Posted in music | pictures on August 1, 2011

by Jacob Blickenstaff

Girl Groups

On Saturday (7/30), Lincoln Center Out of Doors in partnership with the Ponderosa Stomp, put on a remarkable day of music and music history under the name of "She's Got The Power, a Girl Group Extravaganza." Within its 10 (free) hours, the event included a 3-part, 4-hour panel of "Girl Talk" that presented Lesley Gore, members of the Angels and the Exciters, Seymour Stein (co-founder of Sire Records) and many studio musicians who worked closely with (r'n'r hall of famer) Ellie Greenwich.

The concert was organized into 3 parts covering 5 hours. First was a revue of girl group singers. Arlene Smith, of the Chantels, performed magnificently from her motorized wheelchair, commanding the stage by zipping back and forth. Then there were extended sets from headliners La La Brooks of the Crystals, Lesley Gore and Ronnie Spector (the Ronettes), and finally a tribute by the evening's artists to girl-group-godmother Ellie Greenwich.

This was not your father's PBS Doo-Wop special. Although the passing of Amy Winehouse was noted by Ronnie Spector, who performed part of 'Back to Black', it was more of a (tragic) footnote to the larger spirit of survival, brilliance, toughness and female chutzpah on parade. Many performers commented both publicly and privately that the spirit of Ellie Greenwich was the guiding force of the day. As stellar performance after performance dredged up tingly globs of our collective memory, the realization grew of just how much we owe to these artists, producers and songwriters who had just as much influence on the Beatles, Stones and other British Invasion bands as did the blues.

More about the show with lots of pictures, below...

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'Girl Talk' panel with Jiggs Sirico and Peggy Santiglia (original members of The Angels), writer Alison Fensterstock, Brenda Reid and Lillian Warren (original members of the Exciters.)

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Brenda Reid tears up talking about Ellie Greenwich (songwriter, producer, singer)

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Jiggs Sirico and Peggy Santiglia (original members of The Angels)

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Signing Autographs and showing footage

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Lesley Gore interview with Cheryl Farber

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Laura Greenwich-Weiner (Ellie's Sister) and Toni Wine

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Laura Greenwich-Weiner and Jean Thomas Fox (studio sessions singer)

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Ellie Greenwich panel with Lauren Onkey (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame), Jean Thomas-Fox, Mikie Harris (studio sessions singer), Paul Shaffer, Susan Collins, Seymour Stein.

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Paul Shaffer

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Jean and Mikie

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Seymour Stein (cofounder of Sire Records, worked at Red Bird and King, signed the Ramones and Madonna, among many others)

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...with Susan Collins

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Brenda Reid (of The Exciters)

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Arlene Smith (of the Chantels)

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Most of the day's performers sang backup throughout the entire show

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Baby Washington

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Louise Murray (of the Jaynettes)

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Nanette Licari (Reparata and the Delrons)

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Beverly Warren (of the Brentwoods)

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Toni Wine

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Margaret Ross (of The Cookies)

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WFMU Crew

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Maxine Brown
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The Angels

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Barbara Harris (of The Toys)

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La La Brooks (of The Crystals)

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Lesley Gore

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Ronnie Spector

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Paul Shaffer and (Little) Steven Van Zandt introduce the Ellie Greenwich Tribute

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Little Steven, Lenny Kaye and Gene Cornish (of The Rascals)

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Finale, joined by Maria Muldaur, Tami Lynn
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Comments (21)

Like the blind man said as he walked past Fulton Fish Market, "Evening, ladies"

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2011 2:20 PM

correction: I think it was Jenni Muldaur, not her moms - jb

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2011 2:23 PM

the mature need loving too, and at least you know they won't get pregnant at this point

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2011 2:23 PM

looks like a lot of old people. one grandma had her headlights on.

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2011 2:27 PM

2:24: Yep.

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2011 2:29 PM

Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo played guitar in the band too.

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2011 2:45 PM

amazing unbelievable show

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2011 2:58 PM

2:58 lol yes very ironic

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2011 3:01 PM

"looks like a lot of old people"
"Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo played guitar in the band"

yup, that's about right

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2011 3:08 PM

Hahaha!

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2011 3:12 PM

so funny that whenever there's a post here about anything good or any group that actually has talent or any show that actually is great, the only criticism is that the audience was old.

I'd rather sit with a bunch of old people at a great show than a bunch of 20 somethings at some crap that passes as a show these days.

just my opinion folks

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2011 3:43 PM

^^^ go look at the M83 thread from a couple weeks ago. lots of comments, no bad ones.

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2011 4:10 PM

^ What other bands can that be said for as far as BV is concerned?

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2011 4:29 PM

3:43, I agree. For the record, there were young people in the audience, too. Anyway, this concert was awesome!

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2011 5:46 PM

La La Brooks' pants! Amazing.

Posted by J | August 1, 2011 8:16 PM

My mother's name is LAURA Weiner ,not Laurie. Please correct this for your readers.

Thanks.

Rick Weiner

Posted by Rick Weiner | August 1, 2011 8:19 PM

Thanks! Dick Weiner

Posted by brooklyn stop willard mitt hussein obamney | August 1, 2011 9:07 PM

Hey Rick - sorry, I'll ask them to update it. -jb

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2011 10:41 PM

The entire day was great!! Of course it was great to see the classic Hitmakers, but more interesting see and hear (and MEET) the anonymous backing singers that helped to make all of this great music (Mrs. Fox, Miss Harris, Ula Hedwig, Miss Miller, Miss Wine, Miss Collins and so on......

Also was touching to hear all the marvelous things about Ellie Greenwich from the people who worked closely with her thru the years.

Posted by Tony L. | August 2, 2011 1:24 AM

As one of the "Old People" in the audience, I appreciate greatly the time, effort and talent combined in creating this unforgettable day. Almost all of the performers were in superb form. Voices strong and clear, and personality galore. Well worth the 5000+ miles I traveled to and from the show. I'd do it again in a New York minute. Congratulations to all involved.

Posted by Anonymous | August 2, 2011 5:14 PM

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