August 28, 2009

bmi dinner

ELLIE GREENWICH  10/23/4o – 8/26/09

When Andy Caploe and his wife Susan e-mailed me about the passing of Ellie Greenwich, I was devastated. She was one of the first people I worked with after I left Aldon Music as a staff writer…and one of the few people I could talk to about almost anything. She was everybody’s home girl. One of the most talented and down to earth people I’ve ever met. I was so happy to reconnect with her on FACEBOOK!

“I was hanging out at Paul Vance’s (“Catch A Falling Star”, “Itsy Bitsy Bikini”) office where Ellie and Tony Powers who wrote “Today I Met The Boy I’m Gonna’ Marry” for Darlene Love and “Why Do Lovers Break Each Other’s Hearts” for Bobbi Soxx and the Blue Jeans, would come in and play their new songs for Paul’s opinion. If I was lucky enough to be there at the time, I’d be invited to come in and listen as well.

One day I’m starting a new song with Paul’s nephew Danny Jordan (The Detergents). Not only do we write with each other, but everybody we can corner who comes into the office. One day Ellie walks in. She asks us if we mind if is waits for her fiancé, Jeff Barry (“Tell Laura I Love Her”) who’s picking her up for lunch. About a half hour later the three of us have finished “You Should’ve Told Me”

We play it for Jeff when he arrives and he seems to like it, but doesn’t say very much. A few days later, Paul Vance gets The Angels (“Til”) to record it.

While Danny and I sit daydreaming of songwriting   super stardom, collaborating with this talented young lady on dozens of future hits, Jeff has plans of his own. He and Ellie start writing with Phil Spector and create songs that not only become classics, but songs that define the ‘60s as well.”*

Copyright 2009 by Artie Wayne from the forthcoming book “I Did It For A Song”

Thank You Ellie for all the joy, passion, and music you’ve given the world…and the friendship and support you’ve given me when I most needed it.

Ellie Greenwich R.I.P. ROCK IN PERPETUITY!

Respectfully, Artie Wayne https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/

ELLIE -63044[4][2][3]

Ellie “at home”  L to R…Lesley Miller, Ellie Greenwich and Mickie Harris    Photo courtesy of John Madera

TOP  L-R Artie Ripp, Jeff Barry, Phil Spector, Paul Case, Ellie Greenwich, Jerry Leiber, and Ed Silvers.

OFFICIAL ELLIE GREENWICH WEBSITE http://www.elliegreenwich.com/


TO HEAR ELLIE”S GREATEST HITS…CLICK ONTO BRIAN FERRARI’S TRIBUTE  ON 60 DEGREES  @ www.eastvillageradio.com. here is the link: :http://www.eastvillageradio.com/shows/nowplaying.aspx?contentid=1206&showid=16782 The program is from September 7th – the complete track list will appear if you click on the date.

MY FRIEND BRIAN IBBOTT AT COVERVILLE HAS PUT TOGETHER A SPECIAL EPISODE FEATURING ALL OF ELLIE”S BEST SONGS!   http://coverville.com/archives/2009/09/coverville-607-the-ellie-greenwich-tribute-and-cover-story/

When I announced Ellie’s passing I was flooded with e-mails, some of which I had transcribed to the comments below. If you haven’t made a comment yet please feel free to do so…I’ll make sure her family gets each one.

From my forthcoming book, “I Did It For A Song”
Copyright 2009 by Artie Wayne

BACK TO THE R.I.P. ROCK N PERPETUITY ARCHIVES https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2008/08/20/rip-rock-in-perpetuity-archives/

BACK TO ARTIE WAYNE ON THE WEB https://artiewayne.wordpress.com



  1. Artie Kornfeld Says:

    I am shocked by this one.kornfeld

  2. Artie Butler Says:

    Hi Artie,
    I am so saddened by the news of Ellie’s passing. Like you I have the warmest memories of her…

    Artie Butler

  3. Barry Oslander Says:

    Artie…what a shock this news is, just a few weeks ago I invited Ellie to visit with Blaire and I next time she was in our home town of LV. She wrote back she does not get here much, but would if she does… I did work with her a few times when I was at Associated Recording, she was a real doll and so proud and happy to show off the ring Jeff gave her…You could see your future in it, that is how big it was. This news is devastating for sure… A talent lady who will now be writing hits in heaven…For sure.


  4. Dick Asher Says:

    A truly gifted songwriter and a very nice person. She brings back memories of my old Nevins-Kirshner days. Rest in peace Ellie. Your songs will live on long after all of us.

    Dick Asher

  5. Joel Diamond Says:


    she has so many friends out here in LA, maybe you could “poke around” and seet if there might be or somebody might be interested in holding a memorial service in LA….Jeff Barry lives in Santa Barbara…


  6. Charlie Callelo Says:

    Artie: Sad news indeed. I told Danny Jordan and mentioned I received an Email from you. He asked if I would pass along his phone number…I’m sure he would appreciate a call.

    Charlie Calello

  7. Paul Payton Says:

    OUCH! The work “shocked” is over used – and wrongly – too often these days, but this time it is appropriate. This is VERY sad news. Condolences to you and all.

    Paul Payton

  8. Ash Wells Says:

    Artie…Like us all, I am deeply devastated… Her Memories and music will live on with us forever…


  9. Todd Everett Says:

    Thanks. This “news” has been showing up on several boards and Broadway sites without attribution. It’s good to have a reliable confirmation, as bad as the news is.


  10. Brooks Arthur Says:

    Dear Artie:

    Artie Kaplan called early this morning with this tragic news.

    Love ya’.

    Stand tall.

  11. Ken Charmer Says:

    Hi Artie

    Devastating news. She e-mailed me a few weeks ago about me doing a you Tube video of ‘Goodnight, goodnight…and she recently had a re-union lunch with Jean Thomas and Mikey Harris.

    I am so sad.


  12. Marva Holiday Says:

    I am so sorry to hear this.

    My heart goes out to her famiy and to you. It’s not easy losing friends.


  13. Angels Peg Says:

    I can’t believe this we connected on Facebook not that long ago.


