March 3, 1986 – Howard Greenfield (songwriting partner with Neil Sedaka) was born on March 15, 1936 on Brooklyn, New York. By his late teens Greenfield formed a songwriting partnership with Neil Sedaka, a friend he had met as a teenager when they both lived in the same apartment building, in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn. For several years in the 1960s they worked out of the famous Brill Building. He is best known for his series of successful songwriting collaborations, first with Neil Sedaka from the late 1950s to the mid-1970s, and a near-simultaneous and equally successful songwriting partnership with Jack Keller throughout most of the 1960s.
He co-wrote four songs that reached No.1 on the US Billboard charts: “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do”, as recorded by Neil Sedaka; “Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool” and “Breakin’ in a Brand New Broken Heart”, both as recorded by Connie Francis, and “Love Will Keep Us Together”, as recorded by The Captain & Tennille.
He also co-wrote numerous other top 10 hits for Neil Sedaka, including “Oh! Carol”, “Stairway to Heaven”, “Calendar Girl”, “Little Devil”, “Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen”, and “Next Door to an Angel”;
for Connie Francis including the “Theme to Where The Boys Are” and “My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own”;
for The Everly Brothers-“Crying In The Rain”;
for Jimmy Clanton-“Venus In Blue Jeans” and
for The Shirelles-“Foolish Little Girl”.
As well, co-writing the theme songs to numerous 1960s TV series, including Bewitched, The Flying Nun and Hazel.
In 2005, “Is This The Way To Amarillo”, a song Greenfield had written with Sedaka in the early 1970s, reached No.1 on the UK charts sung by Tony Christie when the song was re-released on 14 March 2005 to raise money for the Comic Relief charity, with an accompanying video by comedian Peter Kay. The video featured an all-star celebrity line-up lip-synching the track, and the proceeds went to charity. The record stayed at #1 for 7 weeks, and became the UK’s best-selling record of the millennium to that time.
Other artists than Connie Francis who sang Howard’s songs include Captain & Tennille, Cher, Patsy Cline, Neil Diamond, Everly Brothers, Johnny Mathis, Wayne Newton, Shirelles, Etta James, Air Supply, LaVern Baker, and Gloria Estefan.
In 1991, Howard Greenfield was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
He died from complications due to AIDS at age 49 on March 3, 1986.
“I’ll never let you see, the way my broken heart is hurting me,
I’ve got my pride and know how to hide
all my sorrow and pain, I’ll do my crying in the rain…”