrics: Adele
Adkins and Paul Epworth (2012)

"Let It Go"

Music and lyrics: Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
Robert Lopez


Music and lyrics: John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn (2014)

"Writing's on the Wall"

Music and lyrics: James Napier and Sam Smith (2015)

"City of Stars"

Music: Justin Hurwitz Lyrics: Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (2016)

"Remember Me"

Music and lyrics: Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
Robert Lopez

v t e

Grammy Award for Song of the Year


"Volare" – Domenico Modugno
Domenico Modugno
(songwriter) (1959) "The Battle of New Orleans" – Jimmy Driftwood
Jimmy Driftwood
(songwriter) (1960) "Theme from Exodus" – Ernest Gold (songwriter) (1961) "Moon River" – Johnny Mercer
Johnny Mercer
& Henry Mancini
Henry Mancini
(songwriters) (1962) "What Kind of Fool Am I?" – Leslie Bricusse & Anthony Newley (songwriters) (1963) "Days of Wine and Roses" – Johnny Mercer
Johnny Mercer
& Henry Mancini (songwriters) (1964) "Hello, Dolly!" – Jerry Herman
Jerry Herman
(songwriter) (1965) "The Shadow of Your Smile" – Paul Francis Webster & Johnny Mandel (songwriters) (1966) "Michelle" – John Lennon
John Lennon
& Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney
(songwriters) (1967) "Up, Up, and Away" – Jimmy Webb
Jimmy Webb
(songwriter) (1968) "Little Green Apples" – Bobby Russell (songwriter) (1969) "Games People Play" – Joe South
Joe South
(songwriter) (1970) "Bridge over Troubled Water" – Paul Simon
Paul Simon
(songwriter) (1971) "You've Got a Friend" – Carole King
Carole King
(songwriter) (1972) "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" – Ewan MacColl (songwriter) (1973) "Killing Me Softly with His Song" – Norman Gimbel & Charles Fox (songwriters) (1974) "The Way We Were" – Alan and Marilyn Bergman & Marvin Hamlisch (songwriters) (1975) "Send in the Clowns" – Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim
(songwriter) (1976) "I Write the Songs" – Bruce Johnston (songwriter) (1977) "Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star Is Born)" – Barbra Streisand & Paul Williams (songwriters) / "You Light Up My Life" – Joe Brooks (songwriter) (1978) "Just the Way You Are" – Billy Joel
Billy Joel
(songwriter) (1979) "What a Fool Believes" – Kenny Loggins
Kenny Loggins
& Michael McDonald (songwriters) (1980)


"Sailing" – Christopher Cross
Christopher Cross
(songwriter) (1981) "Bette Davis Eyes" – Donna Weiss & Jackie DeShannon (songwriters) (1982) "Always on My Mind" – Johnny Christopher, Mark James & Wayne Carson (songwriters) (1983) "Every Breath You Take" – Sting (songwriter) (1984) "What's Love Got to Do with It" – Graham Lyle & Terry Britten (songwriters) (1985) "We Are the World" – Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson
& Lionel Richie (songwriters) (1986) "That's What Friends Are For" – Burt Bacharach
Burt Bacharach
& Carole Bayer Sager (songwriters) (1987) "Somewhere Out There" – James Horner, Barry Mann
Barry Mann
& Cynthia Weil (songwriters) (1988) "Don't Worry, Be Happy" – Bobby McFerrin
Bobby McFerrin
(songwriter) (1989) "Wind Beneath My Wings" – Larry Henley & Jeff Silbar (songwriters) (1990) "From a Distance" – Julie Gold
Julie Gold
(songwriter) (1991) "Unforgettable" – Irving Gordon
Irving Gordon
(songwriter) (1992) "Tears in Heaven" – Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton
& Will Jennings (songwriters) (1993) "A Whole New World" – Alan Menken
Alan Menken
& Tim Rice
Tim Rice
(songwriters) (1994) "Streets of Philadelphia" – Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen
(songwriter) (1995) "Kiss from a Rose" – Seal (songwriter) (1996) "Change the World" – Gordon Kennedy, Wayne Kirkpatrick & Tommy Sims (songwriters) (1997) "Sunny Came Home" – Shawn Colvin
Shawn Colvin
& John Leventhal
John Leventhal
(songwriters) (1998) "My Heart Will Go On" – James Horner
James Horner
& Will Jennings (songwriters) (1999) "Smooth" – Itaal Shur
Itaal Shur
& Rob Thomas (songwriters) (2000)


"Beautiful Day" – Adam Clayton, David Evans, Laurence Mullen & Paul Hewson (songwriters) (2001) "Fallin'" – Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys
(songwriter) (2002) "Don't Know Why" – Jesse Harris (songwriter) (2003) "Dance with My Father" – Richard Marx
Richard Marx
& Luther Vandross (songwriters) (2004) "Daughters" – John Mayer
John Mayer
(songwriter) (2005) "Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own" – Adam Clayton, David Evans, Laurence Mullen & Paul Hewson (songwriters) (2006) "Not Ready to Make Nice" – Emily Burns Erwin, Martha Maguire, Natalie Maines
Natalie Maines
Pasdar & Dan Wilson (songwriters) (2007) "Rehab" – Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse
(songwriter) (2008) "Viva la Vida" – Guy Berryman, Jonathan Buckland, William Champion & Christopher Martin (songwriters) (2009) "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" – Thaddis "Kuk" Harrell, Beyoncé Knowles, Terius Nash & Christopher Stewart (songwriters) (2010) "Need You Now" – Dave Haywood, Josh Kear, Charles Kelley
Charles Kelley
& Hillary Scott (songwriters) (2011) "Rolling in the Deep" – Adele
Adkins & Paul Epworth (songwriters) (2012) "We Are Young" – Jack Antonoff, Jeff Bhasker, Andrew Dost
Andrew Dost
& Nate Ruess (songwriters) (2013) "Royals" – Joel Little & Ella Yelich O'Connor (songwriters) (2014) "Stay with Me" (Darkchild version) – James Napier, William Phillips & Sam Smith (songwriters) (2015) "Thinking Out Loud" – Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran
& Amy Wadge
Amy Wadge
(songwriters) (2016) "Hello" – Adele
Adkins & Greg Kurstin
Greg Kurstin
(songwriters) (2017) "That's What I Like" – Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence, Bruno Mars, Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus & Jonathan Yip (songwriters) (2018)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 13969918 LCCN: n92093560 MusicBrainz: 4b68c65a-8cb5-4c03-bb58-c1b1cf5eced1 SN


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