  14. Tom Diehl Says:

    One of my more recent ebay finds was an acetate 78 demo recording done by Ellie (uncredited on the label) of a song called Love Is Better Than Ever, which was recorded by a group called the LeVons for the Columbia record label.

    I was fortunate enough to find her on Facebook and ask her if she remembered the demo. She didn’t, but she asked me to send along a copy of it to her, which I was very happy to do. I don’t recall getting a reaction to it out of her so I have no idea if she was thrilled or if she was embarassed.

    She was a very kind person and I’m so sorry to hear this terrible news.

  15. Jimmy 860 Says:

    WOW !!!! No way — not Ellie. I’m so sorry that you lost your friend! I met her after Leader of the Pack in 1984… a HUGE bear hug from her; I’d been there with friends to see another performer in that show, who was QUITE cold… but Ellie was so warm…

    I’ll be posting something about her as well.


  16. Bobby Abrams Says:

    i didn’t know one of my favorites i loved her solo album

    Bobby Abrams

  17. Kenny Karen Says:

    Ellie was a friend of mine a lifetime ago ( married to Jeff at the time.) I’d not seen her in many years. I’m not able to attend her funeral but should a music industry memorial be held in celebration of her life I would greatly appreciate being informed.

    Her smiling face will evoke a panorama of memories for those of us whose lives were enhanced by her warmth and her frienship.

    Rest peacefully old friend.

    Kenny Karen

  18. Jeannie Thomas Says:


    Mikie called me this morning with the news. She was with her for quite a while at the hospital, but wasn’t sure Ellie knew she was there. Ellie, Mikie and I had a five hour lunch just a month ago. We were all looking forward to our next one. Such sad news.

    Love to you,

  19. John Madera Says:

    Hi Artie…….The great Ellie Greenwich!! What a sad day. I worked with Ellie dozens of times. I will miss her, a great lady. R.I.P. Rock In Perpetuity!

    Lots of love,

    John Madara

  20. James Holvay Says:

    Sad day. A great writer. Looking forward to reading your tribute to her. Thanks Artie.

    James Holvay

  21. MarkBarkan Says:

    Ellie was a funny talented friend. She sang on many of my demos even while and after she was having huge hits as writer and singer(The Raindrops) We wrote 2 songs while under contract to Lieber and Stoller-one was recorded “I’m So Afraid of You”-I remember when Phil Spector was auditioning her and me for songs and Phil kept preening himself in the mirror in the little piano room in Jerry and Mike’s office in the Brill building while Elllie sang and played her heart out-Then suddenly she stopped and said “Hey Phil you little pr-ck, are you gonna keep looking at yourself or listen to some songs?” And I guess he listened because many hits they co-wrote with Jeff and Tony Powers came out of it. There was no way anyone who knew her didn’t love her. I certainly did.

  22. tony powers Says:

    Such sad news. Ellie was a sweet girl, a lovely woman, and a giant talent. I am honored to have been one of her co-writers and, more importantly, her friend. My sincere condolences to her family. With love and affection always, tony

  23. Tony Leong Says:

    I will always remember how sweet Ellie was to me when “Leader Of THe Pack” was on Broadway. She patiently answered all of my questions about the songs, the sessions, the back-up singing etc. She thought it was a hoot that I was 15 at the time, yet knew and loved her songs. Mind you, she was answering questions about sessions that happened 20 plus years prior!!!!! Being a teacher for a short time, Ellie always asked me how my schoolwork was going, and I remember tellng her about passing my regents exams and finals–esp. the Chemistry one!!

    I last saw Ellie about 1994 at a book release party for Martha Reeves, and she was still warm, and SO down to earth.

    Thank you Ellie,
    Tony Leong

  24. Mike McCann Says:

    Ellie was a brilliant talent, as well as a friendly down-to-earth lady. She so clearly understood the mindset of her peers while growing up, and possessed the unique brilliance to turn their angst into classic songs. She’ll be remembered as long as the rock keeps rolling.

  25. jimmyboi2 Says:

    Beautiful ! With Ellie, it was all about talent, warmth, and friendship.

    My love letter:


    Thanks for your wonderful tribute !
    Jim Crescitelli

  26. What a great loss to our ‘music family’. Thank you Ellie for all of your incredible contributions to rock and roll..You will be missed.
    With much admiration,

  27. Jay Siegel Says:

    Hi Artie.. We haven’t seen each other for so long !It’s been many years since 1697 B’way…. Ellie was a good friend. Everyone knows all about her enormous talent,But they should also know what a genuine wonderful person she was. So sorry ,too soon..

  28. Ellen Feldman Says:

    “Really, Artie, you are blessed with the most spectacular memory. This is great stuff.”


  29. Doc Remer Says:

    “Your mind must be like a tape recorder with an endless reel of tape. I doubt anyone can remember all the things that you do and such detail. Thank you…. You probably even remember the first time we met in New York in your Alouette Productions office with your partner Kelly. Always interested in what you have to say. Keep it up.”


  30. Dean Pitchford Says:

    “You’re in my thoughts, Artie.”


  31. Mark Wirtz Says:

    Hello Artie,

    Even though I was a huge fan of Ellie Greenwich’s and produced several of her songs, I never met her. Larry, on the other hand, worked together with me on a number of projects, including my Capitol Records album “Hothouse Smiles,” on which he was the prominently featured keyboard player.

    Thank you for taking the effort to so lovingly tribute these quintessential, formidable music makers!

    Friend and fan,


    Mark W.

  32. Laura Says:

    Hi Artie,

    I’m still in shock over the sudden and tragic news of Ellie’s passing. Even though I never had the pleasure of meeting her in person and had only had sporadic, indirect contact with her, losing her is like losing a family member. Ellie always struck me as a lady who did not suffer fools gladly but who retained her sweetness, and who had more talent than ten people yet retained her humility. I’ve heard nothing but good things about her from those who did know her personally. Although I’m devastated that I shall never be able to give her the big hug I’ve always wanted to give her, I will forever be grateful that her music lives on. R.I.P., Miss Ellie, and thank you.

