At a very young age, Greenwich and Carole King blazed a path for women in the music industry at that time dominated by men. Women hadn't really been on the creative production side of the music industry at that point, with few exceptions they had been mostly singers or administrative types. Greenwich found great success as a songwriter and partnered with her husband Jeff Barry. Greenwich and Barry wrote songs for the popular girl groups of the early '60s like the The Ronettes, The Crystals and The Shangri-Las.
In an interview with NPR, Greenwich reflected on being a woman and working in the production side of the music industry,
It wasn't that accepted back then, a female being in that end of the business.She even had a little bit of difficulty working with other female artists;
At first it was like, 'Well, who does she think she is, giving us orders here or telling us what to do?' But on the other end, if you were very open to them, they saw you could be their friend, and then it became an asset to be a woman dealing with girl groups.Ellie Greenwich gave us dozens of hit songs, like silly bubble gum pop with nonsensical choruses, and some with heart felt meaning. Let's remember her as she held her own against the British Invasion and paved the way for women who wanted to have a creative role in the music industry.
Ellie Greenwich died Wednesday August 24th of a heart attack in New York City at the age of 68.
This is my favorite Ellie Greenwich not-so-famous tune: "Maybe I Know" performed by Lesley Gore (I fell in love with this tune when my junior high performed the musical "Leader of the Pack" based on the music of Ellie Greenwich):
And just for fun, this is the same tune performed by They Might be Giants.
Read more about Ellie Greenwich and watch more videos here at Pitchfork.