Joel Hirschhorn was an American songwriter. He won the Academy Award for Best Song on two occasions. He also wrote songs for a number of musicians, including Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison. Hirschhorn was born in the Bronx and attended the High School of Performing Arts in Manhattan. After graduating, Hirschhorn became a regular performer on New Yorkâ€™s nightclub circuit, both as a solo singer and as a member of the rock & roll band, The Highlighters.
During the mid-1960s, Hirschhorn branched out into writing film soundtracks. The first score he wrote was for Who Killed Teddy Bear?, which was directed by his friend Joseph Cates. He worked with Cates again the following year in The Fat Spy. However, the film was received so badly that Hirschhorn struggled to find work in Hollywood for a number of years afterwards.
Hirschhorn, along with songwriting partner Al Kasha, did not work on another film until 1970â€™s The Cheyenne Social Club, which was directed by Gene Kelly. It was the pairâ€™s next effort, for The Poseidon Adventure, that really made their name. "The Morning After", a song they wrote in a single evening, won them their first Oscar and also topped the Billboard chart.