  33. Howard Wolen Says:

    Although I never met Ellie, I, too, am saddened by her departure. The world is just a little sadder place without her in it.-

    H. Lee Wolen

  34. Colleen Says:

    Please give Jeff Barry and all of Ellies family my sympathy. I have some of her rare songs (as a fan) and she was truly a pioneer in the game. I have never met her but I was shocked to hear this news.

  35. Ronnie Allen Says:

    Ellie’s wonderful songs were the soundtrack of our lives. Words cannot properly express my emotion that I feel at the news of her unexpected passing. Artie, I am sure that you feel blessed having known her personally and worked with her professionally. Though I never met her (except for a brief phone conversation with her) I know from all I have read from people who knew her that she was in every respect a great songwriter and a great person.

  36. David Rosner Says:

    Well done, Artie, a moving string-of-comments-tribute to Ellie. I had asked Lou Stallman only last week `how’s Ellie’, and Lou said `she’s doin’ great, very excited about a new commercial’. Then this week. What a shocker. Very sad.


  37. Ken Hirsh Says:

    Touching post, wonderful blog. AW, the pub and friend who taught me so much, and who always pursued the “golden mix”, is still hitting it out of the park.


  38. Lesley Miller Says:

    Dear Artie,
    What a wonderful tribute to Ellie you’ve composed, she would be touched and honored, as I’m sure her family and friends are. Larger than life she was in her talent, her personality, her generosity of spirit. She will be greatly missed, and her music will live on forever. What a sweet picture of us around the microphone, thank you for sharing it, so many memories.
    Fondly, Lesley

  39. Peter Andreason Says:

    She will be missed, her music will live on.
    “Oh I love the songs you sing me, thrills of love are going through me, it´s the only way that I want to spend my time, it´s the only time when I am happy as when I´m loving you and I´ll never need more than this, and I wish this could go on forever and ever, I love you so”

  40. Stephen- Craig Aristei Says:

    Ellie Greenwich R.I.P. – I am so saddened by this news, I can not begin to express how hard this hits me. Just last week she wrote me on FB…..Ellie, Your songs will live forever, along with your wonderful and always generous spirit!

    Stephen-Craig Aristei

  41. Tony DiGirolama Says:

    Magic voices in those magic years! Once again Artie your historical career causes my memory to sing.
    Appreciate that Artie Wayne on the Web covers these stories for us. Cool!

    Tony DiGirolama

  42. Brian Gari Says:

    Her last email to me on August 11th told me we were going to get together very soon. We had been close since meeting for an interview I was going to do back in 1975…it turned into more….a lifetime of love. She inspired several of my songs, including one that Ronnie Spector loved and sang to me on the radio. Ritchie Cordell published it at Chappell. Lesley Gore recorded it as well as the Tokens. Ellie tried very hard to get me a record deal to produce me. Unfortunately, with her great track record, it was hard to find a label that remembered what happened 10 years earlier. I never forgot and never will.

  43. Ron Dante Says:

    Ellie was the best there was.
    She was the magic in the Greenwich/Barry songwriting team. Her special talent was incredbible.
    I loved working with her.
    She was not only a legendary songwriter but I loved her voice.

    She will be missed but her music will live on forever.

  44. Ron Alexenburg Says:

    Hi Arty;
    One night while eating at Frankie & Johnny’s I had never met Ellie, but wanted to just thank her for all the wonderful songs and the joy she had given to so many. As she asked me to sit and have desert with her we talked and laughed for over 2 hours until they closed. A very special night for me.
    We have lost a good one in her, as the concert in heaven will be something as they will be singing her songs and we will be listening to her forever.
    R. I. P

  45. Dear Artie,

    Thank so much for posting this. There’s not much I can add that hasn’t already been said on this page.

    Ellie was a shining example of talent (I daresay brilliance), tolerance, sense of humor, and *friendship* …and will be sorely missed – not just by those of us fortunate enough to call her “friend” …but by the many millions who were so touched by her art, which will last forever.

    As far as I’m concerned, Ronnie Dante said it all – 2 posts above this one.

    God Bless Ellie.

  46. Mary Weiss Says:

    We have lost a special member of The Brill Building Family.
    The Shangri-Las worked with Ellie, Jeff & Shadow Morton on Leader of the Pack,
    Train from Kansas City and Out In The Streets (my all time favorite Shangri-La recording)
    Her talent will be missed.
    I was there for opening night at the Ambassador Theatre for her Broadway play.
    It was a special night for all of us.

    My heart goes out to her family & friends. She will be missed.

    Mary Weiss (The Shangri-Las)

  47. David Spinozza Says:

    She was one of a kind. A true pioneer of pop and rock sensibility.
    I didn’t get a chance to spend that much time with her, but the
    little time I did, it was clear that she handled her life and musical
    success with dignity and humility.

    My sincere condolences to her family & close friends.

    David Spinozza (Musician)

  48. Juan Casiano Says:

    Thank you for the music you created. You will live on through that music…

    My condolences to the family.

    Juan Casiano

  49. I have stood outside the Brill Building a number of times when I go into New York city.
    Sometime back in the 80’s I walked in that awsome building and I could hear that magicial music just coming out of them studios of long ago,but it only seems like yesterday.

    My condolences to the Family.

    Linda Farnsworth

  50. Evie Sands Says:

    Lovely, touching post and comments…

    Very sad and shocked to hear about Ellie’s passing…

    I met Ellie when I was first starting out. She was so kind to me and very supportive. It was wonderful to reconnect with her not too long ago. We talked about getting together next time I was in NY.

    Enough can’t be said about how much of a pioneer she was – doing it all – at a time when it was pretty much a “boys club.” Her great music will continue to bring joy to millions and live on forever. What a talent… gone too soon.

    With great respect,
    my heartfelt condolences to her family and friends…

  51. B.J. Thomas Says:

    I am very sad at Ellie’s passing. She is one of the most important song writers of all time.You know, her songs are a part of who we are; those of us who came to music in the 50’s and 60’s.

