The Door To Yesterday. Alan Warner. The World of 50’s and 60’s Girl Groups.

 

 

 

Girl Groups of the 50s and 60s The Door To Yesterday alan Warner 2019

 

 

 

The Ronettes. the Door To Yesterday. alan Warner. 2019

 Back in the 1960’s, record buyers were mesmerized by a whole string of hit songs performed 

by distinctive combinations of female singers – groups such as The Ronettes, The Shirelles

The Chiffons and The Supremes, many of whom were blessed with outstanding lead vocalists.  

 

There had of course been girl groups in earlier decades but the phenomenon to which I’m referring 

began in the mid-50’s with such R&B records as OOP SHOOP by Shirley Gunter & ‘The Queens’

on Flair in ’54, EDDIE MY LOVE by The Teen Queens on RPM in ’55  and MR. LEE by 

The Bobbettes on Atlantic in ‘57 but the single which really started the ball rolling was 

MAYBE by five New York girls known as The Chantels; their lead singer was Arlene Smith 

who crushed a million hearts with her soaring, impassioned vocal.

 MAYBE was released on End in late ’57 and by early the following year,

 it was a Billboard R&B & Pop chart success. Here’s the record, 

co-written by The Chantels’ producer Richard Barrett:

 https://youtu.be/IePTH1PWzAs


A great number of the glorious rock ‘n’ roll female anthems of the early years were written by 

celebrated songwriting teams, some of whom were based in New York’s fabled Brill Building 

and the nearby location at 1650 Broadway, not to mention Motown’s Hitsville building in Detroit. 


Along with some YouTube links, 

here’s my selective list of just 40 unforgettable examples of 1960’s Girl Group hits. 

Also included are five successful singles by solo artists whose renditions also typified the Girl Group sound…


BABY IT’S YOU 

(Burt Bacharach/Mack David/Barney Williams)

by The Shirelles

Pro: Luther Dixon

Arr: Burt Bacharach

 (Scepter: 1961) 

Lead vocal: Shirley Owens. 

https://youtu.be/3bjtnY45mY8


BABY LOVE 

(Brian Holland/Lamont Dozier/Eddie Holland)

by The Supremes

Pro: Brian Holland & Lamont Dozier (Motown: 1964) 

Lead vocal: Diana Ross.

 https://youtu.be/CIMRMFDie8g


BE MY BABY

 (Jeff Barry/Ellie Greenwich/Phil Spector) 

by The Ronettes

Pro: Phil Spector

Arr: Jack ‘Specs’ Nitzsche/Eng: Larry Levine 

(Philles: 1963) 

Vocal: Ronnie Spector. 

https://youtu.be/nDnMkctDKqk


CHAINS

 (Gerry Goffin/Carole King) 

by The Cookies

Pro: Gerry Goffin for Nevins-Kirshner

 (Dimension: 1962) 

Lead vocal: Earl-Jean.

 https://youtu.be/YKwWb47hDzg


CHAPEL OF LOVE 

(Jeff Barry/Ellie Greenwich/Phil Spector)

By The Dixie Cups

Pro: Joe Jones, Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller/Eng: Brooks Arthur 

(Red Bird: 1964)

 https://youtu.be/NpQ0O5RhkWI


DA DOO RON RON 

(Jeff Barry/Ellie Greenwich/Phil Spector)

by The Crystals

Pro: Phil Spector

Arr: Jack Nitzsche 

(Philles: 1963) 

Lead vocal: La La Brooks.

 https://youtu.be/S-OTd7DXjlo


DANCING IN THE STREET 

(Marvin Gaye/William Stevenson)

by Martha & The Vandellas

Pro: William Stevenson 

(Gordy: 1964)

 https://youtu.be/9KhbM2mqhCQ


DO-WAH-DIDDY

 (Jeff Barry/Ellie Greenwich)

By The Exciters

Pro: Leiber & Stoller 

(United Artists: 1963) Lead vocal: Brenda Reid.

 https://youtu.be/jz096RXCUO4


 

 

The Cookies. The Door To Yesterday. Alan Warner. 2019

 DON’T SAY NOTHIN’ BAD (About My Baby) 

(Gerry Goffin/Carole King)

by The Cookies

Pro: Gerry Goffin for Nevins-Kirshner

 (Dimension: 1963) 

Lead vocal: Earl-Jean. 


