Robert C. Feldman, commonly known as Bob Feldman, was a prominent American songwriter, record producer, and musician. Robert was born in Brooklyn, New York, on June 14, 1940. He was raised in an Orthodox Jewish home and briefly studied to become a cantor.
He graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School alongside Neil Sedaka and was a member of the All-City Choir alongside Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand. He is best known for his involvement in the music industry during the 1960s, particularly as a member of The Strangeloves and for his songwriting collaborations with Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer.
He and Goldstein co-wrote a theme song for Alan Freed’s television show, “The Big Beat.” “The Big Beat,” was a groundbreaking music program that aired during the late 1950s. It was notable for showcasing rock and roll music at a time when the genre was gaining immense popularity. The show featured live performances by some of the era’s most iconic musicians, including Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Buddy Holly, among others. “The Big Beat” played a significant role in promoting rock and roll to a wider audience and contributed to the genre’s cultural impact in the United States during the late 1950s. However, it faced controversy and was eventually canceled due to pressure from conservative elements who criticized rock and roll for its perceived influence on youth.
Bob Feldman, along with Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer, formed the pop-rock band The Strangeloves. They adopted the personas of three Australian sheep farmers as part of a marketing gimmick to create an air of mystery around the band. Under the guise of The Strangeloves, they released several successful singles, including “I Want Candy,” “Cara-Lin,” and “Night Time.”
Feldman, Goldstein, and Gottehrer were prolific songwriters during the 1960s. In addition to The Strangeloves’ hits, they co-wrote many other songs that became hits for various artists. According to Bill Carroll’s Ranking the Rock Writers book they ranked 333 as a writing team with 14 songs.
One of their most enduring compositions is “Sorrow,” which was originally recorded by The McCoys and later covered by The Merseys and David Bowie. In addition to songwriting, the trio also worked as producers. They produced the hit song “Hang On Sloopy” by The McCoys, which remains a classic rock staple to this day.
Apart from “Sorrow,” they co-wrote other songs like “Gonna Make It Alone,” which was recorded by artists like Dion and Ronnie Dio and the Prophets. Bob Feldman, along with Goldstein and Gottehrer, made significant contributions to the 1960s music scene, leaving a lasting impact with their catchy songs and production work.
They also wrote “My Boyfriend’s Back” which was recorded by The Angels and released in 1963. The single spent three weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and reached No. 2 on the R&B Billboard. Feldman was also a published author, with his most recent book being his memoir from 2019 called Simply Put! Thoughts and Feelings from the Heart.
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. As a team, we go back to the 1960s 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. 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.Richard Gottehrer
“I’m on Fire” was recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis in March of 1964 on Smash Records. It just barely broke into the Billboard Hot 100. “A Letter From Betty” was recorded by Bobby Vee and was the B-side to “Be True To Yourself” written by Bacharach And David. “Giving Up On Love” was released in 1964 by Jerry Butler as the B-side to “I’ve Been Trying” written by Curtis Mayfield.
Bob Feldman died Wednesday, August 23, 2023. He is survived by his biological son, actor Corey Feldman, although Corey emancipated himself from his parents when he was a teenager. Feldman is also survived by two daughters, Kyle and Mahri.
- “The Strangeloves.” AllMusic. [https://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-strangeloves-mn0000484704/biography]
- “I Want Candy: The Strangeloves’ Sweet Hit.” Classic Rock History. [https://www.classicrockhistory.com/i-want-candy-the-strangeloves-sweet-hit/]
- “’60s Songwriter Bob Feldman Dies at 83” (August 31, 2023) https://www.remindmagazine.com/article/6007/60s-songwriter-bob-feldman-dies/
- “Bob Feldman, co-writer of 1963 hit ‘My Boyfriend’s Back,’ dead at 83” (August 30, 2023) https://www.kiro7.com/news/trending/bob-feldman-co-writer-1963-hit-my-boyfriends-back-dead-83/I65PYTZEV5H7XNE5QAQ2KEX64I/
- “My Boyfriend’s Back (song)” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Boyfriend%27s_Back_(song)