When I was younger, and treated generously often to trips to the Sheffield Lyceum theatre, we rarely missed the 'jukebox' musicals that regularly rolled into town. The one that excited me most, however - and didn't disappoint - was 'Leader of the Pack', the life-story of Ellie Greenwich told through her amazing songs.
The girl group classics of the 60s are usually associated with Phil Spector but in fact many of the tracks I love (something which grew from singing along to our 'Girls On Top' cassette on long car journeys) were penned by Greenwich. This includes the brilliant Be My Baby, Da Do Ron Ron, Then He Kissed Me, River Deep, Mountain High and, of course, Leader of the Pack.
'I met him at the candy store!'
I remember that it particularly appealed to my embryonic feminism that these songs that I loved so much, and came from an era where I assumed men did the songwriting, came from a woman's brain. Those early connections have a tendency to stick and so - despite the fact that I can't pretend to know all that much about her - Greenwich has always been something of a hero for me, or at least someone who I hugely admire.
In celebration of the life and works of Ellie Greenwich then, who passed away just last week, here's one of my favourites; Be My Baby performed by The Ronettes: