Ellie Greenwich - You Don’t Know.
Known as “Les Girls”. Possibly the best female harmony group of the sixties.
from left to right: Jean Thomas, Ellie Greenwich, and Mikie Harris.
Ellie Greenwich (October 23, 1940 - August 26th, 2009).
Yesterday Ellie Greenwich, notably known for her beautiful voice and time clocked at the infamous Brill Building as a songwriter and producer, died of a heart attack.
To say she was accomplished at what she did would bean understatement. There was nothing she fell short in. With her writing partner and husband Jeff Barry, wrote such prominent hits as Ike & Tina’s “River Deep, Mountain High”, The Ronettes’ hit single “Be My Baby” and “I Wish I Never Saw the Sunshine”, The Crystals’ “Da Do Ron Ron” and “Then He Kissed Me”, The Dixie Cups’ “Chapel of Love”, Neil Diamonds’ career-launching “Cherry Cherry” and “Kentucky Woman”, to name just a small fraction. Many of these done with the legendary producer Phil Spector.
She was brilliant at instilling that romantic teenage all-or-nothing kind of love. The best example o this being “Leader of the Pack” for which she wrote for the Shangri-La’s, thereby mapping out the very essence of their persona. Teenage melodrama.
Lest we forget her own solo efforts like her first single, the kicky upbeat “Cha-Cha-Charming” (recorded under the name Ellie Gaye) “Sunshine After the Rain”, complete with some of the best backing harmonies I can think of (was this the work of Les Girls?)and, my personal favorite of hers, “You Don’t Know” (look up).
In 1985, her life and career were portrayed as a Broadway play entitled “Leader of the Pack” earning a Tony nomination for Best Musical. Since then, she could be heard singing back up for Van Morrison (“Brown-Eyed Girl”) and Blondie (the “Eat to the Beat” album), among many other projects.
She died at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital in New York City. She was admitted for treatment of pneumonia. She was 68.