Thursday, September 1, 2022

K's GIRL GROUP SPECIAL - VA - The 125 Greatest Girl Group Songs 1954-1970 (Super Deluxe Edition) [2020]


K's GIRL GROUP SPECIAL  -  VA - The 125 Greatest Girl Group Songs 1954-1970 (Super Deluxe Edition) [2020]

A girl group is a music act featuring several female singers who generally harmonize together. The term "girl group" is also used in a narrower sense in the United States to denote the wave of American female pop music singing groups, many of whom were influenced by doo-wop and which flourished in the late 1950s and early 1960s between the decline of early rock and roll and start of the British Invasion. All-female bands, in which members also play instruments, are usually considered a separate phenomenon. These groups are sometimes called "girl bands" to differentiate, although this terminology is not universally followed.

With the advent of the music industry and radio broadcasting, a number of girl groups emerged, such as the Andrews Sisters. The late 1950s saw the emergence of all-female singing groups as a major force, with 750 distinct girl groups releasing songs that reached US and UK music charts from 1960 to 1966. The Supremes alone held 12 number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 during the height of the wave and throughout most of the British Invasion rivaled the Beatles in popularity.  In later eras, the girl group template would be applied to disco, contemporary R&B, and country-based formats, as well as pop. A more globalized music industry gave rise to the popularity of dance-oriented pop music led by major record labels. This emergence, led by the US, UK, South Korea, and Japan, produced popular acts, with eight groups debuting after 1990 having sold more than 15 million physical copies of their albums. With the Spice Girls, the 1990s also saw the target market for girl groups shift from a male audience to an increasingly female one.

1954-1970: The golden age of girl groups         

As the rock era began, close harmony acts like the Chordettes, the Fontane Sisters, the McGuire Sisters and the DeCastro Sisters remained popular, with the first three acts topping the pop charts and the last reaching number two, at the end of 1954 to the beginning of 1955. Also, the Lennon Sisters were a mainstay on the Lawrence Welk Show from 1955 on. In early 1956, doo-wop one-hit wonder acts like the Bonnie Sisters with "Cry Baby" and the Teen Queens with "Eddie My Love" showed early promise for a departure from traditional pop harmonies. With "Mr. Lee", the Bobbettes lasted for 5+1⁄2 months on the charts in 1957, building momentum and gaining further acceptance of all-female, all-black vocal groups.

However, it was the Chantels' 1958 song "Maybe" that became "arguably, the first true glimmering of the girl group sound". The "mixture of black doo-wop, straight beat rock and roll, and white pop" was appealing to a teenage audience and grew from scandals involving payola and the perceived social effects of rock music. However, early groups such as the Chantels started developing their groups' musical capacities traditionally, through mediums like Latin and choir music. The success of the Chantels and others was followed by an enormous rise in girl groups with varying skills and experience, with the music industry's typical racially segregated genre labels of R&B and pop slowly breaking apart. This rise also allowed a semblance of class mobility to groups of people who often could not otherwise gain such success, and "forming vocal groups together and cutting records gave them access to other opportunities toward professional advancement and personal growth, expanding the idea of girlhood as an identity across race and class lines." The group often considered to have achieved the first sustained success in girl group genre is the Shirelles, who first reached the Top 40 with "Tonight's the Night", and in 1961 became the first girl group to reach number one on the Hot 100 with "Will You Love Me Tomorrow", written by songwriters Gerry Goffin and Carole King at 1650 Broadway. The Shirelles solidified their success with five more top 10 hits, most particularly 1962's number one hit "Soldier Boy", over the next two and a half years. "Please Mr. Postman" by the Marvelettes became a major indication of the racial integration of popular music, as it was the first number one song in the US for African-American owned label, Motown Records. Motown would mastermind several major girl groups, including Martha and the Vandellas, the Velvelettes, and the Supremes.

