The duo Marcy & Zina released their debut album, Marcy & Zina: The Album, via the Yellow Sound Label on November 3, 2009. But the two members of the team, singer/lyricist Marcy Heisler (aka Marcy Allison Heisler) and keyboardist/composer Zina Goldrich, first began making their marks as songwriters and musicians much earlier. In fact, they started collaborating in 1993. Both had their initial, separate credits on albums released in 1998. Heisler was the co-writer, with John Kavanaugh, of the song "Joseph's Lullaby," which appeared on Michael Crawford's album On Eagle's Wings, and Goldrich played keyboards on the cast album for the 1997 Paper Mill Playhouse production of Stephen Schwartz's musical Children of Eden.
Together, their first songwriting effort to gain recognition was also their most popular. Christiane Noll may have been the first singer to record "Taylor" (aka "Taylor, the Latte Boy"), a woman's paean to a waiter in a coffee shop, on her 2000 album Live at the West Bank Cafe, but the song has since appeared on albums by Lynne Rothrock, Susan Egan, Kristin Chenoweth, Liz Seymour, and Mary Jo Vitale. Marcy & Zina, performing as Marcy Heisler & Zina Goldrich, recorded it on the 2006 various-artists album One Meat Ball. But their first appearance together on disc came with their song "Make Your Own Party," the leadoff track on the 2001 Jamie deRoy & Friends album The Child in Me: Songs That Take You Back to Your Childhood, Vol. 1; Heisler sang and Goldrich played piano.
With these successes, the songwriting duo came to the attention of the New York community of mostly female nightclub and Broadway singers, and they began to place their songs on numerous albums. In addition to those already mentioned, there were: "Welcome the Rain" and "Don't You Be Shakin' Your Faith in Me" on Lisa Richard's Virgin Tracks (2002); "I Want Them …" on Lynne Rothrock's This Is Me (2002); "How Much I Love You" on Kate Shindle's Till Today (2002); "Oh, How I Loved You" on Susan Egan's Coffee House (2004); "Boom Boom" on Joan Crowe's Bird on the Wire (2005); "Apathetic Man" on Lauren Kennedy's Here and Now (2007); "Compromise" and "The Last Song" on Live! (2008) by Susan Egan with Christopher McGovern; and "Give It a Try" on the self-titled album by Johnny and the Sprites (2008).
Meanwhile, Heisler and Goldrich were trying to write for the musical theater, which earned them the 2002 Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award from ASCAP. Their 2005 off-Broadway musical Junie B. Jones was nominated for the Lucille Lortel Award. On November 11, 2008, the PS Classics label released the world premiere recording of the musical Dear Edwina, with book and lyrics by Heisler and music by Goldrich; the show also had an off-Broadway production. Prior to the release of their debut album, the duo continued to place songs with other singers in 2009. They both appeared on Stephanie J. Block's This Place I Know, which featured "15 Pounds (Away from My Love)," and Rebecca Luker sang their "Out of Love" on Greenwich Time.