Howard Greenfield

Biography by

In partnership with singer and composer Neil Sedaka, lyricist Howard Greenfield authored some of the most irresistible pop songs to emerge from the famed Brill Building. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY,…
Read Full Biography

Artist Biography by

In partnership with singer and composer Neil Sedaka, lyricist Howard Greenfield authored some of the most irresistible pop songs to emerge from the famed Brill Building. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, in late 1952 the 16-year-old Greenfield was introduced to 13-year-old neighbor and piano prodigy Sedaka, with whom he immediately began writing songs. Their collaboration continued while Sedaka attended Juilliard and in 1958 they were the first songwriters signed to Al Nevins and Don Kirshner's newly formed Aldon Music, where they worked in the legendary Brill Building alongside such legendary teams as Carole King/Gerry Goffin and Jeff Barry/Ellie Greenwich. After first landing their "Passing Time" with the Cookies, Sedaka and Greenfield scored their first major pop hit with Connie Francis' "Stupid Cupid"; they also sold songs to Atlantic Records producer Jerry Wexler for sessions with Clyde McPhatter and LaVern Baker. In 1959, Sedaka signed to RCA as a solo artist, becoming one of the biggest pop stars of the pre-British Invasion era. Together, he and Greenfield generated a series of hits -- among them "Oh! Carol," "Stairway to Heaven," "Calendar Girl," "Little Devil," "Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen," "Next Door to an Angel," and the chart-topping "Breaking up Is Hard to Do" -- which sold a combined 25 million records. Although Sedaka's solo career cooled after 1963, the duo continued writing hits for other artists, including the 5th Dimension's "Workin' on a Groovy Thing" and Tom Jones' "Puppet Man." Apart from Sedaka, Greenfield also collaborated with Carole King ("Crying in the Rain"), Helen Miller ("Foolish Little Girl," the Shirelles' final Top Ten hit), and Jack Keller, his partner on "Breakin' in a Brand New Broken Heart," "Ev'rybody's Somebody's Fool," "My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own," and "When Somebody Loves You" in addition to themes for the television hits Bewitched and The Flying Nun. Although Sedaka and Greenfield ended their partnership in 1973, two years later their song "Love Will Keep Us Together" topped the charts for the Captain & Tennille on its way to earning a Grammy for Record of the Year. He and Sedaka later resumed their collaboration and continued writing together in the years to follow.