do wah diddy
Jeff Meyerson mentioned the classic hits of Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry, another wonderful couple who worked in the Brill Building churning out great songs. Like Gerry Goffen and Carole King, like Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Ellie Greenwhich and Jeff Barry had their own original style. Who else could have come up with the smash “Do-Wah-Diddy” by the Exciters back in 1963? Other classics like “River Deep–Mountain High” appeared in 1967. Check out the list of songs below. I’m sure you’ll remember the tunes you grew up with! What’s your favorite?

1 I Can Hear Music The Beach Boys 2:37
2 I’ll Take You Where the Music’s Playing The Drifters 2:37
3 Out in the Streets The Shangri-Las 2:47
4 Maybe I Know Lesley Gore 2:36
5 He Ain’t No Angel The Ad Libs 2:28
6 I Have a Boyfriend The Chiffons 2:06
7 Baby Be Mine The Jelly Beans 3:13
8 Do-Wah-Diddy The Exciters 2:26
9 Everybody Come Clap Your Hands Moody & The Deltas 2:47
10 Nobody But You The Tokens 2:25
11 Here She Comes The Darlettes 2:19
12 Hold on Baby Sam Hawkins 2:44
13 You Should Have Seen the Way He Looked at Me The Dixie-Cups 2:30
14 Good Night Babys The Butterflys 2:52
15 I Hear You Say (I Love You) Andy Kim 2:17
16 Little Boy Karen Verros 2:51
17 I Want You for My Sweetheart Bobby Sheen 2:55
18 That Boy Is Messin’ Up My Mind The Orchids 2:50
19 Hanky Panky The Summits 2:08
20 What Have You Been Doin’ The Majors 2:24
21 Every Little Beat The Fleetwoods 2:16
22 I Won’t Be Me Anymore Vic Donna 2:49
23 True True True Tony Pass 2:07
24 River Deep – Mountain High Harry Nilsson 3:57


  1. Deb

    Yes, count me in the “Maybe I Know” camp (RIP, Lesley Gore). I also like “Nobody But You,” however, I’m more familiar with the version by the Turtles. And speaking of alternative versions, “River Deep, Mountain High” by Harry Nilsson? Never heard it, but I love Ike & Tina’s version: pure Wall of Sound, baby!

    1. george Post author

      Bill, I’ve been listening to CD collections of songs from the Fifties and Sixties like this one. I haven’t heard some of these song in 40 years!

  2. Wolf Böhrendt

    Didn’t we have that discussion on “River Deep-Mountain High” and the Wall of Sound a few days ago?

    Anyway this has always been one of my favourite songs. I only heard Tina live much later once in Frankfurt – was it David Bowie who accompanied her on one song?

    Those concerts in Frankfurt were always something special – there usually was a large number of US soldiers and other personnel from the surrounding US installations. Once I went to a concert by Ginger Baker’s Airforce – sitting on the floor surrounded by GIs and being offered a joint or two …

    Not too much OT:
    After reading a few books on these people like Barry/Greenwich/ Carol King/Phil Spector etc I started to wonder how come that so many young Jews (especially in the Brill building) wrote that fantastic music for Black musicians? They must have had some things in common.

    And then a few years later British musicians like Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood and others rekindled interest in the Blues.

    1. george Post author

      Wolf, I admit to being a fan of Hegel (one of the most impenetrable philosophers). Hegel believed in the ZEITGEIST or “spirit of the time.” I think the Brill Building captured the ZEITGEIST of the early Sixties with those great songs and singing groups. But then the ZEITGEIST changed with the British Invasion of the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, and dozens of others.

  3. Jeff Meyerson

    Great stuff. Jackie (who had that exact hairdo in high school) always makes fun of “Maybe I Know” as another “doormat song” – “Maybe I know that he’s been cheating, maybe I know but what can I do?” Like “I Can’t Stay Mad at You” by Skeeter Davis. That said, I like the song too!

    Their songs had great “hooks” and some of my favorites include ones not on this list:

    Da Doo Ron Ron and Then He Kissed Me by the Crystals (both written with Phil Spector)
    The Kind of Boy You Can’t Forget by The Raindrops (which included Greenwich & Barry)
    Be My Baby by The Ronettes (probably my #1; also written with Spector)
    Chapel of Love by the Dixie Cups (with Spector)
    I Wanna Love Him So Bad by The Jellybeans
    Leader of the Pack (with Shadow Morton)
    River Deep-Mountain High (Ike & Tina version)

  4. maggie

    I was surprised at the number of songs I didn’t recognize (at least by the title, sometimes I have my own titles for songs I hear) I can hear music, river deep mountain high, and maybe I know are my favorites of the list. the do wah diddy I know was by mandred mann

    I’m making another stab at going thru my vinyl, getting rid of a lot of it. There are a lot of albums with 1 or 2 songs I really like. Decisions, decisions.

    The record store I dealt with for my late friend’s estate expressed interest in a very unique album: one celebrating the padres one visit to the world series, and signed by many of them.

    1. george Post author

      Maggie, vinyl is making a comeback. Many of my students are buying vinyl albums instead of CDs or listening to music on iTunes. I unloaded my records in the 1980s when I made the switch to CDs.

      1. maggie

        One of the records going is by Ann Jillian 80’s sitcom star. No idea where or why I got it.

        the one lp I wish I still had was the john lennon/yoko ono one with the baby’s heart beat, radio channel changing. It was a joke that got passed around. Now I think it’s worth hundreds

  5. Richard R.

    I unloaded mt vinyl in 1989, and began buying – or had already bought – CDs of those albums. I don’t miss vinyl at all, much preferring the sound and lack of pop and crackle. As for the songs, I like Jeff’s list.

      1. Richard R.

        The argument that the vinyl recordings give a “warmer, richer” sound go right past me, as I never noticed much of that (except in come classical recordings of full orchestra) then or now. There were records I practly wore out, and bought replacements for. That doesn’t happen with CDs.

    1. george Post author

      Rick, I’ll have an NFL Draft summary up on Sunday. I really don’t know who the Bills will choose in the First Round. They need one of everything!


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