    Of course, she will be remembered as a hit machine. Her songs had that feel good thing that is impossible to forget or ignore. She will be missed by millions and can not be replaced. God bless her for being such a positive role model and mentor to those who will follow in her footsteps.

    All my best to you Artie. B.J.

  52. Clay Cole Says:

    Everybody loved Ellie! To know her is to love her. Although she was a physical beauty, she was simply “one of the boys.” One of the Good Guys.
    Her catalogue of musical hits is staggering, and will live on, sustaining our memory of her.
    Outside the music-biz, few knew that Ellie was also a fine singer, performing background “doo waws” on hundreds of recordings. She was the “Queen of the Session Singers!”
    Day by day our past is slipping away.
    Rest In Peace dear Ellie.

  53. Tom Moulton Says:

    We both had the same Attorney back in the 70’s and that’s how I met her. Strange now mixing these songs she did like Baby and He’s The Kind Of Boy You Can’t Forget you can hear the talent just jumping out at you. She sang with so much energy and excitement She will be deeply missed. Tom Moulton

  54. Michael Rashkow Says:

    To place Ellie’s impact on music and people in appropriate context, note this: the end-of-program obitutary segment on “This Week With George Stephanopolous” (one of the most watched nationally televised Sunday Morning News Groups) led with a recognition of her passing. These notices are reserved for a very few–and always the most important and accomplished persons. I was touched by their choosing to pay that tribute. It is big time stuff on a level not attained by many. You go girl.

  55. Jack Carone Says:

    Sadly, I never met Ellie, although as a young man I sat in those small rooms in the Brill building and 1650 Broadway, doing my best to emulate her skills. I envy those who did know her, as it is a musically mystical experience to be in the company of another human being who somehow created something as ethereal as a song, that somehow became a part of your own memory, history and being. Ellie did that over and over. All respect to her co-writers, as there is no denying the synergy of a composing partner, but it is no accident that Ellie was in the room the day those treasures were born. R.I.P., Ellie, I may not have met the person, but I’m close friends with the soul.

  56. The first time I ever heard of Ellie Greenwich was on the Girl Groups: Story of a Sound documentary. I was six years old and I used to ask my parents to rent that video every chance I could until I practically memorized it.

    Ellie definitely lent an endearing presence to the film, kind of like someone I knew I’d want to be friends with later on in life. What an impression she made! Later on, I realized just how broad her songwriting and contributions to others’ songs were.

    I still have a fondness for the Dixie Cups “You Should Have Seen the Way He Looked At Me” and give the chance, even do the routine!

    Still, “River Deep-Mountain High” has my heart and always will.

    Thanks, Ellie, for inspiring the mind of someone who will not soon forget you!

  57. Allee Willis Says:

    I never got to meet Ellie but I always wanted to. Her songs had tremendous influence on me. They weren’t just songs, they were feelings, all around soundscapes that tugged you into the mood and into the groove and were inescapable. Her mark on pop culture is permanent. Permanence is what great artistry is all about. Her songs will be banging around in my head until the day I leave this earth to go where she is.

  58. Franne Golde Says:

    Ellie – I just hear her name and all kinds of wonderful childhood memories start swirling in my mind…Chapel Of Love, still sung around my piano at almost every affair as are Da Doo Ron Ron, Maybe I Know, Be My Baby, Baby I Love You and of course River Deep Mountain HIgh among so many others. Your songs live on and with them a part of you.
    Thank you for inspiring a generation including me!

  59. Harvey Brooks Says:

    “Kudos to Ellie she made our growing up fun! May she rest in peace. A Great Song Writer.”

    Harvey Brooks

  60. Scott English Says:





  61. Ben Fong-Torres Says:

    Ellie Greenwich, and her music, will always be around us. Here in San Francisco, I hear her every day, more than four decades after she and Jeff and others created all those songs out of the Brill Building. Once a month, Los Train Wreck plays for jammers at El Rio in the Mission District, and “Be My Baby” is an anthem there. I have a little show online on KYAradio.com and favor tunes like “River Deep, Mountain High,” “Da Doo Ron Ron” and so many others. The Rock Bottom Remainders, the band of authors, features a theatrical version of “Leader of the Pack.” As an occasional wedding officiant, I hear “Chapel of Love” plenty. A perfect song of joy, one of many Ellie left behind, ensuring that she will be with us forever. Thank you, Ellie, for helping compose the soundtrack of our lives.

  62. Am I the only person in the music business who did NOT know Ellie Greenwich? Probably. But I certainly knew her songs. And loved them. I even BOUGHT them. I did see her in Greenwich Village, so at least I got that close to her. If my memory serves, Paul Shaffer was her music director at the gig. I hope she will
    R. I. P. I know she will.

  63. Chris Radcliffe Says:

    Initially I’d Thought to keep my thoughts about Ellie to myself but if I learned nothing else from her it was to share of your soul in the best way that you know how. She shared so much of herself through her music and generosity of spirit and for that I Am truly greatful for us all. When she shared with me the love and adoration that she had for my father and the fun they had working together my heart sang. I’m so glad to have spent time with such a special Jimmy Radcliffe fan, friend and supporter of mine own efforts to keep the music alive. Peace, Love, Laughter & Song are her gifts and cherished memories. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You Ellie.

  64. Artie,

    The passing of Ellie was shocking to hear. I think I shouted out loud “OH NO”, THIS CAN’T BE” Such a great talent that I admired growing up in the music family. She leaves this world with her gift of songs for the generations to come. Very hard to think about this great talent that left too soon. I wanted so much to finally get to know her as we did work together many years ago. Reconnecting with so many others via your site and the web has made this possible. She was someone who I hoped to see and exchange stories. My condolences to her family and to you Ellie, “May God Bless You, I know you are in Heaven.”


  65. Steve Dworkin Says:

    I was always a fan of Ellie’s songs, but I first met her in the early 70s when my friends Steve Feldman & Steve Tudanger were co-producing her “Let It Be Written, Let It Be Sung” Album. I didn’t get to know her well until about 4 years ago & I found a warm, funny,good person & a friend. I had just heard from her a few days before, & was in shock when Steve Feldman called to tell me the news. I’m gonna miss you Ellie. R.I.P. You’re music will go on forever.

