Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Leader Of The Pack

One genre dufusdownbeat has sadly slighted is Girl Groups. Well, this week we rectify that.

The Shangri-Las formed in Queen's New York in 1963 and was made of of two sets of sisters: 14 year-old lead singer Mary Weiss and her 17 year-old sister Betty, and back up singers and identical twins Marge and Mary Ann Ganser, 16 years of age. While they recorded as a quartet, they often toured as a trio because Betty didn't like to tour.

In late 1964, the Shangri-Las were looking for a follow-up to their recent hit Remember (Walking In The Sand). They found it with something called Leader of the Pack. The song is among the pantheon of a genre referred to as the "dead disc" and includes such songs as Dead Man's Curve by Jan and Dean, Tell Laura I Lover Her by Ray Peterson, and the Cavaliers Last Kiss.

The group issued one original album, lasted a couple of years and at the height of their success toured with the Beatles, James Brown, Dusty Springfield and the Zombies.

The following clip is from Steve Allen's The Tonight Show with a cameo from Robert Goulet.


  1. Here's another song I still know all the words to. This song made such an impression on me that I'm still seeking the leader of the pack to make me his chick. (sigh)

  2. Me-Me: What strikes me as amazing is the age of these kids. In that clip from the Steve Allen show they're all well under 20!