Return To 60’s Main Menu Recording Artists Of The 60s 




(Jeff Barry,  Ellie Greenwich)

Jubilee 5455

No. 17   September 28, 1963




Jeff Barry (b. Jeffery Adeberg, Apr. 3, 1938/Brooklyn) and Ellie Greenwich  (b. Oct. 23, 1940/Brooklyn)

met at a family gathering in 1944; both were mere tots.     The Adeberg and Greenwich familes were

related by marriage.    Jeff’s  family moved to Newark, where he listened to C& W; writing  his  first

tune, “I Gotta Gun,  I Gotta Pony, I Gotta  Sweatheart Too,”  when seven.”   Ellie’s  folks moved to Long

Island, where while attending  Levittown Memorial High, she wrote  “The Moment  I Saw  Him.”


In  1959, after he graduated Erasmus Hall High, served time in the U.S. Army and  began studies at City

College in New York, Jeff Barry–his self-created professional name–recorded his first disk, “Hip Couple,”

for HUGO & LUIG at  RCA.    Ellie,  now a student at Hofstra University and unawares of  Jeff, likewise

recorded one disk for RCA, “Silly Isn’t  It” b/w “Cha Cha Charming,” as by Ellie Gaye.   Neither 45 sold well.


Barry had  just  penned “Tell Laura Love Her” (#7,1960) for Ray  Peterson, “The Water  Is Red”  for

JOHNNY CYMBALL and was a songwriter with E. B. Marks, when Jeff and Ellie met again–Thanksgiving

dinner at Ellie’s aunt’s  house.   Barry brought  his  wife;  Ellie her   accordion.   As their relationship  grew

and Barry’s marriage crumbled,  Jeff included Ellie in his activities, paying   her  $15 a session to record

some  demos  on  his  songs.    A  few more Barry  records were issued;  as wereEllie disks attributed to  Ellie

Gee & The  Jets and  “Kellie Douglas.”   Nothing clicked.


When she graduated from college in 1961,  Ellie auditioned  for a staff  writing position with the production

team of Leiber & Stoller.   They hired her as a  writer for Trio Music at $100 a week; soon Jeff was also with

Trio, and together, Barry and Greenwich went on to compose some of the finest moments in  rock’n’roll

history:  “Be My Baby,” “Chapel Of Love,” “Da Doo Ron Ron,” “Do Wah Diddy Diddy,”   “Hanky Panky,”

“I Can Hear Music,” “Leader Of The Pack,” “The Look Of Love,” and “River Deep,  Mountain High”…

Meanwhile,  Jeff recorded as “the  Redwoods,” for  Epic and “the   Spartans” for Web.     Flops both.


The sale of most of there tunes involved the creation of a demonstration record,  a demo-disk.   At times,

 the demo sounded good enough for an  interested record company to issue it as  a  finished product. Such

was the case with Ellie  and  Jeff’s  previous “group”  records and such  was  the Raindrops­ — actually  just

Ellie and Jeff handling  all voices.


“We did this demo for a group called THE SENSATIONS,” Ellie told Charlotte Grieg in Will You Still Love

Me Tomorrow.   “It was a song called  ‘What A Guy’, which  we thought would be great for them.    We made

the demo, and the  publishers said,  ‘This could be a record.’   I said, ‘What do you mean?    There is no

group.’   But there had to be a group.    So we released it as a record by  ‘The Raindrops’ [naming themselves

after a record that Ellie loved, Dee Clark’s “Raindrops”].    Back  then, a lot of labels put out ‘dummy

groups.’    We’d throw a few people together and have them go out and lip-sync the record.    There  really

wasn’t a ‘Raindrops.”‘


Group or not, the Raindrops charted with “The Kind Of Boy You Can’t Forget”  as well as a string of others–

“That Boy Joe” (#64, 1964), a cover version of THE MONOTONES’  “Book Of Love” (#62, 1964), and “One

More Tear” (#97, 1964).    “What A Guy,” that song  that the Sensations had turned down, went to number

41 in 1963.   When the chartings stopped, the name was shelved.


“Jeff and I lasted as a writing team about as long  as we lasted as a married team–a little less than five

years,” Ellie explained to Joe Smith in Off the Record.   “We tried to write together right after we split

up, but it was awful.      We couldn’t sit and write ‘Baby, I love you’ with divorce papers sitting right next

to  us.”


When  the marriage and the words stopped, Ellie,  among other  things, tried to create another demo-

group, the Meantime–to little success–and to establish herself as a solo singer, remaking  LILLIAN

BRIGGS’ “I Want Want You To Be My Baby”– likewise.     A  couple of LPs  (Ellie   Greenwich  Composes,

Produces, and Sings, 1968; Let it Be Written,  Let it Be Sung, 1973) and some singles  were issued.

Thereafter, she turned to writing and singing jingles.   Clarence Clemons and Ellen Foley have recorded

her newer tunes, and she occasionally appears on record as a back-up vocalist, as she has done for

Biondie, Deborah Harry, Cyndi Lauper, and BERNADETTE PETERS.   In the mid-’80s, Ms. Greenwich

was the subject of an Broadway production,  Leader of the Pack.    Behind-the-scenes,  Ellie formed Hook,

Line & Sinker, a jingle company, to write/produce/sing commericials for Clairol, Revlon, McDonalds,

and Hebrew National Hot Dogs.


Jeff went on to produce hits for Monkees and the Archies, producing  all of the laters albums and 45s;

meaning, “Sugar Sugar,” one of the most hated/loved tunes of all time.   Barry  went   on to  head Steed

Records, producing/sometimes writing  disks for ILLUSION,  Andy Kim  and ROBIN MCNAMARA;  to co-

write/produce  BOBBY BLOOM’s  “Montego Bay, numerous  sides for the Persuasions, John Travolta and

the soundtrack to The ldolmaker  (1980).    Jeff Barry resides  in  semi-retirement in Bel Air, California.


In  May 1991, Jef Barry and Ellie Greenwich  were inducted in  to the Song Writers  Hall  Of Fame.