Other songwriters and producers in the US and UK quickly recognized the potential of this new approach and recruited existing acts (or, in some cases, created new ones) to record their songs in a girl-group style. Phil Spector recruited the Crystals, the Blossoms, and the Ronettes, while Goffin and King penned two hit songs for the Cookies. Phil Spector made a huge impact on the ubiquity of the girl group, as well as bringing fame and notoriety to new heights for many girl groups. Phil Spector's so-called Wall of Sound, which used layers of instruments to create a more potent sound allowed girl groups to sing powerfully and in different styles than earlier generations. Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller would likewise foster the Exciters, the Dixie Cups, and the Shangri-Las. The Shangri-Las' hit single, "Leader of the Pack", exemplified the "'death disc' genre" adopted by some girl groups. These songs usually told the story of teenage love cut short by the death of one of the young lovers.

The Paris Sisters had success from 1961 to 1964, especially with "I Love How You Love Me". The Sensations, the Chiffons, the Angels, and the Orlons were also prominent in the early 1960s. In early fall 1963 one-hit wonder the Jaynetts' "Sally Go 'Round the Roses" achieved a mysterious sound quite unlike that of any other girl group. In 1964, the one-hit wonder group the Murmaids took David Gates' "Popsicles and Icicles" to the top 3 in January, the Carefrees' "We Love You Beatles" scraped the top 40 in April, and the Jewels' "Opportunity" was a small hit in December.

Over 750 girl groups were able to chart a song between 1960 and 1966 in the US and UK, although the genre's reach was not as strongly felt in the music industries of other regions. As the youth culture of western Continental Europe was deeply immersed in Yé-yé, recording artists of East Asia mostly varied from traditional singers, government-sponsored chorus, or multi-cultural soloists and bands, while bossa nova was trendy in Latin America. Beat music's global influence eventually pushed out girl groups as a genre and, except for a small number of the foregoing groups and possibly the Toys and the Sweet Inspirations, the only girl groups with any significant chart presence from the beginning of the British Invasion through 1970 were Motown girl groups with the Supremes being the only girl group to score number one hits. The distinct girl group sound would not re-emerge until the 21st century, where it would influence modern-day English-speaking pop-soul soloists who have been met with international success, such as Amy Winehouse, Adele, Duffy and Melanie Fiona among others. In addition to influencing individual singers, this generation of girl groups cemented the girl group form and sentiment and provided inspiration for many future groups.

After considerable and extensive online research, plus my own recollections and memories, here is my personal compilation of what I consider to be the 125 greatest girl group songs from the original golden age era of 1954-1970.  Compiled as always using the very latest and highest quality digital remasters for superior sound quality and enjoyment.




