Partner Tory Damon, buried together

Queer Places:
Abraham Lincoln High School, 2800 Ocean Pkwy, Brooklyn, NY 11235, Stati Uniti
Forest Lawn Memorial-Parks & Mortuaries, 6300 Forest Lawn Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068, Stati Uniti

Howard Greenfield (March 15, 1936 – March 4, 1986) was an American lyricist and songwriter, who for several years in the 1960s worked out of the famous Brill Building. He is best known for his successful songwriting collaborations, including one with Neil Sedaka from the late 1950s to the mid-1970s, and a near-simultaneous (and equally successful) songwriting partnership with Jack Keller throughout most of the 1960s.

Greenfield co-wrote four songs that reached #1 on the US Billboard charts: "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do", as recorded by Sedaka; "Everybody's Somebody's Fool" and "Breakin' in a Brand New Broken Heart", both as recorded by Connie Francis, and "Love Will Keep Us Together", as recorded by Captain & Tennille. He also co-wrote numerous other top 10 hits for Sedaka (including "Oh! Carol", "Stairway to Heaven", "Calendar Girl", "Little Devil", "Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen", and "Next Door to an Angel"); Francis (including the "Theme to Where The Boys Are" and "My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own"); the Everly Brothers ("Crying in the Rain"); Jimmy Clanton ("Venus in Blue Jeans") and the Shirelles ("Foolish Little Girl"). Greenfield also co-wrote the theme songs to numerous 1960s TV series, including Gidget, Bewitched, The Flying Nun and Hazel.

In 2005, "Is This The Way To Amarillo", a song Greenfield had written with Sedaka in the early 1970s, reached #1 on the UK charts in the original 1971 version by Tony Christie. The video featured an all-star celebrity line-up lip-synching the track, and the proceeds went to charity. The record stayed at #1 for 7 weeks, and became the UK's best-selling record of the millennium to that time.

Greenfield was openly gay,[14] even though during the era in which he lived it was unusual to be open about this. Being openly gay was, however, not entirely uncommon amongst people in the entertainment industry who worked outside the public eye. His companion from the early 1960s to his death was cabaret singer Tory Damon (September 29, 1939 - March 30, 1986); the two lived together in an apartment on East 63rd Street in Manhattan before moving to California in 1966.[15]

Greenfield died in Los Angeles in 1986 from complications from AIDS, eleven days before his 50th birthday. He was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park. Damon died from AIDS complications just a few days later and is buried next to Greenfield.[16]

In 1991, Greenfield was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

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  1. Berger, Joseph. "Vintage Pop Star With the Soul of a Bar Mitzvah Boy", The New York Times, May 24, 2004. Accessed September 23, 2009. "Several years before enrolling in Juilliard, he had been introduced to a neighbor with a touch of the poet, Howard Greenfield, and they became a songwriting team for the next 20 years."
  2. Staff. "HOWARD GREENFIELD", The New York Times, March 14, 1986. Accessed September 23, 2009. "Mr. Greenfield was born in New York City on March 15, 1936, and began his songwriting career with Neil Sedaka, a classmate at Lincoln High School in Brooklyn."
  3. Emerson, Ken (2005) Always Magic in the Air: The Bomp and Brilliance of the Brill Building Era, Viking, New York, ISBN 0-670-03456-8, p. 70.
  4. History of Rock website – accessed December 2107
  5. Emerson, p. 71.
  6. Emerson, p. 72.
  7. Emerson, p. 104.
  8. Allmusic biography notes – accessed December 2007
  9. Emerson, p. 108.
  10. Emerson, p. 109.
  11. Emerson, p. 111, 188.
  12. Emerson, p. 111.
  13. Emerson, p. 188.
  14. Emerson, p. 107.
  15. Emerson, p. 107, 188.
  16. Emerson, p. 264.
  17. Pye Records no. 7N.15300/45.XX.1300-A, crediting authorship of song to Sedaka and Greenfield, as shown on YouTube upload https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8-povUqmT0