  66. Ellie Greenwich was a songwriting force to reckon with….one of the few woman giants in a man’s “behind the scenes” rock & roll music world. I dreamed of being like her and Jeff someday. While I knew Ellie from afar, I got to know Jeff in California where so many of us wound up living and working. Being a sentimental fool, I remember asking Jeff about those early days from his and Ellie’s perspective. While I wasright there in NYC and working hard to make my dent, I was very young and not quite in the thick of it. Hit after hit by Ellie & Jeff inspired me to think about the core DNA of Pop and Rock & Roll. Their songs had that magic “stuff”; the very essence of what music needed to touch the souls of a new, young generation. Ellie sure touched mine….God Bless

  67. stan moress Says:

    it’s a sad day when you lose greatness, but ti’s a particularly sad when you lose greatness and one of of the nicest human beings on the face of the planet…she was a beacon of light..
    rest in peace my sweet, dear ellie..

  68. ALl Gorgoni Says:

    Lovely tribute Artie.

    We deeply feel the loss.
    A great talent with an enormously generous spirit and soul.
    A huge piece of my heart goes with you Ellie.

    Al Gorgoni

  69. Ron Sauer Says:

    Ellie Greenwich’s work made up part of the soundtrack of my life. Her music touched me as a teenager, and continues to bring joy. What more can one ask of life than to bring joy, and make the world a brighter place by your presence. Ellie Greenwich sure did all that. Thank you Ellie.


  70. Sandy Yaguda Says:

    How sad to lose so talented a member of the beloved Brill Building cast. I first met Ellie at Hofsta College, (where we were both attending) in the late 50’s,early 60’s I, of course, spotted her at the piano in the student lounge, playing and writing songs. That is how she will be remembered. Her playing and writing was extroadinary. It was only great memories in Lieber & Stoller’s office, with her and Jeff running in & out with whatever new project they were working on. The music is what counts. Her music COUNTS BIGTIME.

    Sandy Yaguda

  71. Harry Maslin Says:

    Ellie was a real pro. She deserves to be remembered by her work and by the personal memories she instilled in those of us lucky enough to have known her. It was my pleasure to have met and worked with her back when I was in N.Y. I can still here her voice coming though the control room speakers. RIP

  72. Artie Wayne Says:

    Posted on behalf of Bob Feldman

    hi artie, it hurts spoke to toni wine a couple of days ago both of us ended the conversation with tears. i had two secret crushes in the 60’s one was toni wine the other was ellie truly an unbelievable person and a super talent it’s really scary man.

  73. Mike Edwards Says:

    After Teddy Kennedy, we suffered another great loss with the passing of Ellie Greenwich. She was such a key contributor to the wonderful music scene of the 60s. Her legacy lives on and her songs sound just as fresh today as they did when the y came out of our little transistor radios way back when.

    One’s choice of music is a personal thing, so I hope you don’t mind me sharing with you ten of my favorite Ellie Greenwich songs. In no particular order, we have: Lesley Gore – “Maybe I Know”, Exciters – He’s Got The Power”, Dixie Cups – “Little Bell”, Beach Boys – “I Can Hear Music”, Butterflies – “Goodnight Baby”, Drifters – “I’ll Take You Where The Music’s Playing”, Marv Johnson – “Keep Tellin’ Yourself”, Lesley Gore – “Look Of Love”, Shangri Las – “Out In The Streets”, Connie Francis – “Waiting For You”, 4 Pennies – “When The Boy’s Happy” and the Crystals’ Da Doo Ron Ron”.

    That’s about 10, right? R.I.P. Ellie, Mike Edwards

  74. Ann Munday Says:

    I cannot remember who took me to Ellie’s apartment, however, I thank them. I spent a few hours there and found her truly delightful and not at all egotistical. Really fun, philosophical, political and other conversation. I am glad that I had the opportunity to meet one of the world’s finest songwriters. And I am sad that Ellie has died. I am sure that many like me have happy and interesting memories of her as whole woman. I shall think of butterflies.

  75. Eddie, Orange CT Says:

    I was so sad to hear of Ellie’s passing. I grew up with her songs and whenever I hear them they bring back wonderful memories. The next night, I watched the Letterman show and Paul Shaffer talked about Ellie and asked Ronnie Spector to come and sing with the band and all through the show they played and sang her songs. It was a very nice tribute to their friend. Thank you, Ellie for all the great songs.

    Eddie, Orange CT

  76. ELLIE was the inspiration for my career as a singer and songwriter. Before I ever met her she showed me an example of how to be an artist and a woman in the very man’s world of the music business. When we finally met, we instantly became the best of friends. I was privileged to know her as a warm, funny, giving person, with whom I spoke virtually every day of our lives. To her family she was a special sister, sister-in-law, and aunt. To music lovers the world over she was a genius songwriting talent. To me she was my close friend and rock and roll godmother to my son, Tucker, who in turn drew inspiration from having Ellie in his life. In recent years Ellie and I wrote a song together called YOU CAN TAKE THE GIRL OUTTA BROOKLYN, about how I heard the song BE MY BABY and ventured out of the projects and into the music business. Ellie loved that. It was the last song she ever wrote. To say that she changed my life is too simple. She changed millions of people’s lives through her enormous creative talent. But now that she is gone I cry at the prospect of missing Ellie’s consistent concern, her memorable penmanship, her unforgettable cards and letters and gifts and packages and insights, her unique turns of phrase in her everyday speech, the daily loving embrace of her voice and human spirit. Rest in peace, my Ellie.

  77. Steve Says:

    Hi– I have enjoyed reading all the tributes to Ms. Greenwich. As many others have mentioned, I have always associated her with those two other great women of the Brill Building, Carole King and Cynthia Weil. Does anyone have a picture of the three of them together, or even better, the three of them with their then-husband co-writers? I have often daydreamed about how neat it would be to get Ellie, Carole, and Cynthia performing together. That would have been a great concert! Thanks.

