Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I Can Hear Music - Ellie Greenwich R.I.P.

Brian Wilson is on record proclaiming "Be My Baby" the greatest pop record ever made. The Beach Boys had a hit with a mesmerizing version of "I Can Hear Music". Manfred Mann took "Do Wah Diddy" to the top of the charts. Perhaps the greatest Christmas song ever recorded is "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)". What do all these songs have in common? They were co-written by Ellie Greenwich, who died Wednesday at age 68.
Brian Wilson told the L.A. Times that Ms. Greenwich was "the greatest melody writer of all time". It's impossible to imagine a time when her songs were not part of the rock and roll lexicon - they are timeless paeans to love's first blush and all the joy and heartbreak that inevitably follows. Her writing partnership with husband Jeff Barry was fostered in the Brill Building atmosphere of hyper-competitiveness alongside some of American music's greatest writing teams - Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Gerry Goffin and Carole King, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman and Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.
Check out this mind-blowing, utterly staggering list of songs written by Ellie Greenwich:
The Ronettes - "Be My Baby"
The Ronettes - "Baby I Love You"
The Ronettes - "Walking in The Rain"
The Ronettes - "I Wish I Never Saw The Sunshine"
The Crystals - "Then He Kissed Me"
The Crystals - "Da Doo Ron Ron"
The Crystals - "Little Boy"
Bob B. Soxx & The Blue Jeans - "Why Do Lovers Break Each Other's Hearts"
Darlene Love - "A Fine, Fine Boy"
Darlene Love - "(Today I Met) The Boy I'm Gonna Marry"
Darlene Love - "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)"
The Dixie Cups - "Chapel of Love"
Ike & Tina Turner - "River Deep - Mountain High"
The Jelly Beans - "I Wanna Love Him So Bad"
The Shangri-Las - "Leader of The Pack"
The Butterflys - "Goodnight Baby"
The Beach Boys - "I Can Hear Music"
Manfred Mann - "Do Wah Diddy"
Tommy James & The Shondells - "Hanky Panky"
There are hundreds more as well as countless covers, and we've chosen a special few to be shared with the discerning readers of Teenage Kicks:
Bruce Springsteen - "Then She Kissed Me"
Mink Deville - "Little Girl"
Beth Orton - "I Wish I Never Saw The Sunshine" (devastating!)
And as an added bonus for reading this far, my favorite track from the two disc comp, The Red Bird Story, called "Everybody Come Clap Your Hands" by a Moody & The Deltas, an absolute monster of a song by this guy:


juanita said...

Very nice tribute. I was surprised that her passing seemed to have gone unnoticed last week.

Pat said...

Thanks for Red Bird tip Feeney.