Songwriter Norman Gimbel scored his first major hit authoring lyrics for Toots Thielemans' 1961 tune "Bluesette"; he subsequently wrote the English-language adaptation of Antonio Carlos Jobim's classic "The Girl From Ipanema," also adapting compositions by Michel Legrand ("I Will Wait for You" and "Watch What Happens," both from Jacques Demy's celebrated film musical The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) and Marcus Valle ("Summer Samba [So Nice]"). With composer Charles Fox, Gimbel wrote "Killing Me Softly With His Song," a chart-topping hit for Roberta Flack in 1973 and an eventual winner of a Grammy for Song of the Year. Gimbel and Fox also wrote prolifically for films: their score for 1973's The Last American Hero yielded the Jim Croce hit "I Got a Name," while 1975's The Other Side of the Mountain featured the Oscar-nominated "Richard's Window." The team earned a second Academy Award nomination in 1978 for the Barry Manilow-sung "Ready to Take a Chance Again" (from Foul Play), but their greatest success was in television; they wrote dozens of theme songs, among them Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley ("Making Our Dreams Come True," a Top 40 hit for singer Cyndi Grecco), The Love Boat, Wonder Woman, and Love, American Style. Gimbel teamed with composer David Shire to write "It Goes Like It Goes," the Oscar-winning theme to 1979's Norma Rae.
Norman Gimbel Biography
by Jason Ankeny