  78. Tom Slocum Says:

    The Last time I saw Ellie was in Dan Tanas, The Night Carol King and James Taylor celebrated their 40th Anniversary performing at The Troubadour. She was wonderfull, vibrant,positive and super alive. There is so much more,i could write, but the space is limited. I first met her when i was kid in the big apple getting 75 bucks writing lyrics and other material for Frank slay, and Vic catella…Jay and the Connie Denave crew.All Can I say is,She was always so kind, she was and still is an original, and her music will live on..R.I.P. Jai Guru Deva OM..

  79. Don Dannemann Says:

    I’m Don Dannemann, lead singer of The Cyrkle [Red Rubber Ball and Turn Down Day], and President of Mega Music, a commercial production company in NY.

    I was honored to meet Elli and work with Elli when she was booked to sing lead on a couple of commercials that we were working on. She was warm, professional and easy to work with.

    As a 50/60’s rocker I was certainly influenced by her work even before I knew the name behind the product. Perhaps Elli is up there in rock and roll heaven with my dear friend and bandmate Tommy Dawes making music and smiling.

    Rock in peace Elli!

    Don Dannemann

    • alan baginski Says:

      Hi Don, Just to let you know cyrkle is making quite a splash on you tube my condolences to your friend tom. Wish you and Marty would do a get together with maybe a cd music tribute to don? Cant not stop listing to that red rubber ball song. Glad to hear you are doing great today the band was truly amazing and why you guys were not as sucessful as some of the other very well known bands is a mystery many agree on youtube the music you guys were putting out was superior. TAKE CARE

  80. Dave White Says:

    Ellie is a great talent… I say is because she still is. She puts her heart and soul in all she does and she does it so well.

    Dave White

  81. Dear Artie,
    Thank-you so much for the moving tribute to Ellie, one of our most enduring talents, and a smile that could light up even the darkest night!
    -Lori Lieberman

  82. steveo Says:

    I would like to extend my condolences to a great lady of song…Ellie and I emailed a couple of times, as I had some questions for her, and she was prompt in responding…
    I think we all know the magnitude of this ladys talent…
    Gigantic and awesome!
    Ellie, RIP,you have many friends and admirers who love you!

  83. Howard Kaylen Says:

    I loved Ellie.
    Everyone loved Ellie.
    She had a smart mouth and a smarter brain.
    She was the best songwriter the pop world has ever known.
    She is missed already.
    Songwriters worldwide will no longer have a yardstick by which to measure their creations.
    She was a singular talent and an awesome presence.
    Larger than life and twice as feisty…
    See you soon, Ellie.

  84. Don Orriolo Says:

    Ellie Greenwich was a huge piece of the NYC music business fabric. A Mystery, an inspiration…the kind that a song writer after listening to her songs every young songwriter would say…yeah…I wanna write something like THAT…simple, complex, amazing. She would come up to the studio at Chapell Intersong when I was there with my friend Mikey Harris (her fellow background singer). Wouldn’t say much…she didn’t have to…you filled in the blanks…you looked at her and the music played in your head…Goin to the Chapell, Da Doo Run Run…Leader of the Pack….all of everybody’s favorites…Ellie represented a part of the NY music scene that….well…ya hadda be there….wouldn’t have missed it for the world….it seems like we’ve said goodbye to a lot of favorite people lately…but hey…it’s one big circle isn’t it…our music, our art, our love, our inspirations….all just a way of keeping a personal score…it’s nice at the end when it all adds up to a total we’re content with….peace

    Don Oriolo

  85. Val Garay Says:

    Dear Dear Ellie,
    So sweet and so amazingly talented. I first met Ellie through Artie Ripp and again a few years later through my dear friend Lester Sill in the Phil Spector days…..Phil les Records! I can also remember dancing to her music in High school as well…..Such a talent words make her indescribable!
    Another gapping hole in the music world….

  86. Hi Artie ..

    So sad to lose such giant talents and giant hearts .. Patti sent me the article about Larry’s passing. He played on several recordings of my songs including my first solo album. Roger Nichols introduced me to Larry and the sessions he played on were magical.

    Although Jeff Barry and I go waaaay back I missed the Ellie years. The mark she left on the American music scene is indelible and for “Be My Baby” alone she deserves a statue!

    I hope all is wonderful at Wayne manor. Stay healthy.

    Blessings, Paul

  87. I met and wrote with Ellie back in 1968 in NYC and was amazed at what a great talent and great lady she was. I’m thankful she left us so many great songs.

    Austin Roberts

  88. dan white Says:

    Artie, Ellie is greatly missed and your tribute is very special and unique to a beautiful legend as Ellie. Her spirit and music will live on forever!! Thanks so much for creating the best tribute of all to Ellie, Wayne!

  89. dan white Says:

    I just love this site, Artie..not just for Ellie but everything!! Thanks for everything.

  90. Alan O'Day Says:

    Artie, I am sorry that I was not more familiar with this awesome writer/producer of so many songs of my youth. This is a great loss to the songwriting community, & now that you have made her contributions & the importance of her life more meaningful to so many of us, I share your grief.
    In sympathy,

  91. Brian Gari Says:

    Artie asked me to post this link to my Ellie Greenwich tribute

    I wrote this song in December of 1977 when my good friend Ellie Greenwich & I were discussing the incredible resurgence of the songs she wrote with her ex-husband. It seemed amazing that despite the end of their marriage, the songs had a life of their own. I thought we would write it together but when I got home, I was too inspired to wait. The brief musical reference to ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight” was because the Tokens wanted to do the song (which they did.) I recorded the song in 1990 with my co-producer/arranger Jeff Olmsted and EM Records in Japan included it in The Very Best of Brian Gari–New York City Songwriter in 2000. Ellie’s passing has affected me deeply and I hope this video can serve as a tribute to her on all levels.

