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Ellie Greenwich

Songwriter Ellie Greenwich helped to shape and popularize the girl group sound of the early '60s that included such acts as the Ronettes, the Shangri-Las, and the Crystals, becoming, in the process, one of the most respected pop songwriters of the era. Like most of her generation, Greenwich was transfixed with the sounds of rock & roll and, between college classes, hung out at a local record shop in her home of Hicksville, New York. The owner of the shop introduced Greenwich to some label scouts and soon she found herself recording a single for MCA under the name Ellie Gaye. The single flopped, however, but in a moment of fate she met aspiring songwriter Jeff Barry in 1962 at a party and soon the two began writing songs together, eventually becoming husband and wife. After composing for a few short months, the duo made an appointment at the famed Brill Building where other songwriting teams such as Leiber and Stoller, King and Goffin, and Mann and Weil where beginning to find success. Greenwich and Barry were taken into the fold by Leiber and Stoller and began writing and producing for Phil Spector's short-lived Philles label. It was during this period that Greenwich co-wrote some of her most lasting songs, including "Da Do Ron Ron" and "Be My Baby." Greenwich and Barry also recorded an album under the name the Raindrops, scoring with "The Kind of Boy You Won't Forget."

In 1964, Greenwich and her songwriting husband teamed up with Leiber and Stoller to write for their Red Bird imprint. It was with Red Bird that the girl group sound was molded into perfection by Greenwich, Barry, Leiber, Stoller, and producer George "Shadow" Morton. Providing songs for the Dixie Cups ("Chapel of Love") and the Shangri-Las ("Leader of the Pack"), the Red Bird staff produced records whose love-struck lyrical content belied the complication and sophistication of the music. Greenwich continued to write hit records with Jeff Barry, including the seminal "River Deep, Mountain High" and the Beach Boys' 1969 hit "I Can Hear Music," but, like the team of Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, when their marriage soured so did their writing partnership. Greenwich continued on in the music industry, recording a singer/songwriter album for Verve Records in 1973 and providing background vocals to many of rock's biggest stars. In 1984 she involved herself in a musical based on her life titled Leader of the Pack. Ellie Greenwich died of a heart attack in August 2009 after being hospitalized for pneumonia in New York City; she was 68 years old. ~ Steve Kurutz
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: One Kiss Can Lead To Another: Girl Group Sounds, Lost & Found

Disc 1

1. Needle In A Haystack

2. He's Got The Power

5. Keep Your Hands Off My Baby

8. Boys

9. Big Bad World

10. Out In The Streets

11. Is It True

13. I'll Keep Holding On

14. Oh No Not My Baby

15. May My Heart Be Cast Into Stone

17. I Never Dreamed

18. He's A Bad Boy

20. Dream Boy

21. Try The Worryin' Way

22. I Can't Let Go

23. Go Now

26. Life And Soul Of The Party

29. He Did It

Disc 2

2. The Train From Kansas City

4. Let Me Get Close To You

5. I Have A Boyfriend

6. I'm Into Something Good

8. If There's Anything Else You Want (Let Me Know)

9. When The Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes

10. It Comes And Goes

11. Baby, Baby (I Still Love You)

12. Girl Don't Come

13. That's When The Tears Start

15. Don't Drop Out

16. The One You Can't Have

17. I'm Nobody's Baby Now

18. You're So Fine

20. My One And Only Jimmy Boy

22. Chico's Girl

23. Cause I Love Him

24. Bye Bye Baby

27. Egyptian Shumba

29. Walking In Different Circles

Disc 3

1. The Trouble With Boys

2. Lookin' For Boys

3. Dream Baby

5. Should I Cry (Alternate Take)

6. I'm Blue (The Gong Gong Song)

7. I've Been Wrong Before

8. Love's Gone Bad

9. Nightmare

12. Take Me For A Little While

13. Funnel Of Love

15. Terry

17. Sophisticated Boom Boom

19. Don't Ever Leave Me

20. Don't Forget About Me

26. How Can I Tell My Mom & Dad

29. When I Think Of You

30. Good, Good Lovin'

Disc 4

1. When The Boy's Happy (The Girl's Happy Too)

4. That's How It Goes

9. He Was Really Sayin' Somethin'

10. I Know You Love Me Not

11. Whatever Happened To Our Love

15. I Can't Wait Until I See My Baby's Face

16. Crying In The Rain

19. Hey, Tell Me Boy

20. Brink Of Disaster

21. Who Do You Love

25. Ain't Gonna Kiss Ya

27. Mister Loveman

28. Make The Night A Little Longer

x

Track List: The Red Bird Girls: Very First Time In True Stereo 1964-1966

1. The Dum Dum Ditty

2. The Kind Of Boy You Can't Forget

4. Go Now

6. I Can't Let Go

7. He's So Easy To Love

9. No True Love

10. I'm Just A Down Home Girl

11. I Wonder

14. Take Me For A Little While

15. Welcome To My Heart

18. Gee Baby Gee

x

Track List: The Red Bird Story

Disc 1

1. Bossa Nova Baby

2. Big Bad World

5. Go Now

6. Don't Think My Baby's Coming Back

7. Chapel Of Love

9. I Wanna Love Him So Bad

12. People Say

13. Remember (Walking' In The Sand)

15. Fever

16. Down Home Girl

17. Baby Be Mine

18. You Should Have Seen The Way He Looked At Me

19. Leader Of The Pack

20. Talk To Me, Baby

21. I Wonder

22. Little Bell

23. Gee, Baby, Gee

24. The Boy From New York City

27. I'm Gonna Put Some Hurt On You

28. Iko, Iko

29. Out In The Streets

Disc 2

5. He Ain't No Angel

6. Give Us Your Blessings

7. Welcome To My Heart

8. The Dum Dum Ditty

9. Gee, The Moon Is Shining Bright

10. Take Me For A Little While

14. If There's Anything Else You Want (Let Me Know)

18. I Can't Let Go

19. I'm Just A Down Home Girl

20. Sophisticated Boom Boom

21. I Hurt On The Other Side

22. Fugitive From Love

23. Doo Wah Diddy

24. You Hit Me Like Tnt

28. Past, Present And Future

Disc 3

6. Amy

7. Another Boy Like Mine

13. Memory Lane Without You

14. Ask Anybody

16. It Sounds Like My Baby

20. Come Back Baby

26. Johnny My Boy

27. All Grown Up

28. Wrong Direction

Comments

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She is the sister-in-la w of my dad's best friend.
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c.j.boucher
Great songs. I love the "madrigal" sound of the 60's whether it be Doo Wop, Motown or Girl Groups. IMAO Ellie Greenwich was the woman's answer to Neil Sedaka, and was really in touch with the girl group sound.I grew up with two half sisters who were 10 and 11 years my senior, as well as two cousins who were around the same age, so my toddler years were filled with this kind of music. With the advent of Amy Winehouse, and Nicole Atkins Baroque style Pop seems to making a comeback.
Report as inappropriate
GREAT SONGWRITER!! !

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