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Boulder’s Bobbie Feldman: My Boyfriend’s Back!

One of Boulder’s Bobbie Feldman’s many claims to fame is authoring “My Boyfriend’s Back.” This classic pop song performed by The Angels, dropped in 1963. However, the songwriters for “My Boyfriend’s Back” were credited as the team of Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein, and Richard Gottehrer,  The song  also recorded by the Chifons, tells the story of a girl whose boyfriend returns to town, warning a boy who had been spreading rumors about her that he’s in for trouble. It was written as a kind of revenge song in a light-hearted, pop context. If you’ve not heard it, run, don’t walk to Spotify! I’m listening to it as background as I type. It’s better than I remember it!

The idea reportedly came to the songwriters when Feldman overheard a high school girl’s conversation about her boyfriend coming back to confront a boy who had been spreading rumors about her. They found the concept amusing and penned the song quickly, capturing the playful yet defiant spirit that made it a hit.

What is the real story behind “My Boyfriend’s Back” performed by the Angets and by the Chifons, released in 1963? It depends who you ask. I know the way the late Bobbie Feldman told the story. Bobbie was a friend in Boulder, where he lived for many years with his wife Arlene and daughters. He ultimately move to Nashville.

New York’s MOST Famous Brill Building. Home to Neil Diamond AND:

The Brill Building, located at 1619 Broadway in New York City, was a famous hub for music production, particularly during the 1960s. It housed numerous songwriters, producers, and musicians who crafted many of the era’s hits. Here are some of the notable artists and songwriters who recorded or were associated with the Brill Building in addition to Neil Diamond;

1. Carole King and Gerry Goffin – This prolific songwriting duo created numerous hits including “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” for The Shirelles and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” for Aretha Franklin.

2. Neil Sedaka – He recorded hits like “Calendar Girl” and “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do,” and was a significant part of the Brill Building’s success story.

3. Burt Bacharach and Hal David – This partnership produced classics like “Walk On By” and “Anyone Who Had a Heart,” famously performed by Dionne Warwick.

4. Paul Simon – Before forming Simon & Garfunkel, Paul Simon worked in the Brill Building, crafting songs for himself and other artists.

5. Phil Spector – Renowned for his “Wall of Sound” production technique, Spector produced numerous hits and worked extensively with Brill Building songwriters.

6. Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry – They wrote and produced many famous songs, including “Be My Baby” for The Ronettes and “Chapel of Love” for The Dixie Cups.

7. Leiber and Stoller – Although not based exclusively in the Brill Building, this legendary songwriting and producing team contributed significantly to the music emerging from the area with hits like “Stand By Me” and “Hound Dog.”

These artists and many others contributed to the rich musical legacy of the Brill Building, making it a cornerstone of American pop music history.

As Bobbie told the story of high school, he, along with Neil Sedaka and Neil Diamond attended the same music class in high school. Their teacher was quite clear that none of them would be successes in the music business. CHATgpt tells a slightly different story.

There’s a famous anecdote involving Neil Sedaka and Carole King’s high school music teacher.   According to Sedaka, their music teacher at Abraham Lincoln High School, New York, told both him and Carole King that they would not succeed in the music industry. This prediction turned out to be spectacularly wrong, as both went on to become iconic figures in popular music, crafting numerous hits and influencing generations of musicians. Neil Diamond, who attended the same high school but a few years later, also became a monumental figure in the music industry, though there’s no similar story about predictions of failure from a teacher for him. Bobbie Feldman told me he was in the same class with Neil Diamond. What I know for a fact is that we have a picture of us with Mr. Diamond, Bobbie Feldman, and Bobbie’s girlfriend. We were all there as guests of Neil Diamond, through Bobbie Feldman. The connection was deep and of long-standing.

Neil Diamond, Lensworth, Debi, Bobbie Feldman, and Girlfriend Before a Denver Concert

According to AI,  there was another famous musician who attended Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn alongside Neil Sedaka: Carole King. Carole King and Neil Sedaka were contemporaries at the school, and Sedaka even wrote the song “Oh! Carol” in her honor. Neil Diamond attended the school a few years later, so he was not in the same class as Sedaka and King. These three musicians, each highly successful in their own right, all hail from the same high school, showcasing the rich musical talent emerging from that institution during that era.

FINALLY: to the Bobbie Feldman memory of how he wrote the lyrics to “My Boyfriend’s Back” and the official credit goes to the songwriters  Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein, and Richard Gottehrer, AND to two high school girts in a Brooklyn diner who “dictated” the lyrics as Feldman wrote furiously on a napkin.

Feldman tells of the day the song wrote itself.  “All I had to do was to write it down on a napkin! I was sitting in a diner in Brooklyn when two high school girts sat down in the next booth. One was telling the other about a guy who was chasing her while her boy friend was out of town.” Feldman’s recollections fits the lyrics magically!

My boyfriend’s back and you’re gonna be in trouble(Hey-la-day-la my boyfriend’s back)You see him comin’ better cut out on the double(Hey-la-day-la my boyfriend’s back)You been spreading lies that I was untrue(Hey-la-day-la my boyfriend’s back)So look out now ’cause he’s comin’ after you
He’s been gone for such a long time(Hey-la-day-la my boyfriend’s back)Now he’s back and things’ll be fine(Hey-la-day-la my boyfriend’s back)You’re gonna be sorry you were ever born(Hey-la-day-la my boyfriend’s back)‘Cause he’s kinda big and he’s awful strong(Hey-la-day-la my boyfriend’s back)
(You’re a big man now but he’ll cut you down to size(Wait and see)
My boyfriend’s back he’s gonna save my reputation(Hey-la-day-la my boyfriend’s back)If I were you I’d take a permanent vacation(Hey-la, hey-la, my boyfriend’s back)
Yeah, my boyfriend’s back (La-day-la, my boyfriend’s back)Look out now, yeah, my boyfriend’s back (La-day-la, my boyfriend’s back)I could see him comin’ so you better get a runnin’ alright now (La-day-la, my boyfriend’s back)Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah (La-day-la, my boyfriends’s back)My boyfriend’s back now (La-day-la, my boyfriend’s back)Know he’s comin’ after you because he knows I’ve been true now (La-day-la, my boyfriend’s back)
Lenny Lensworth Frieling
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