It’s odd the way the deaths of public figures affect us. I was not deeply affected by Michael Jackson’s death, and Ted Kennedy’s passing is sad, but it came as no surprise.
But Ellie Greenwich’s death did affect me. I stayed up for hours last night listening to her music, downloading songs I didn’t have, reading about her, posting up videos on Facebook, sipping bourbon, and crying.
The songs she wrote became part of our culture, our life, just as much as the songs of the Beatles did, or Irving Berlin, or Cole Porter, or those of one of her greatest fans, Brian Wilson.
Chapel of Love
And Then He Kissed Me
I Can Hear Music
Do Wah Diddy Diddy
Da Do Ron Ron
Leader Of The Pack
Out In The Streets
River Deep, Mountain High
Today I Met The Boy I’m Gonna Marry
Why Do Lovers Break Each Other’s Hearts?
Not Too Young To Get Married
And dozens more. She was blessed with amazing collaborators like Jeff Barry and Phil Spector, and doubly blessed with amazing interpreters of her songs like the Ronettes and the Shangri-Las and Lesley Gore. She was a soulful and completely honest singer in her own right and a great producer. She answered her fan mail.
Ellie was irreplaceable, and she will live forever.