  92. Brian O'Neal Says:

    I was just starting to toddle around this earth when Ellie was realizing some of the shining moments of her public success. Now, I listen to the songs she and her contemporaries wrote and I’m filled with the feelings of my childhood – – joy, potential kisses and the sweet mysteries of life. RIP Ellie, thank you for touching me and so many countless others.


  93. Doug Fieger Says:

    I never met her but I felt like I always knew her through her songs. I’m sorry she’s gone but I’m glad that she lived !
    Doug Fieger

  94. Tom DeCillis Says:

    Although I don’t specifically recall meeting her, I probably passed her many times around the Brill Bldg and when I had an office at 1650 Broadway. I like many others, respected her talent and admired her from afar. I was saddened by the news of another member of the ‘Senior Class of Rock & Roll” leaving us so soon.

  95. Mandi Martin Says:

    I, too, met Ellie through Lester Sill. It was back in the mid-’60s when I was working for Ray Charles, running his publishing company and screening material for him to record. There were two songs Lester played for me that I tried very hard to encourage Ray to record. One of them was a Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil song called “Hang Ups” and the other one was an Ellie/Jeff song, “Our Love Can Still Be Saved.” Every time I would hear Ray’s footsteps coming down the hall, I would put their acetate demos on my turn-table and play the songs. One day, he finally opened my office door on his way in to his office and said, “OK, I’ll listen to them again. Bring them in this afternoon!” They both stayed in my “favorites” pile for months, but Ray never recorded either of the songs.

    I think Alan O’Day needs to once again re-vamp his anthem song, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Heaven” to include Ellie. After all, now that she’s up there you’ve gotta know that she’s “The Leader Of The Pack!”


  96. Steven Machat Says:

    Artie, thanks for bringing this tribute to my intention. Ellie was a spirit that knew so well in her youth how to tease and test the passions of the boys and girls to see, feel and touch each other. She was a songstress whose music will live on and on. I pray for her to reach the light she shared with all in her songs on her journey back to life. For she as we never die. We just go on and on, the circle of life.

  97. Mark Petty Says:

    Ask the average person, someone not into music, and they might not know the name Ellie Greenwich.

    But if you say the title of one of her hit songs, they’ll answer “I know that one!”

    She touched millions of lives.

    Mark in Minneapolis

  98. Ed Salamon Says:

    Last Sunday while driving through Cincinnati, I was fortunate to hear a tribute show that Dan Allen did about Ellie on 1480 WDJO. It was great to hear so many of those songs that were the soundtrack of our lives, and to know that they continue to live on.

  99. Bobby Eli Says:

    Hi Artie,
    The passing of Ellie was a real shocker.
    She and Jeff were a major influence to me in my early days of writing songs,and later as a producer.
    I’m speechless.

  100. Trade Martin Says:

    Artie…As you must know, I worked with Ellie & Jeff a lot and can still remember being at their place a few times, including a couple of New Year’s Eve parties. She was a nice lady and Jeff was always a good guy too. They were both a pleasure to work with. Together, they had their finger on the pulse of the record industry.

    Best regards, Trade.”

  101. Jerry Lawson Says:

    We are all so blessed to have either known Ellie or have come up during the time of her infectous music. I’ve laways said that one sure way to leave proof that you were here is record the music in you. Ellie sure left her mark. I know Ellie is fine but my condolences go out to those loved ones she left behind. God Bless You Always,

    Jerry Lawson of The Persuasion

  102. Brian Ibbott Says:

    It’s so apparent how many lives Ellie touched with her music when you look at all the memories and thoughts shared here.

    On last night’s Coverville, I presented a special tribute show featuring Ellie’s music, and some covers her songs inspired. Artie asked that I link to it here: http://coverville.com/archives/2009/09/coverville-607-the-ellie-greenwich-tribute-and-cover-story/

  103. Janis Ian Says:

    Aw, shoot. I hate this getting old business… she was ever good to me, every cheerful around me, and always ready to advise. She will be sorely missed.

  104. Bob Levinson Says:

    Hi, Artie…

    Sad news when I heard it and still…She was a client back when, on her solo albums, and a joy to deal with, to be around; a rare talent…A lot of people who’ve comment here knew her longer and better, but none admired her more’n me…

  105. Hi Artie –

    I’m glad you enjoyed the tribute to Ellie Greenwich on 60 Degrees @ http://www.eastvillageradio.com. As requested, here is the link:


    The program is from September 7th – the complete track list if you click on the date.

    I feel like the 2 hour program only scratches the surface of Ellie’s amazing career. I have more than enough for a follow-up program, which will air in the coming weeks.

    Thank you for compiling this amazing wall of emails – it’s a wonderful tribute to a great lady.

  106. Ira Howard Says:

    Dear Artie,

    Having been there at the dawn (and explosion) of rock ‘n’ roll I have wonderful memories of Ellie’s
    body of work. At Cashbox I really enjoyed reviewing her songs, knowing they would always make me
    feel good. Each one would either be “money-in-the-bank for all concerned” or “a solid bet for jocks
    and ops.” And, in person, her presence always lit up the place. She left us too soon.

    Ira Howard (former Cashbox Editor and Exec Music Editor at Reader’s Digest)

  107. choirboy514 Says:

    Hi Artie!

    I’ve been struck by the outpouring of love for Ellie, from her friends and from the mainstream media and people who only knew her through her songs. I always found her a nice person to talk to, and I’ll miss bumping into her around the city. Ellie left this world much too soon, but she left it a much happier place than she found it. Her songs will live forever.

    Dennis Garvey

  108. Austin Powell Says:

    True talent lives forever. Ellie was just such a talent. Her songs were the soundtrack to my teenage years as they were for countless millions of others. Thank you Ellie…..

  109. Steve Dorff Says:

    Hi Artie,
    Although I’ve gotten to know Jeff over the years, regretfully, I never did get to meet Ellie. I have many friends that knew her and spoke so highly of her shing spirit. Her songs were such a huge influence to me in my career, and I’m certain they will live on forever!

    Steve Dorff

  110. Mike Melvoin Says:

    Bless her! The real deal! She told the truth.

  111. Russ Regan Says:

    Hi artie,

    Ellie greenwich was not
    Only a great songwriter
    She was a great person!!