EASIER SAID THAN DONE

 (Larry Huff/William Linton) 

by The Essex

Pro: Henry Glover 

(Roulette: 1963) 

Lead vocal: Anita Hume.


HEAT WAVE

 (Brian Holland/Lamont Dozier/Eddie Holland)

by Martha & The Vandellas

Pro: Brian Holland & Lamont Dozier

  (Gordy: 1963)


HE’S A REBEL 

(Gene Pitney) 

by The Crystals

Pro: Phil Spector 

(Philles: 1962) 

Lead vocal: Darlene Love.

 https://youtu.be/G_SXJ18EkNw


HE’S SO FINE 

(Ronnie Mack) 

by The Chiffons

Pro: Bright Tunes Prod aka The Tokens

 (Laurie: 1963) 

Lead vocal: Judy Craig.

 https://youtu.be/rinz9Avvq6A


HE WAS REALLY SAYIN’ SOMETHIN’ 

(Norman Whitfield/William Stevenson/Eddie Holland)

by The Velvelettes

Pro: Norman Whitfield 

(V.I.P.: 1964) 

Lead vocal: Carolyn Gill.

 

I LOVE HOW YOU LOVE ME 

(Barry Mann/Larry Kolber)

by The Paris Sisters

Supervised & Arr: Phil Spector 

(Gregmark: 1961) 

Lead vocal: Priscilla Paris. 

https://youtu.be/AQwVtLXAWTo


I WANNA LOVE HIM SO BAD 

(Jeff Barry/Ellie Greenwich)

by The Jelly Beans

Pro: Jeff Barry & Steve Venet

Arr: Ellie Greenwich 

(Red Bird: 1964)


I’M INTO SOMETHING GOOD 

(Gerry Goffin/Carole King)

by Earl-Jean

Pro: Gerry Goffin

Arr: Carole King

 (Colpix: 1964) 

Backup vocals: The Cookies.

 https://youtu.be/q5-Sg_JJgQ4


IT MIGHT AS WELL RAIN UNTIL SEPTEMBER 

(Gerry Goffin/Carole King)

by Carole King

Pro: Gerry Goffin for Nevins-Kirshner

 (Dimension: 1962)

 

THE KIND OF BOY YOU CAN’T FORGET 

(Jeff Barry/Ellie Greenwich)

by The Raindrops

An Ellie & Jeff Barry Prod. 

(Jubilee: 1963) 

Lead vocal: Ellie Greenwich. 

https://youtu.be/wfuFANBMTbM


LEADER OF THE PACK 

(Jeff Barry/Ellie Greenwich/George Morton)

by The Shangri-Las

Pro: Shadow Morton & Jeff Barry 

(Red Bird: 1964) 

Lead vocal: Mary Weiss.

 https://youtu.be/Cofkts8cq1Q


THE LOCO-MOTION 

(Gerry Goffin/Carole King)

by Little Eva

Pro: Gerry Goffin for Nevins-Kirshner

 (Dimension: 1962) 

Backup vocals: The Cookies


A LOVER’S CONCERTO 

(Sandy Linzer/Denny Randell)

by The Toys

Pro: Randell-Linzer for Bob Crewe

 Prod./Arr & Cond: Charles Calello

 (DynoVoice: 1965) 

Lead vocal: Barbara Harris.


MY BOYFRIEND’S BACK

 (Robert Feldman/Gerald Goldstein/Richard Gottehrer)

by The Angels

Pro: Feldman, Goldstein & Gottehrer

Arr & Cond: Leroy Glover 

(Smash: 1963). 

https://youtu.be/qFdzJ0j8lYo


NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK 

(William Stevenson/Norman Whitfield)

by The Velvelettes

Pro: Norman Whitfield 

(V.I.P.: 1964) 

Lead vocal: Carolyn Gill. 

https://youtu.be/hh7Vpr4V6HM


NEEDLES AND PINS 

(Jack Nitzsche/Sonny Bono) 

by Jackie DeShannon

Pro: Dick Glasser

Arr: Jack Nitzsche 

(Liberty: 1963)

 https://youtu.be/SSbM_Zmx9kA


ONE FINE DAY 

(Gerry Goffin/Carole King)

 by The Chiffons

Pro: Bright Tunes Prod aka The Tokens

 (Laurie: 1963)

 https://youtu.be/KvyOqKhKWQ4

 Lead vocal: Judy Craig. Piano: Carole King.


