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Songwriter Diane Lampert Dead at 88

John Lennon Harry Nilsson
Hulton Archive, Getty Images / Facebook

Diane Lampert, the prolific pop songwriter whose extensive list of credits included songs recorded by the Beatles and Harry Nilsson, has passed away at the age of 88 after suffering heart failure in a Manhattan hospital.

In addition to her work for pop and rock artists, Lampert enjoyed a string of successes in Hollywood, where she wrote songs for a series of films that included ‘The Snow Queen,’ the Bob Hope/Frankie Avalon comedy ‘I’ll Take Sweden,’ the Patty Duke musical ‘Billie,’ 1972′s sci-fi drama ‘Silent Running’ (for which Joan Baez recorded Lampert’s songs), the Audie Murphy western ‘The Wild and the Innocent,’ (which inspired the title of Bruce Springsteen‘s second album) and Steve Buscemi’s ‘Trees Lounge,’ which featured Brenda Lee’s version of Lampert’s ‘Break It to Me Gently.’

Lampert’s brush with Beatledom came in 1963, when the band recorded one of the songs she’d co-written — titled ‘Nothin’ Shakin’ (But the Leaves on the Trees)’ — for a BBC radio show. The performance remained unreleased until 1994, when it surfaced on the aptly named ‘Live at the BBC’ collection.

She is survived by her husband of 45 years, Fred Stuart, who managed her publishing as president of the New York-based company Rainbow Music Corp.

Next: See Other Rockers We've Lost in 2013

Listen to the Beatles perform ‘Nothin’ Shakin’ (But the Leaves on the Tree)’

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