river deep, mountain high

Just saw that Ellie Greenwich died yesterday at age 68 of a heart attack. While she is probably far from a household name (and will probably be little noticed in the shadow of Teddy Kennedy's death), she was responsible for a lot of music that served as iconic counterpoint to my generation's growing-up years.

Among the many hit songs she wrote or co-wrote are Be My Baby, Da Doo Ron Ron, And Then He Kissed Me, Chapel Of Love, Hanky Panky, Do Wah Diddy, and Leader Of The Pack. And, for me, one of the greatest songs of the period, River Deep, Mountain High, originally written for Ike and Tina Turner and since covered by everyone from Harry Nilsson to Deep Purple, The Supremes, Annie Lennox, Erasure, and many more.

She was also one of New York’s top session singers and vocal arrangers, working with artists ranging from Dusty Springfield and Lesley Gore to Ella Fitzgerald, Bobby Darin, Frank Sinatra, and Aretha Franklin. And she's credited with discovering Neil Diamond and co-producing his early hits.

But really, just River Deep, Mountain High would have been enough.

L.A. Times obituary here.

(And speaking of Teddy Kennedy, probably the best remembrance I've read so far is by The Rude Pundit. And it's not even very rude, so check it out.)

1 comment:

Debra said...

River Deep, Mountain High. Thanks for that. The oldest u-tube video of Tina Turner's group dancing to it breaks both our hearts.