“Leader of the Pack” Songwriter Ellie Greenwich Dies At 68

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

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Ellie Greenwich, co-writer of classic songs like “Be My Baby,” “The Leader of the Pack,” and “River Deep, Mountain High” died of a heart attack in New York on August 26. She was 69.

The Brooklyn native, who was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1991, helped create some of rock’s most indelible tunes, including “Da Doo Ron Ron,” “Then He Kissed Me,” “Out in the Streets,” “Chapel of Love,” and “Doo Wah Diddy.” In addition to serving as a writing partner to Phil Spector and husband Jeff Barry, she also worked with Neil Diamond, co-writing hits like “Girl You’ll Be A Woman Soon.”

“Ellie Greenwich was one of the most important people in my career,” Diamond said in a statement. “She discovered me as a down-and-out songwriter and with her then-husband Jeff Barry co-produced all my early hits on Bang records. She has remained a great friend and mentor over the years and will be missed greatly.”

Read the AP’s obituary here. Listen to a selected track list here.

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