When I read that Ellie Greenwich, the poet of doo-wah-diddy and da-do-ron-ron, the legendary songwriter of "Chapel of Love," "Be My Baby" and "River Deep, Mountain High," had passed away at the age of 68, I was sad. Yet just thinking about her songs -- musical narratives that got characters from meet-cute to marriage in two minutes flat -- made me smile.
Wanted to share Ann Powers' lovely tribute to the legend who worked with everyone from the Shangri-Las to Neal Diamond to Ike and Tina Turner. A good way of celebrating her life and reckoning her impact on pop music is to see Alison Anders' Grace of My Heart, a fascinating account of a Brill Building beatnik, played by Ileana Douglas, inspired by the lives of Carole King and Greenwich. From Hair to Hairspray, Greenwich's storytelling lyrics have been widely imitated. She put the snap and crackle into pop.