Although the 50s had its one-hit girl groups such as the Chantels, and the Bobbettes,, the peak period of what today is called "girl group music" occurred in the pre-British Invasion 1960s and was captained by the Brill Building writers and producers. Just a few of the girl groups include the Shirelles, the Chiffons, The Shangri-Las, The Dixie Cups, the Crystals, the Ronettes, the Angels, Reparata and the Delrons, the Exciters, the Cookies, the Supremes and the Velvelettes,
The Shirelles can arguably be called the seminal girl group of the 60s. They made a minor hit and a major recording of their own composition "I Met Him On A Sunday". This was followed with a long string of hitsincluding "Tonight's The Night,". "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" and "Soldier Boy".
The essence of what became to be known as the girl group sound was evident in these early Shirelles records. Although girl group sound was highly theatrical and influenced by records from the Leiber & Stoller school, the productions, arrangements and recordings were becoming more and more textured and full.
The songs recorded by the girl groups were naive and adolescent, but like the times, the lyrics started to show a yearning for a better way of life. Indeed, the lyrics were unsophisticated and simple on the surface, but the subtext was there for every teenager to consider. Brill Building writers took a lot of flak for being superficial, but given the times, the simple yet yearning characteristics of lyrics on girl group records reflected all those adolescent problems from a female viewpoint.
After the Shirelles initial success, a myriad of girl group records was released by major and indie labels, made by established and aspiring producers. Most famous of course was Phil Spector, who after having a #1 hit record with the Teddy Bears when he was still in high school had worked in New York with Leiber & Stoller. Among his girl group productions is the early "I Love How You Love Me" by the Paris Sisters on Gregmark. Shortly thereafter Spector signed the Crystals and began the Philles label, which could be called the pinnacle of the girl group labels.
Meanwhile, many others were making girl group records, notably The Angels and The Chiffons. The Angels made records under the direction of songwriter/producers Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein, and Richard Gottehrer. The Chiffons, who had one of the greatest girl group records ever with "He's So Fine," were produced by the Tokens.
1963 also saw Spector reach the pinnacle of his career, with the Ronettes. Spector co-wrote and produced the a string of classics with the Ronettes such as Be My Baby," "Baby I Love You" and "Walking In The Rain."
Perhaps the most successful label to mine the market for girl group records was. Leiber & Stoller's Red Bird Records. Bringing Brill writers Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich on board specifically to explore the genre, Red Bird enjoyed immediate hit success with The Dixie Cups' #1 "Chapel Of Love", a song Spector had recorded more than once but had never released.
But Red Bird's coup was The Shangri-las, produced by George 'Shadow' Morton whom Ellie Greenwich had brought to Leiber & Stoller's attention. The Shangri-las records have often been described as comically over-dramatic, but records like "Remember (Walking In The Sand)", "Leader Of The Pack," "Past, Present And Future" and "I Can Never Go Home Anymore" have stood the test of time and are considered among the greatest records of the genre. Fantastic three-minute melodramas of teenage life in the mid-sixties, these were.
After The Shangri-las, the girl group era sadly died out, giving way to the British Invasion groups and their American counterparts. Ironically, these early British Invasion groups worshipped the girl groups, covering many of their hits on their early records and reintroducing the sound to a younger generation who for whatever reason had missed them the first time around. The Searchers' Needles and Pins, the Beatles' Chains, The Moody Blues' Go Now...all were originally records by U.S. girl groups. girl groups,girlgroups,oldies,1960s,1960's,sixties,music,rock,pop,Motown,wall of sound,Spector,Greenwich,Holland-Dozier-Holland,Leader of the Pack,Chapel of Love,It's My Party,Shirelles,Marvelettes,Velvelettes, Andantes , Angels , Honey & Bees , Blossoms , Blue Belles , .Bobbettes ,. Chantels ,. Charmettes ,. Chiffons ,. Clickettes ,. Cookies ,. Crystals ,. Darlettes ,. Delltones ,. Reparata/Delrons ,. Deltairs ,. Dixie Cups ,. Dodds, Nella ,. Emotions ,. Exciters ,. First Choice ,. Flirtations ,. Go Gos ,. Gray, Maureen ,. Hearts ,. Honey Cone ,. Ikettes ,. Jaynetts ,. Jelly Beans ,. Jewels ,. Joytones ,. Candy/Kisses ,. Little Eva ,. Love Unlimited ,. Marvelettes ,. Orlons ,. Pixies Three ,. Pointer Sisters ,. Queens ,. Quintones ,. Raindrops ,. Ronettes ,. Rosebuds ,. Royalettes ,. Shangri-Las ,. Sharmeers ,. Shirelles ,. Socialites ,. Starlets ,. Supremes ,. Sweet Inspirations ,. Teardrops ,. Teen Queens ,. Thomas, Jean ,. Three Degrees ,. Toys ,. Martha/Vandellas ,. Velvelettes ,. Veneers ,. Warren, Beverly,, Ad-Libs, The Apollas, The Avons, Betty Everett, Baby Jane and The Rockabyes, The Blossoms, The Bobbettes, The Bonnie Sisters, The Bouquets, The Breakaways, The Butterflys, Candy and the Kisses, The Chantels, The Chiffons, Cookies, The Crystals, The Deltairs, Dodie Stevens, The Donays, The Dixiebelles, The Dixiecups, The Essex, The Exciters, The Goodies, The Hearts, The Honeybees, The Honeys, The Ikettes, Jaynetts, The Jellybeans, Kathy Young and the Innocents, La Belle, Little Eva, Lulu and The Luvvers, The Murmaids, The Orchids, The Paris Sisters, Patience and Prudence, Patty and The Emblems, The Pixies Three, Poni-Tails, The Quin-Tones, The Raindrops, Reparata and the Delrons, The Ronettes, Rosie and the Originals, The Royalettes, The Sapphires The Secrets, The Sensations, The Shamettes, Shangri-Las, The Sherrys, The Shirelles, The Starlets, The Swans, Teen Queens, The Toys, The Velvelettes, The Vernon Girls, Spectropop : The girl groups pages Long before era boy bands, GIRLS first place... catchy hooks AngelsE "My Boyfriend's Back" or sweet sentimental y Dixie CupsE"Chapel Love," girl group sound early 1960s important influence rock roll defining image American culture Jewels same group as Impalas. Chic-Lets merely Darlettes performing Patti Lace Petticoats. big h "by" Crystals, "Da Doo Ron Ron," was actually recorded while Crystals on tour! Producer Phil Spector pieced together, recording instrumental tracks L.A. that release "Maybe" Chantels 1958 immediate success marked official beginning girl-group sound. But what drove commercial mainstream was early 1961, Shirelles had two h s Top Ten--"Will Love Me Tomorrow" (the first song all-girl group h Billboard number one spot) "Dedicated One I Love." Chantels flood artists reflected list 200-plus listed on s e, attempt all bands who comprised girl-group sound early 1960s. sound did not emanate one place or songwr er. Though producers songwr ers Brill Building certainly core sound, Detro , Philadelphia other places U.S. was democratic era rock music. Brill Building, there 165 music business offices, aspiring songwr ers singers often drifted one office another, appointments, peddle songs. sound ruled. Some songs considered "hot," that producers released demo recording as record--a feat unthinkable today. If had good sound, got shot, even if nobody. many records spiraled up charts promotion. Some girl groups became well-known dizzying speed. 1963, struggling nobodies called Ronettes performing tiny Riptide Club Wildwood, Jersey, release, "Be My Baby," was issued. Three weeks later, song had moved #90 #20 on national charts, stars, finally finished engagement Riptide Club. Ronettes GURLFRIEND! Interestingly, many girl groups teenagers themselves songs became famous. black, grown up singing gospel music church. know Crystals, LaLa Brooks, as lead vocalist, performing anonymous studio singers. Crystals "One Fine Day" Chiffons was recording L tle Eva (of "The Locomotion") which vocals stripped off, Chiffons recording over instrumentals. Cookies, Cupcakes or Cake! And, astonishing burst productiv y, believed that all these songs recorded same group girl singers: "Good Good Lovin" Cinderellas, "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?" Bachfs Lunch, "Pied Piper" Cupcakes, "Make Night Las a Little Longer" Palisades "One Wonderful Night" Honeybees. Orlons Essex Coke hand record on turntable twist your capri pants admire your beehive hairdo. girl-group sound fore 1958-60, payola scandal Music historians generally agree singers, many girl groups virtually anonymous except recordings. session recordings staying home, touring. magazine public y, producers interchange girls touring or record . , Ellie Greenwich girl-group songwriter co-producer, Raindrops, Popsicles, Regina Redheads, Doreen Tammys Ellie Gee Jets. Butterflys Jelly Beans one-hit wonders, "novelty" aspect groups.. classic Orlons, "Wah-Watusi". Essex Marines. beehive hairdo, or ultra-pink satin skirts, girl group public all-black girl groups. bad-girl go-go boots "Leader Pack," "You Can Never Go Home Anymore" teen girl black leather jackets skin tight pants. Lead singer Mary Weiss, her long hair sultry frown, looked like she was bad side town. image campaign was successful that one spaper called h "Leader of the Pack" "death disc" that shocked teens. Some radio stations play song. There worse songs, though. Whyte BootsEsemi-h , "Nightmare," was about one girl killing another gang fight! Many other songs (such as "I Want That Boy" Sadina, girls cat-fighting over boy) had randy themes time, product middle-aged male producers wr ing suggestive songs cute teenage girls. singers (all active Marines!) backed up 50s-style harmony. Sometimes men wore uniforms live performances. Essex: An a Humes must have borrowed uniform! Some all-male groups had girl-group sound. Frankie Lymon Teenagers are perfect example. However, we include all-male groups who had sound. We have draw line somewhere! Because many themes concurrent, lyrics often very similar. fact, four different girl-group songs, Spandells, Secrets, Bettye Swann, Terri Stevens, "The Boy Next Door."