Idyllwild Arts Honors Cynthia Weil Barry Mann

James Ingram, Steve Tyrell, Casey Abrams, Idyllwild Students Sing to “Life In Arts” Recipients Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann


Such was the measure of respect and affection for “Life In Art” honorees Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann that James Ingram said after serenading the duo at the Idyllwild Arts Gala, “I owe you my career.”

After singing their composition, “Just Once,” his first hit, the multiple Grammy Award-winner said, “That song took me around the world.”

“American Idol” finalist Casey Abrams, an Idyllwild Arts graduate, arrived that same day from London. In addition to performing, he offered up his services during the night’s auction to write a song about the highest bidder. “Who has crazy stories in their minds of themselves?” Abrams asked. “I’ll write a song about that.”

Dolly Parton sent warm greetings by video, telling Weil and Mann “how much I appreciate your giving me my first across-the-border hit, ‘Here You Come Again.'”

Steve Tyrell sang two of his Weil/Mann favorites, “You Turn Me Around” and “Don’t Know Much,” and said, “Barry writes melodies that take your breath away and Cynthia is the soulful poet in the family… her lyrics are engraved in our hearts.”

And Faith Raiguel, academy chairman of the board, asked: “Don’t you remember singing, ‘You are my soul and my heart’s inspiration’ in the car at the top of your lungs when you fell in love in high school?” She then added, “I did.”

Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) has credited the team’s song, “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling,” co-written with Phil Spector, as the most played song of the twentieth century, having had more than 14 million performances. That iconic song and many others earned them places in both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

More than 200 guests came to honor the duo at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles for the Mar. 11 gala with proceeds going towards scholarships. Music entrepreneur Doug Frank said more than half of the academy’s students receive financial aid. Frank and David Kurtz served as gala co-chairs. 

Before the evening ended, Barry Mann joined the academy’s musical theater students to sing “Somewhere Out There” from “An American Tail,” the 1988 Grammy Award Song of the Year, which also won Golden Globe and Oscar nominations.

In accepting the award, Cynthia Weil said she and Mann grew up at the right time for their life in the arts – the birth of the rock era – but in looking around at the students, she confessed, “I wish I were a teenager again.”

She then said, “To be given the chance to pursue your creative passion whether it be film, or dance, or theater, or music, or writing, and be surrounded and supported by your parents and your teachers, and in the presence of your creative peers is a gift and an opportunity that very few have.”

The program ended with an audience sing-a-long to “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling.” And judging from guest reaction as the lyrics appeared on the ballroom’s big screens, the song will continue to go strong long into the 21st century.

Providing music were Idyllwild Arts graduates Mike Barnett, Nolan Greene, Stevo Mann, Daniel Sazar-Krebbers and Nicole Stromsoe.

Also among guests were Weil and Mann’s daughter, psychologist Jenn Berman, whose new television show, “Couples Therapy,” featuring celebrity couples premieres this month on VH1; Damian Sullivan, the show’s producer; songwriter Mike Stoller, famous for “Hound Dog,” “Jailhouse Rock” and other iconic tunes; singer/songwriter Lenna Bauerly; and Jason Hammon as silent auction emcee.

Sponsors included Melinda and Brian Wilson, Paulene Popak, David Thompson, Barry Goldberg, David Kurtz, Jennifer Kurtz, Anahita and Jim Lovelace, Jeff Dvorak and Michael Slocum, Carol and Earl Fisher, Susan and George Reardon, Kathleen and Doug Miller, Carol and Bob Murrel, Sue and Julius Sacco, Sacco Dining and American Business Bank.



Photos from top: Idyllwild Arts honors Cynthia Weil Barry Mann at its 2012 Gala at the Millennium Biltmore (photo courtesy of Idyllwild Arts);  James Ingram sang his first hit, “Just Once” by Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann (photo courtesy of Idyllwild Arts)Casey Abrams, 2011 “American Idol” finalist, and an Idyllwild Arts alum; Singer/music producer Steve Tyrell and singer/songwriter Lenna BauerlyIdyllwild Arts honors Cynthia Weil Barry Mann with the Life In Arts Award and a performance by the Idyllwild Arts Academy musical theater students (photo courtesy of Idyllwild Arts)



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Idyllwild Arts Honors Cynthia Weil Barry Mann

Published Mar. 14, 2012 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA