60s Hit Maker Bob Feldman Passed Away 83
via John1948TwelveB/ Youtube
At the age of 83, Bob Feldman, a composer and record producer best known for penning hit songs including “My Boyfriend’s Back,” “I Want Candy,” and “Sorrow,” has gone away.
Richard Gottehrer, a close friend and lifelong partner, revealed this tragic news in a statement to Billboard. Gottehrer shared:
“It’s with great sadness that I announce the passing of Bob Feldman, my friend and legendary songwriting partner. We began working together back in the 1960s during the Brill Building era, where we crafted timeless hits like ‘My Boyfriend’s Back,’ ‘I Want Candy,’ ‘Hang on Sloopy,’ and ‘Sorrow,’ which David Bowie later made famous. We even had a humorous stint as an ‘Australian’ band called the Strangeloves.”
He went on to mention their youthful and inexperienced beginnings, highlighting how they learned the ropes of music production by creating demos of their songs. This learning journey led both of them to thriving careers in the music industry even after they went their separate ways. The two friends remained close over the years and continued to work together in the same companies they established decades ago.
From Schoolmates to Hitmakers
Before dedicating his life to music, Feldman, a Brooklyn native, met a lot of future celebrities. His high school friend Neil Sedaka was present, and Feldman performed in the All-City choir with Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond. Jerry Goldstein, a neighbor, and he ultimately started working together to compose songs, and Gottehrer later completed the trio of songwriters.
Their notable achievement was the chart-topping hit “My Boyfriend’s Back,” performed by the Angels in 1963. Responding to the British Invasion in music, the trio formed the Strangeloves and fabricated an elaborate backstory of being Australian. Despite this act eventually fading away, the Strangeloves enjoyed commercial success with hits like “I Want Candy,” “Cara-Lin,” and “Night Time.”
After The Strangeloves
Though the Strangeloves were short-lived, Feldman, Goldstein, and Gottehrer’s songwriting partnership endured. Two of their compositions, “Hang on Sloopy” and “Sorrow,” were adopted by the McCoys in 1965. While the former saw the instant popularity, the latter became a global sensation when Bowie covered it in 1973.
The legacy of Feldman, Goldstein, and Gottehrer’s work continued as their songs were reinterpreted by various artists. In 1982, Bow Wow Wow’s rendition of “I Want Candy” rekindled its popularity, earning a place among the prominent one-hit wonders of the 1980s. Other musicians, including Dion and Ronnie James Dio, also embraced their material.
In 2019, Feldman shared his thoughts and feelings in a memoir titled Simply Put! Thoughts and Feelings From the Heart. He is survived by his two daughters, Kyle and Mahri. It’s worth noting that he was also the biological father of Corey Feldman, who emancipated himself from Bob and his mother Sheila at the age of 15.