OPPORTUNITY 

(Ray Evans/Randy Stewart)

by The Jewels

Arr & Pro: Gene Redd

Vocal Arr: Ray Evans 

(Dimension: 1964)

Lead vocal: Sandra Bears.



 

 

The Marvelettes. The Door To Yesterday. Alan Warner. 2019

 PLEASE MR. POSTMAN 

(Brian Holland/Robert Bateman/Freddie Gorman/William Garrett/Georgia Dobbins)

 by The Marvelettes

Pro: Brianbert (Brian Holland & Robert Bateman) 

(Tamla: 1961)

 Lead vocal: Gladys Horton.

 https://youtu.be/425GpjTSlS4


POPSICLES AND ICICLES 

(David Gates)

by The Murmaids

Pro: Kim Fowley

Arr: Nestor Labonte

Eng: Stan Ross 

(Chattahoochee: 1963) 

Lead vocal: Terry Fischer.

 https://youtu.be/dC5GRbfXyPw


REMEMBER (Walkin’ In The Sand)

 (George Morton)

by The Shangri-Las

Pro: Jeff Barry & Artie Ripp

 (Red Bird: 1964) 

Lead vocal: Mary Weiss.


SALLY, GO ROUND THE ROSES 

(Zell Sanders/Lona Stevens) 

by The Jaynetts

Pro: Abner Spector

Arr & Cond: Artie Butler 

(Tuff: 1963)

https://youtu.be/2PePXnXxRGE


THE SHOOP SHOOP SONG (It’s In His Kiss) 

(Rudy Clark) 

by Betty Everett

Pro: Calvin Carter

 (Vee-Jay: 1964)

 https://youtu.be/B4KN6TFhy2I


SOLDIER BOY 

(Luther Dixon/Florence Greenberg) 

by The Shirelles

Pro: Luther Dixon

Arr: Bert Keyes 

(Scepter: 1962) 


The Supremes. The Door To Yesterday. 2019

 STOP! IN THE NAME OF LOVE 

(Brian Holland/Lamont Dozier/Eddie Holland) 

by The Supremes

Pro: Brian Holland & Lamont Dozier

 (Motown: 1965) 

Lead vocal: Diana Ross


SWEET TALKIN’ GUY 

(Doug Morris/Elliot Greenberg)

by The Chiffons

Pro: Doug Morris & Bright Tunes Prod aka The Tokens 

(Laurie: 1966) 

Lead vocal: Judy Craig.


The Exciters. The Door To Yesterday. Alan Warner. 2019

 TELL HIM 

(Bert Berns)

By The Exciters

Pro: Leiber & Stoller

Orch Cond: Teacho Wiltshire 

(United Artists: 1962) 

Lead vocal: Brenda Reid. 

https://youtu.be/G2sH6h0ViDg


UPTOWN 

(Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil)

by The Crystals

Pro & Arr: Phil Spector 

(Philles: 1962) 

Lead vocal: Barbara Alston.

 https://youtu.be/G0il2Qd3jcs


THE WAH-WATUSI 

(Dave Appell/Kal Mann)

by The Orlons

 (Cameo: 1962) 

Lead vocal: Rosetta Hightower.

 https://youtu.be/K3b5WS2xAYk


WALKING IN THE RAIN 

(Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil/Phil Spector)

by The Ronettes 

Pro: Phil Spector

Arr: Jack ‘Specs’ Nitzsche

Eng: Larry Levine 

(Philles: 1964)


The Shirells. The Door to yesterday. Alan Warner. 2019

 WILL YOU LOVE ME TOMORROW 

(Gerry Goffin/Carole King)

by The Shirelles

Pro: Ludix Prod aka Luther Dixon

Arr: Carole King 

(Scepter: 1960) 

Lead vocal: Shirley Owens.


Rock on.


Alan Warner


As in all my postings, 

the recordings listed above are personal choices and recommendations 

and are in no way intended as definitive collections of the genre. 


© Alan Warner, 2019. 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express 

and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly

prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear

 credit is given to Alan Warner with appropriate and specific direction 

to the original content.