The Brilliance of Brill … Barry/Greenwich

Jeff Barry

Jeff Barry (born Joel Adelberg; April 3, 1938) is an American pop music songwriter, singer, and record producer. Among the most successful songs that he has co-written in his career are “Do Wah Diddy Diddy“, “Da Doo Ron Ron“, “Then He Kissed Me“, “Be My Baby“, “Chapel of Love“, and “River Deep – Mountain High” (all written with his then-wife Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector); “Leader of the Pack” (written with Greenwich and Shadow Morton);

Barry was born in Brooklyn to a Jewish family.[1][2] His parents divorced when he was seven, and his mother moved him and his sister to Plainfield, New Jersey, where they resided for several years before returning to New York.[3]

After graduating from Erasmus Hall High School, Barry served in the Army, then returned to New York where he attended City College. Although he leaned toward a degree in engineering, his main aspiration was to become a singer. He left college in the late ’50s to sign with RCA Records, courtesy of music publisher Arnold Shaw. Around this time, he adopted a new name more in tune with show business, borrowing “Jeff” from actor Jeff Chandler and “Barry” from family friends.[citation needed]

This is a colorized version of the black and white original.

Ellie Greenwich

Eleanor Louise Greenwich (October 23, 1940 – August 26, 2009)[1] was an American pop music singer, songwriter, and record producer. She wrote or co-wrote “Da Doo Ron Ron“, “Be My Baby“, “Maybe I Know“, “Then He Kissed Me“, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy“, “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)“, “Hanky Panky“, “Chapel of Love“, “Leader of the Pack“, and “River Deep – Mountain High“, among others.

Eleanor Louise Greenwich was born in Brooklyn, New York to painter turned electrical engineer William Greenwich, a Catholic,[2] and department store manager (later medical secretary), Rose Baron Greenwich, who was Jewish.

(from Wikipedia: Many significant American and international publishing companies, music agencies, and record labels were based in New York, and although these ventures were naturally spread across many locations, the Brill Building was regarded as probably the most prestigious address in New York for music business professionals.

By 1962, the Brill Building contained 165 music businesses.[5] A musician could find a publisher and printer, cut a demo, promote the record and cut a deal with radio promoters, all within this one building. The creative culture of the independent music companies in the Brill Building and the nearby 1650 Broadway came to define the influential “Brill Building Sound” and the style of popular songwriting and recording created by its writers and producers.

 In the Brill Building practice, there were no more unpredictable or rebellious singers; in fact, a specific singer in most cases could be easily replaced with another. These songs were written to order by pros who could custom fit the music and lyrics to the targeted teen audience. In a number of important ways, the Brill Building approach was a return to the way business had been done in the years before rock and roll, since it returned power to the publishers and record labels and made the performing artists themselves much less central to the music’s production.)

Beyonce pays tribute to Tina Turner, and indirectly, to Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry, recently in London.

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