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Gerry Goffin, Former West Orange Resident and Ex-Husband of Carole King, Dies at 75

Cynthia Cumming

Friday, June 20, 2014 • 3:57pm

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Gerry Goffin, prolific songwriter, former West Orange resident, and ex-husband of music superstar Carole King, has died at 75.

Goffin's marriage and songwriting career with King is chronicled in the current Broadway musical Beautiful. The couple married in 1959 and lived on Waddington Avenue, a few blocks off Pleasant Valley Way, until their divorce in 1968.

After signing with music producer Don Kirschner in 1959, the duo wrote a string of blockbuster pop hits in while living in West Orange including “Will You Love Me Tomorrow.” “Some Kind of Wonderful,” "Take Good Care of My Baby," "Up On the Roof," “The Loco-Motion," "You Make Me Feel (Like a Natural Woman)," "One Fine Day," and “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” describing King's perceptions of her life in West Orange at the time. 

"Living with Gerry in New Jersey suburbia, I was surrounded by the wives of doctors, accountants, lawyers. With a pen in one hand and a baby in the other, I was a real oddity: a working woman," King noted.

Both King and Goffin continued their careers after their divorce.

“Gerry Goffin was my first love,” King said in a statement. “He had a profound impact on my life and the rest of the world.  Gerry was a good man and a dynamic force, whose words and creative influence will resonate for generations to come.  His legacy to me is our two daughters, four grandchildren, and our songs that have touched millions and millions of people, as well as a lifelong friendship. He will be missed by his wonderful wife Michelle, his devoted manager, Christine Russell, his five children, and six grandchildren.”

King and Goffin were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. 

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