"Along with the Shirelles and the Ronettes, the Shangri-Las were the greatest girl group; if judged solely on the basis
of attitude, they were the greatest of them all. They combined an innocent adolescent charm with more than a hint of darkness,
singing about dead bikers, teenage runaways, and doomed love affairs as well as ebullient high-school crushes. These could
be delivered with either infectious, handclapping harmonies or melodramatic, almost operatic recitatives that were contrived
but utterly effective. Tying it all together in the studio was Shadow Morton, a mad genius of a producer who may have been
second in eccentric imagination only to Phil Spector in the mid-'60s..."
Phil Spector way well have been the greatest record producer in the history of rock 'n' roll. Certainly, there are few who
have even matched his vision, or the undeniable power of his signature "Wall of Sound."
Although Spector produced a lot of different artists, from Gene Pitney to Ike and Tina Turner to the Beatles, many of
his definitive recordings remain those he made with girl groups such as the Crystals, the Ronettes and the Paris Sisters.
Motown produced a steady stream of great girl group records throughout the 1960's. In fact it was the Marvelettes who gave
the label its first number one hit with "Please Mr. Postman" in 1961.
The two most successful female groups on the Motown roster were the Supremes (the biggest selling African-American group
of the 1960's) and Martha & the Vandellas. The beautiful Mary Wells was also one of Tamla/Motown's big sellers. She was
just sixteen years-old when she hit the top ten with "Bye Bye Birdie." Her signature tune, "My Guy,"
actually kicked the Beatles out of the number one chart position in 1964 (prompting the Fab Four to pronounce Wells their
favorite American singer.)
"Annette's story is somewhat of a fairy tale, for everything she touched turned to gold. Whether it was star of one of
the Mouseketeers on the "Mickey Mouse Club," or play opposite Frankie Avalon as "Dee Dee" in the Beach
Party movies, Annette was always singled out as everyone's favorite. "Annette was the personification of all the good
things Americans wanted to believe about themselves. She was the malt shops and hayrides and kisses on the cheek. She was
beach parties, bonfires, and 'Anything Can Happen Day.' And the essence of her star quality, ironically enough, was that she
never seemed like a star. No matter how many television shows or movies she made, no matter how many records she sold, no
matter how many times her face appeared on the cover of magazines, Annette always remained Annette."
"Peggy March (born Margaret Annemarie Battavio on March 8, 1948, Lansdale, Pennsylvania) is an American pop music singer.
She was discovered at age thirteen singing at a wedding and was introduced to the record producer duo Hugo & Luigi. They
gave her the nickname Little Peggy March because of her 4'10" height, the fact that she was thirteen, the first record
she did with them was "Little Me", and her birthdate was in March.
"In April 1963, her single "I Will Follow Him" soared to number one on U.S. charts. Recorded in early January
1963 and released January 22 of that year, it made Peggy March the youngest female singer with a number one hit at age fifteen,
a record that still stands to this day..."
Lynn Ripley was only 15 years-old in 1964, when a song she, osensibly, had written about a deceased friend, "Terry,"
hit the British Charts and became one of the classic "dead teenager songs." Predating the Shangri-Las' "Leader
of the Pack" by at least a month, "Terry" tells a similarly melodramatic tale of heartbreak and vehicular mayhem,
with the doomed Terry racing his motorbike away from his unfaithful girlfriend and into oncoming traffic.
Twinkle was, for a while, the "it-girl" of British pop - enjoying hit singles, dating Beatle George Harrison,
even causing a furor when she was expelled from school when her groovy threads ran afoul of stodgey academic dress codes.
By 1969, however, she had wearied of the hurly burly and quit show business at age 19. Still, she would emerge from retirement
from every so often during the seventies and early eighties, eventually regaining the spotlight in 1987, when the Smiths covered
her best song, "Golden Lights."