Girl groups


Bands such as The Chantels, Rosie and the Originals, The Shirelles, The Marvelettes, Little Eva, and The Chiffons were commonly referred to as girl groups.

The girl-group style flourished between 1958 and 1965 and reached its height with the Phil Spector-produced groups—The Crystals, The Ronettes, and Darlene Love backed by the Crystals—and with the blazing teen morality plays of The Shangri-Las.

Although the girl-group sound was producer-driven, with songs written by Brill Building songwriters and aimed at a female teen audience, the music that came out of this collaborative process is considered some of the best of an otherwise fallow period for rock ’n’ roll. The best of the girl groups’ songs are filled with an epic sense of emotional intensity that may have stemmed in part from discord between the singers—mostly young black girls—and white male producers.

This according to “The girl groups” by Greil Marcus, an essay included in The Rolling Stone illustrated history of rock & roll [New York: Random house, 1976] pp. 154–57). Above and below, The Ronettes in their heyday.

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