A great songwriter died yesterday, a woman who helped give rock 'n' roll a boost in the early '60s when schlockmeisters were trying to eviscerate the young art form. Ellie Greenwich, who died Wednesday at age 68, wrote classic girl group songs like Be My Baby, River Deep Mountain High, And Then He Kissed Me, Do Wah Diddy Diddy and lots more.
She started writing songs with husband Jeff Barry, as part of the corps of Brill Building rock-pop songwriters that also included the likes of Carole King and Neil Sedaka. In the 1980s, a Broadway musical, Leader of the Pack, based on her songs, was a big hit. You can find more info on Ellie Greenwich, but also check out the immortal Crystals, for whom Greenwich and Barry wrote this song, Da Doo Ron Ron.