Composer, Performer, Lyricist
( b. Oct 23, 1940 Brooklyn, New York, USA - d. Aug 26, 2009 New York, New York, USA ) Female
Ellie Greenwich was one of the most successful songwriters of the modern pop music era. She was one of the major influences on the 60's rock and roll, a music that continues alive and well today. Her songs have sold in the tens of millions, and earned her 25 gold and platinum records.
Born in Brooklyn, Greenwich was writing songs by age 13. However, on the advice of Cadence Records president Archie Bleyer, she stayed in school and graduated with top honors, a BA degree in English, from Hofstra University. During her later years in college, she met Jeff Barry at a family gathering. Eventually, the couple married and went on to become co-writers of some of the most memorable classic rock hits.
Greenwich worked with artists ranging from Dusty Springfield and Lesley Gore to Ella Fitzgerald, Bobby Darin and Frank Sinatra. Teaming with Phil Spector, the two managed number one hits with "Be My Baby," "Da Doo Ron Ron," "And Then He Kissed Me," "Chapel Of Love" and "River Deep, Mountain High." Greenwich and Barry also continued their successes with such number one smashes as "Hanky Panky," and co-written with Shadow Morton, the epic "Leader Of The Pack." During these years, too, Greenwich reigned as one of New York's top demo singers and session vocal arrangers/singers.
During one of the many demo sessions in which she was involved, Greenwich met and "discovered" Neil Diamond and went on to co-produce such early Diamond hits as "Cherry, Cherry" and "Kentucky Woman," doing background vocals as well.
In 1984, she opened Leader Of The Pack, a show about her own life and music, at New York's well-known music showplace, The Bottom Line in Greenwich Village. It's success led to a 1985 Broadway opening at the Ambassador Theater, where it ran for five months, in the process garnering a Tony Award nomination for Best Musical, a Grammy nomination for Best Cast Album and winning the New York Music Award for Best Broadway Musical.
Ellie was inducted into "The Songwriters Hall Of Fame" in 1991, and in 1998 she was presented with the "Touchstone Award" by Women In Music. Leader Of The Pack went on to tour in both England and Australia
Source: Broadwayworld.com obit