Now I Don’t Want To Get Stoned…

But I’m not really the biggest fan of the Supremes (or Diana Ross and the Supremes if you are so inclined)  I can definitely rank my top 5 girl groups from that era and the Supremes are nowhere near this list.  I think many people forget that there were other girl groups so here we go (in no particular order):

Martha and the Vandellas

Martha and the Vandellas:  Their best known hits are (Love is Like a) Heat Wave, Jimmy Mack, Nowhere to Run and Dancing in the StreetDancing in the Streets was actually known for provacting riots with black advocates and was banned by some radio stations in the 1970s.  Fun Fact:  Martha Reeves was supposed to audition for Motown, but she got the date of the audition wrong and actually became a secetary for the label.  Later when Mary Wells failed to show up to a recoring session Martha and her partners Rosalind Ashford and Annette Beard recorded the song and ultimately impressed Berry Gordy enough to get signed on the spot.

The Chiffons

The Chiffons:  A girl group from the Bronx consisting of Judy Craig, Patricia Bennett, Sylvia Peterson and Barbara Lee.  Some of their bigget hits included He’s So Fine, One Fine Day, I Have a Boyfriend, and Sweet Talkin’ Guy.  Fun Fact:  George Harrison was sued for copyright infringment of their first single He’s So Fine.  His song My Sweet Lord was ultimately found by a judge to be unintentional plagarism.

The Crystals

The Crystals:  The enjoyed success with several singles such as Da Doo Ron Ron (When He Walked Me Home), Uptown, He’s a Rebel, Then He Kissed Me.  The Crystals actually went through several different members and while working working with Phil Spector were actually completely replaced by Darlene Love and The Blossoms using the name The Crystals on the single He’s a Rebel.  Fun Fact:  Listen closely to the recording of Da Doo Ron Ron and you can here Cher and her distinctive voice singing background vocals.  Sonny was Phil Spector’s second hand man for awhile and Cher would sing backing vocals in Spector’s Wall of Sound.

The Shangri-Las

The Shangri-Las: was a group consisting of two sets of sisters (Mary Weiss and her sister Betty with twins Marge and May Ann Ganser)  Betty Weiss rarely performed live and was included in many promotional materials leading many to believe they were a trio.  Known as the “bad girls” girl group their biggest hits were Leader of the Pack and Remember (Walking in the Sand).  Fun Fact:  A then unknown session musician named Billy Joel played on the demo for Remember (Walking in the Sand).

The Ronettes

The Ronettes:  This girl group that came straight out of Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound consisted of Ronnie Spector, her sister Estelle Bennett; and their cousin Nedra Talley.  Their biggest hits included Be My Baby, (The Best Part of) Breakin’ Up, Walking In The Rain and Baby, I Love You. Phil Spector took them on to replace The Crystals and set them up with a “bad girl” image (which may have later come back to bite him in the ass…)  Fun Fact:  They got their big break while waiting outside the Peppermint Lounge.  They were mistaken for the singing trio who had not yet arrived and were imediately ushered on stage.

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~ by katoque on April 18, 2009.

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