​Passage: Songwriter Gerry Goffin

Songwriter Gerry Goffin (pictured with wife Carole King, c. 1959, at the RCA recording studio in New York) was responsible for dozens of Top 40 hits. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

It happened this week . . . the passing of one of pop music's most versatile wordsmiths.

For we learned of the death of Gerry Goffin early Thursday at his California home.

Born in Brooklyn, Goffin married Carole King in 1959 before either was old enough to vote, and together they launched a songwriting career whose titles define the early 1960s.

They wrote "One Fine Day," performed by the Chiffons; "Up On The Roof," performed by the Drifters; and "The Loco-Motion," performed by their babysitter using the name "Little Eva."

In all, Goffin and King wrote more than 50 Top-40 hits huddled over a piano -- a collaboration dramatized in the Tony-winning musical "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical."

Click on the video player below to hear the cast's rendition of King and Goffin's "Will You Love Me Tomorrow."

Their marriage ended in 1968, with King concentrating on her solo singing career, but the two still occasionally wrote together -- and Goffin went on to write the lyrics to many more hit songs on his own.

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GAB Archive/Getty Images
Goffin and King were inducted together into both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In a statement, Carole King praised Goffin, saying: "His words expressed what so many people were feeling but didn't know how to say."

Gerry Goffin was 75.

Carole King back in the spotlight (2005)

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