Michael William Masser

Description: American songwriter, composer and producer of popular music

Known For: Whitney Houston, “Greatest Love of All”, “Didn’t We Almost Have It All”,

Instruments: Piano

Music Styles: Popular

Location: United States of America

Date Born: March 24, 1941
Location Born: Chicago, United States of America

Date Died: July 9, 2015
Location Died: Rancho Mirage, California

Web Site:  Song Writer’s Hall of Fame – Michael Masser

Other Links: See below:



Michael William Masser (March 24, 1941 – July 9, 2015) was an American songwriter, composer and producer of popular music. Born in Chicago, he attended the University of Illinois College of Law, and became a stockbroker, but left to pursue his interest in music. Masser and his wife Ogniana lived in Palm Desert, California.

Masser’s first major composition hit, co-written with Ron Miller, was “Touch Me in the Morning”, recorded by Diana Ross. He co-wrote several other hit songs in the 1970s and 1980s, including four made famous by Whitney Houston, “Greatest Love of All”, “Didn’t We Almost Have It All”, “Saving All My Love for You” and “All At Once”. His other hit songs include “Hold Me” (Teddy Pendergrass and Whitney Houston), “Tonight, I Celebrate My Love” (Roberta Flack and Peabo Bryson), “If Ever You’re in My Arms Again” (Peabo Bryson), “In Your Eyes” (Jeffrey Osborne, George Benson), “Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love for You” (George Benson, Glenn Medeiros), “Miss You Like Crazy” (Natalie Cole) and “Someone That I Used To Love” (Natalie Cole), “The Greatest Love of All” (George Benson), “So Sad the Song” (Teddy Pendergrass, Gladys Knight), and “It’s My Turn” and “Last Time I Saw Him” (Diana Ross). A country cover of “Last Time I Saw Him” by Dottie West also became a hit, peaking at #8 on the country charts. Masser was nominated for an Academy Award in 1976 for Best Music, Original Song, for “Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To),” which he wrote with Gerry Goffin. The song had actually been first recorded (also in 1975) by fellow Motown labelmate Thelma Houston as a planned single, but, was pulled before release. Diana Ross’ version was released as the theme song for her 1975 film, Mahogany. Among the many recordings that he has produced are Barbra Streisand’s “Someone That I Used to Love” (originally a hit for Natalie Cole) and the duet by Judy Collins and T. G. Sheppard, “Home Again”.

In April 1987, songwriter Gordon Lightfoot filed a lawsuit, claiming that Masser’s melody for the song “The Greatest Love of All” stole 24 bars from Lightfoot’s 1971 hit song “If You Could Read My Mind.” The transitional section that begins “I decided long ago never to walk in anyone’s shadow” of the Masser song has the same melody as “I don’t know where we went wrong but the feeling’s gone, and I just can’t get it back” of Lightfoot’s song. Lightfoot later stated that he did not want people thinking that he had stolen his melody from Masser.

In 2002, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars was dedicated to him. Masser was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007. On July 9, 2015, Masser died at the age of 74 in Rancho Mirage, California.


  1. ^ “Michael Masser Overview”

    . IMDb (The Internet Movie Database). Retrieved 2011-05-31.

  2. Jump up ^ Kim, Jae-Ha (November 30, 1988). “Ex-stockbroker finds “Greatest Love” in pop music”

    . Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2008-12-30.

  3. Jump up ^ Ryon, Ruth (December 7, 2003). “Hot Property: An ‘ER’ physician calls in New York”

    . L.A. Times Archives (Los Angeles Times). Retrieved 2008-12-30.

  4. Jump up ^ MacDonald, Meg. Contemporary Musicians Volume 3 (June 1990). Reprinted at http://www.corfid.com/gl/biography.htm

    . Retrieved March 3, 2007.

  5. Jump up ^ “Palm Springs Walk of Stars by date dedicated”

    (PDF). Palmspringswalkofstars.com. Retrieved 2015-07-11. ]

  6. Jump up ^ “Inductees to Songwriters Hall Announced”

    . The Washington Post. March 19, 2007. Retrieved 2008-12-30.

  7. Jump up ^ “‘The Greatest Love of All’ writer Michael Masser dies”

    . Desertsun.com. 2015-04-24. Retrieved 2015-07-11.