Bob Feldman, the influential songwriter and producer behind some of the biggest hits of the 1960s, has died. He was 83 years old. A cause of death has yet to be revealed.
The news was announced in a statement from his close friend, musical collaborator and business partner Richard Gottehrer.
“It’s with great sadness that I announce the passing of Bob Feldman, my friend and legendary songwriting partner, in Grand Canyon Music and FGG Productions – Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein and Myself,” Gottehrer wrote in a statement sent to Billboard. “As a team we go back to the 1960’s and the Brill Building days where we wrote and/or produced classics like ‘My Boyfriend’s Back,’ ‘I Want Candy,’ ‘Hang on Sloopy’ and ‘Sorrow,’ which was eventually recorded and became an everlasting hit by David Bowie. We were even an ‘Australian’ band that called ourselves The Strangeloves.
“We were young and inexperienced but learned how to produce by making demos of our songs; this led each of us to ongoing active careers in music after we went our separate ways,” his statement continued. “We remained friends and to this day 60 years later are still partners in those same companies we started back then.”
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Feldman and his neighbor Jerry Goldstein would frequently write songs together before meeting Gottehrer in 1962. The trio formed FGG Productions and wrote several hits together, including The Angels’ No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit “My Boyfriend’s Back” and The McCoys’ “Sorrow,” which was later popularized by The Merseys and Bowie. The group also produced The McCoys’ Hot 100 No. 1 “Hang on Sloopy” — which endures as an unofficial theme song at Ohio State University sports events — all while making it big in their own group, The Strangeloves. As a band, they scored Hot 100 top 40 hits with “I Want Candy” (No. 11), “Cara-Lin” (No. 39) and “Night Time” (No. 30). Bow Wow Wow famously covered “Candy” in 1982, taking it back to the Hot 100.
Feldman was also a published author, releasing his own book of verse, lyrics and memoirs in 2019 titled Simply Put! Thoughts and Feelings from the Heart.
Gottehrer concluded his statement by writing, “The memories of the times we shared; the songs we wrote and the adventures that filled our lives remain. Sooner or later we’ll all pass but the music will live on. Rest in peace Bob….we’ll meet again.”
Feldman is survived by his two daughters, Kyle and Mahri. He is also the biological father of actor Corey Feldman, who emancipated himself from Bob and his mom Sheila as a teenager.