    Russ regan

  112. Del Bryant Says:

    Ellie Greenwich captured the freedom and drama of American youth in layered, three-minute vignettes. The progress she made in a male-dominated industry was also groundbreaking, mirrored in the women who sang her ingeniously simple songs. A member of the BMI family for more than 50 years, Ellie didn¹t just compose pop standards – she defined them.

    Del Bryant
    President & CEO

  113. Ellie was a great talented lady-she is missed by all of us who knew her-I have great memories of her during my years in new york-

    shelby singleton

  114. Lance Freed Says:

    “Ellie Geenwich was one of the most gifted writers of the last century. She set a standard at the Brill Building in NYC that other writers emulated because her success and her enthusiasm inspired so many gifted people. Her peer group was second to none and included Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Jeff Barry, Doc Pomus, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil and Neil Sedaka. Her musical legacy lives on in the songs that have become the fabric of our lives, and while she is gone, her remarkable gifts and unparalleled devotion to her craft will remind us again and again of the joy she continues to bring to people around the world.”

    Lance Freed

  115. Lyn Nuttal Says:

    Thanks Artie.

    Great tribute which I’ve shared with friends. I thought the news of Ellie’s passing was a mistake when I first saw it: far too young. The writing, of course, but that voice!


  116. Kent Kotal Says:

    It is SO reassuring to see the outpouring of love for Ellie Greenwich. Far too often the folks BEHIND the scenes are ignored … but Ellie gave us SO much great music over the years … it’s great to see her getting some of the recognition, love and attention that she so truly deserved. Thank you, Ellie, for the music you gave us … it helped shape our lives … and will never be forgotten. We will miss you … but your music will live on forever.

  117. Robert Indart Says:

    I just want to say how much of a loss is Ellie to not just the music community but also we lost a great human. The music she wrote with Tony Powers, Jeff Barry, Mark Barkan, Artie Wayne (Wayne Kent)…etc is the soundtrack to all of our lives. from Be My Baby to I Can Hear Music, you will find somebody always that has been touched by her music.

    You Will be missed Ellie.


  118. Ellie Greenwich R.I.P.

  119. Ron Haffkine Says:

    Hey Artie, She sure lived in and was a major part of a magnificent time in the music industry for us all….R.I.P. Ellie from RON

  120. Don Charles Says:

    Amazing, amazing . . . all these names of famous people here that I’ve seen on record labels all my life. All in tribute to Ellie Greenwich. Why isn’t this woman in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame? Why doesn’t she have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? Those, I think, would be the best kind of tributes to her memory and legacy.

  121. Susan Joseph Says:

    Dear Artie:

    When the world loses such a great talent a piece of history is eternally created into the book of life. She was one of the greats! It’s a sad day for Music. R.I.P.

  122. Diane Warren Says:

    Though Ellie Greenwich died too young, her songs are in the fabric of forever. These are the songs people will be singing hundreds of years from now. I am sorry we never got the chance to meet, from what I heard she’s not only a great songwriter, but a great broad as well.

  123. Tommy James Says:

    “Ellie Greenwich was responsible for the start of my career. She wrote with Jeff Barry, my first hit record “Hanky Panky” There would probably not be a
    Tommy James if it weren’t for dear Ellie. She was very supportive and a good friend and will always have a place in my heart.”

    Tommy James

  124. Joe Klein Says:

    I am not easily moved, but the comments made about Ellie most are as heartwarming as they are genuine. I have read them all and whole-heartedly agree with every statement and sentiment expressed. I only met Ellie once and I do believe it was with Artie (and I think it was in New York back in the seventies), but I remember her as a warm, outgoing and down-to-earth woman who was very easy to be with. She was not pretentious in any way. Of course, her talent is undisputed and the joy she brought to the world through her songs and vocal performances is priceless. Ellie’s legacy of hit music will live on forever. Still, her passing is just one more sad loss in a year where far too many legendary performers have left us, “gone to soon.”

  125. James Bunnelle Says:

    Ah, my heart sank when I heard this news. Ellie and I had a great-but-brief email correspondence in the early 2000s and I always found her insightful, accessible, and incredibly funny. A class act all around and one of the most underrated voices of the day.

  126. Jay Warner Says:

    I met Ellie Greenwich when I worked for Sid Seidenberg in New York City. Sid was Ellie’s manager and she would occasionally stop-up. She was already an icon in my eyes and revered by the industry as one of the best writers of the 60’s. I was a fan of everything she did from the Phil Spector recordings to the Raindrops hits. To my surprise and delight when I met her instead of being aloof and snobbish as many of the writers I’ve met were, she turned out to be delightful, down-to-earth with a personality that sparkled and a sense of humor that never let up. I will greatly miss the songwriter and the woman.

    Jay Warner
    President and CEO
    National League Music

  127. I never had the pleasure of meeting Ellie, but I truly admired her work. I’ve always said…all hit songs have that magic quailty…one hears the fisrt few bars and lyrics… and BAM…you know its a winner. All of Ellie’s hits had that quality. They have and will continue to transcend the era when they were written. Our deepest condolences to her family and friends. God Bless!

  128. Brett Berns Says:

    Dear Artie,

    Thank you so much for your loving tribute to our most wonderful Ellie. Her loss is one of those fin de siècle moments, much like the passing forty years ago of her close friend and collaborator Bert Berns, with whom she and Jeff Barry brought Neil Diamond to the world. I like to think of Ellie and my dad together in the hereafter, making music in that great control room in the sky.

    Ellie Greenwich, who will return, but whose music will always be with us.

  129. I’m doing outreach for SoundExchange, which collects and distributes digital performance royalties from digital radio services such as satellite radio and webcasting. I noticed Don Dannemann sent a comment in 2009 regarding the passing of Ellie Greenwich. Well, Don was the singer for the group Cyrkle, known best for their hit “Red Rubber Ball,” and Cyrkle has royalties here. Can anyone give me a phone or email contact for Don? He says he has a music commercials company in New York, but I can’t find it.
    Bill Holland

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