Friday, August 28, 2009

You Knew Ellie, Whether You Knew It Or Not

Until a few days ago, Eleanor Louise Greenwich could hear "Be My Baby" on a radio or in a store, then walk along a sidewalk singing "River Deep, Mountain High" or "Da Doo Ron Ron," and then switch to humming "Leader of the Pack" and "Chapel Of Love" or "Doo Wah Diddy Diddy" and "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home") . . . and then feel however it must have felt to have written every one of those songs (sometimes with help).
She provided backing vocals for Frank Sinatra, discovered Neil Diamond and produced his early hits, released her first record at 18, and helped Phil Spector build the Wall Of Sound.

Ellie Greenwich placed 17 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart during 1964 alone; six songs on Rolling Stones' list of rock's best 500 songs; and innumerable ditties in people's brains over a period of nearly five decades, before dying this week at 68.

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