Songwriter, singer, and producer Ellie Greenwich has died at the age of 68, Entertainment Weekly is reporting. We'll get to the life in a second, but here's a list of songs that wouldn't have happened without her:
"(Today I Met) The Boy I'm Going To Marry"
"Why Do Lovers Break Each Others Hearts?"
"Be My Baby"
"Baby, I Love You"
"Then He Kissed Me"
"Da Doo Ron Ron"
"River Deep, Mountain High"
"Doo Wah Diddy Diddy"
"Chapel Of Love"
Greenwich co-wrote all of the above, most with Jeff Barry, her songwriting partner before, during, and shortly after their marriage. There are others, too. Greenwich came up through the Brill Building system, which turned out hit songs by the bushel in the '60s. Her talent kept her in-demand by, among others Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who hired Greenwich and Barry for their Red Bird Records, and Phil Spector, with whom Greenwich and Barry wrote several hits. And, oh yeah, she helped make Neil Diamond a star.
Greenwich kept working after her partnership with Barry ended, and in the 1980s became the subject of the early jukebox musical "Leader Of The Pack." And though she never made the transition to singer/songwriter stardom unlike fellow Brill veteran Carole King, she had a lovely voice and released several albums on her own. Here's one of her solo highlights, "You Don't Know."
You Dont Know - Ellie Greenwich