Thursday, August 26, 2010

August 26: Prolific Rock songwriter Ellie Gaye - "The Kind Of Boy You Can't Forget," "Chapel of Love" - died on this day in 2009.

She was 68 years old when she died from a hear attack.

Gaye (born Eleanor Greenwich in Brooklyn), who along with her future husband Jeff Barry, first gained fame in 1960 when they wrote "Tell Laura I Love Her." Soon after they began writing and producing for Phil Spector's Philles label.

In 1962 Ellie and Jeff married and before the end of 1963, Barry-Greenwich had scored hits with songs such as "Be My Baby" and "Baby, I Love You" (The Ronettes), "Chapel Of Love" (The Dixie Cups), "Then He Kissed Me" and "Da Doo Ron Ron" (The Crystals), "Not Too Young To Get Married" (Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans), and "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" by Darlene Love.

Greenwich and Barry also recorded singles and an album under the name The Raindrops, with Ellie providing all the female vocals through overdubbing, and Jeff singing backgrounds in a bass voice. Two of their songs hit the top ten; "What A Guy" and "The Kind Of Boy You Can't Forget."

They wrote many other hit hits at this time including "Hanky Panky," "Do Wah Diddy Diddy," "Cherry Cherry," "Kentucky Woman," "I Can Hear Music," "River Deep, Mountain High" and many others.

In 1967, Ellie formed Pineywood Music with Mike Rashkow, they worked with The Fuzzy Bunnies, Dusty Springfield, The Definitive Rock Chorale, The Other Voices, and The Hardy Boys. She went on to collaborate with other writers such as Ellen Foley and Jeff Kent as well as providing backing vocals on many hits over her long career.
Ellie also worked and wrote songs for Frank Sinatra, Neil Diamond, Elton John, Cher, Tina Turner, Mariah Carey, Bette Midler, Celine Dion, U2, Twisted Sister, Hanson and many others.

In 1984 she involved herself in a musical based on her life titled Leader of the Pack. In 1991, Ellie and Jeff Barry were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Ellie's songs have earned her over 25 gold and platinum records and sales in the tens of millions along with over 33 BMI Awards.
I Can Hear Music: The Ellie Greenwich Collection
 -- "Tell Laura I Love Her" (Ray Peterson)
-- "River Deep Mountain High" (Ike & Tina Turner)  
-- "The Kind Of Boy You Can't Forget."   (The Raindrops AKA Ellie Gaye and Jeff Barry)

RaindropsDo-Wah-Diddy: Words And Music By Ellie Greenwich And Jeff Barry

(Links for viewing You Tube videos:)

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