Neil Diamond Remembers Songwriter Ellie Greenwich

August 31st, 2009 by Andy Greene Leave a reply »

Photo: Winter/Getty(Diamond), Michael Ochs Archive/Getty (Ellie)
Last week songwriter Ellie Greenwich died after a heart attack at age 68. Rolling Stone spoke with her frequent collaborator Neil Diamond, who shared his memories of working with the woman he credits with keeping his career on track:

“If I hadn’t met Ellie Greenwich I wouldn’t have had a career. I met her at a demo session. I had enough in my budget to hire a few background singers and even though Ellie was one of the hottest writers in the country, she still did background dates just because she liked to hang out with her girlfriends. She liked my voice or she liked the song or something and she took me back to meet her husband, Jeff Barry, and they got me signed to Leiber and Stoller and that lasted a year. I got canned from that job but Jeff and Ellie said, ‘Hey, how ’bout we produce you?’ We got a record deal with Bang records and the rest is history.

Ellie was the best background singer ever. She did all the background parts on my early Bang records, ‘Cherry Cherry,’ ‘She Got the Way to Move Me,’ ‘Kentucky Woman’ — all of those records were Jeff and Ellie. They just had this great knack of singing all kinds of background parts and they were great at it. She invented the background parts to ‘Cherry Cherry.’

The background parts of ‘She Got the Way to Move Me’ were not part of the song. Not part of the song I wrote. She and Jeff came up with it and there it was, it became a very important part of the record. We were lucky to capture it on tape and I think on what, maybe on three tracks that time.

Between Jeff and Ellie and Artie Butler who did the arrangements for those things I was a lucky guy. I was playing guitar and singing and just having the time of my life. I was working with...

Article Source: Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily


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