Over the course of our career, we’ve had the great fortune to work with some of the most extravagantly talented composers of the 20th century. Among them:
We were lucky to have spent the better part of the last four years of Cy’s life collaborating with him. We’d known each other for many years, but the opportunity to write together didn’t present itself until 2001.
Working with Cy was extraordinary. There’s a kind of marriage that exists between composer and lyricist… a unique bond. Mating: creating something that wasn’t there before. Cy was a composer of endless invention… digging, probing, never satisfied until he had arrived at some previously undiscovered place. When Cy sat at the piano, he was in the theatre. He saw the stage. He saw the lights. He heard the orchestra. He heard the laughs. He saw it all as he wrote and he shared it with us. Thank you, Cy.
Our first Emmy — “Queen of the Stardust Ballroom.”
There are people in your life that transcend the “friend” category and become like family — you can’t remember ever not knowing them. Dave is a unique man, a unique musician and a unique composer. He knows about songs and singers and is a very intelligent and discerning partner for a lyric writer.
Our second Academy Award — “TWWW.” Our second Emmy Award — “Ordinary Miracles.”
Working with Marvin was fun. It’s was like playing in a big sandbox. He was full of ideas, amazingly facile and could execute each one at the piano almost as fast as they popped into his head.
Working with Quincy is a joy. He creates joy around him. Just being with Q is a joy. It’s no wonder that he inspires and gets the best out of those he works with. He has a special touch. It’s in his smile. It’s in his soul. It’s in his music.
Our first and third Academy Awards. “Windmills” and “Yentl.”
Michel is a one man “cirque du soleil.” He tumbles, he juggles, he defies musical gravity. And, like the best of them, he works without a net. We have had the pleasure and privilege of working with Michel for over 40 years and our admiration and respect continue to grow with each year and each new project.
Hank had great respect for the partnership of words and music and for those who worked with him. He thoroughly enjoyed the songwriting adventure. Always open to suggestions, allowing the search to be a collaborative effort. The process was fun, loose, a joyous experience. His ear and his heart were always open to new sounds, new rhythms, new forms. We will treasure the all too brief time we had with him.
Johnny can write anything. He’s one of a handful of composers who are as skillful at scoring films as they are at writing songs, and luckily for us, we’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with Johnny on several of his marvelous tunes. There is a Mandel signature to everything he writes – it’s in the surprise. His melodies beg to be sung, and as lyric writers what more can one ask?
Lew introduced us. He was our very first collaborator. We were young and just beginning. I wrote my engagement present for Marilyn with Lew (“That Face”). The three of us wrote the title track for Frank Sinatra’s album “Nice ‘N’ Easy.” It was a very exciting time.