Pt.1      Pt.2 


Track lists


01 The Ronettes Be My Baby 2:39

02 The Supremes You Can't Hurry Love 2:54

03 The Shirelles Will You Love Me Tomorrow 2:41

04 The Dixie Cups Chapel of Love 2:46

05 The Supremes You Keep Me Hangin' On 2:47

06 The Crystals Then He Kissed Me 2:39

07 Martha and The Vandellas Heat Wave 2:48

08 The Supremes Where Did Our Love Go 2:33

09 Martha and The Vandellas Dancing in the Street 2:40

10 The Shangri-Las Remember (Walking in the Sand) 2:18

11 The Supremes Baby Love 2:36

12 Martha and The Vandellas Nowhere to Run 2:52

13 The Shangri-Las Leader of the Pack 2:50

14 The Ronettes Baby, I Love You 2:50

15 The Chiffons He's So Fine 1:52

16 Martha and The Vandellas Jimmy Mack 2:53

17 The Marvelettes Please Mr. Postman 2:30

18 The Crystals Da Doo Ron Ron 2:18

19 The Supremes Stop! In the Name of Love 2:53

20 The Angels My Boyfriend's Back 2:40

21 The Ronettes Walking in the Rain 3:14

22 The Supremes Come See About Me 2:41

23 The Shirelles Tonight's the Night 1:57

24 The Supremes My World Is Empty Without You 2:35

25 The Crystals He's a Rebel 2:31


26 The Shirelles Dedicated to the One I Love 2:04

27 The Cookies Chains 2:32

28 The Chiffons One Fine Day 2:07

29 Diana Ross & The Supremes Reflections 2:52

30 The Crystals Uptown 2:23

31 The Marvelettes Beechwood 4-5789 2:11

32 The Shirelles Soldier Boy 2:42

33 The Poni-Tails Born Too Late 2:16

34 The Exciters Tell Him 2:31

35 Martha and The Vandellas Come and Get These Memories 2:28

36 The Supremes I Hear a Symphony 2:42

37 The Marvelettes Don't Mess with Bill 2:49

38 The Shangri-Las Past, Present and Future 2:41

39 The Chiffons Sweet Talkin' Guy 2:20

40 Martha and The Vandellas Quicksand 2:46

41 The Marvelettes Too Many Fish in the Sea 2:27

42 The Supremes When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes 3:06

43 The Shirelles Boys 2:11

44 The Ronettes Do I Love You? 2:55

45 Diana Ross & The Supremes Love Child 2:59

46 The Shangri-Las I Can Never Go Home Anymore 3:13

47 The Tammys Egyptian Shumba 2:27

48 The Shirelles Baby It's You 2:41

49 The Velvelettes He Was Really Sayin' Somethin' 2:28

50 Diana Ross & The Supremes Someday We'll Be Together 3:26


51 The Ronettes I Can Hear Music 3:17

52 The Supremes Back in My Arms Again 2:57

53 The Ronettes (The Best Part of) Breakin' Up 3:02

54 The Marvelettes The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game 2:49

55 The Exciters Do-Wah-Diddy 2:25

56 The Ronettes You Came, You Saw, You Conquered 2:48

57 The Marvelettes I'll Keep Holding On 2:27

58 The Supremes Love Is Here and Now You're Gone 2:49

59 The Shangri-Las Give Him a Great Big Kiss 2:08

60 The Girlfriends My One and Only, Jimmy Boy 2:18

61 The Chantels Maybe 2:53

62 The Chordettes Lollipop 2:07

63 The Orlons Don't Hang Up 2:19

64 The Bobbettes Mr. Lee 2:14

65 The Velvelettes Needle In a Haystack 2:31

66 The Angels Cry, Baby, Cry 2:50

67 The Toys A Lover's Concerto 2:41

68 The Crystals He's Sure the Boy I Love 2:45

69 The Exciters He's Got the Power 2:22

70 Martha and The Vandellas Third Finger, Left Hand 2:46

71 The Shirelles Mama Said 2:08

72 The Blue-Belles I Sold My Heart to the Junkman 2:25

73 The Cinderellas Baby, Baby (I Still Love You) 2:37

74 The Marvelettes The Day You Take One (You Have to Take the Other) 2:44

75 The Blossoms That's When the Tears Start 2:25


76 The Paris Sisters I Love How You Love Me 2:05

77 The Yum Yums Gonna Be a Big Thing 2:23

78 Reparata and The Delrons Whenever a Teenager Cries 2:49

79 The Murmaids Popsicles and Icicles 2:31

80 Gigi and The Charmaines I Don't Want to Lose Him 2:24

81 Kelli and The Kittens What Mama Don't Know 1:54

82 The Blossoms Stoney End 3:13

83 The Hearts Lonely Nights 2:37

84 The Orlons Mama Didn't Lie 2:05

85 The Chantels The Plea 2:57

86 The Honey Bees One Wonderful Night 2:21

87 The Blossoms Lover Boy 2:22

88 The Shirelles Foolish Little Girl 2:16

89 Jelly Beans I Wanna Love Him So Bad 2:40

90 The Crystals There's No Other (Like My Baby) 2:30

91 The Cookies Don't Say Nothin' Bad (About My Baby) 2:45

92 Candy & The Kisses The 81 2:31

93 The Rag Dolls Society Girl 2:54

94 The Jaynettes Sally Go Round the Roses 2:59

95 The Chantels He's Gone 2:28

96 The Dixie Cups Iko Iko 2:01

97 The Chordettes Mr. Sandman 2:24

98 The Toys Can't Get Enough of You Baby 2:43

99 The Breakaways He Doesn't Love Me 1:58

100 The Orlons The Wah-Watusi 2:35


101 The Raindrops The Kind of Boy You Can't Forget 2:10

102 The Bonnie Sisters Cry Baby 2:26

103 The Hearts Disappointed Bride 2:25

104 The Chantels I Love You So 2:19

105 The Cookies I Never Dreamed 2:36

106 The Crystals He Hit Me (And It Felt Like a Kiss) 2:32

107 Shirley Gunter & The Queens Oop Shoop 2:15

108 The Raindrops 108 What a Guy 2:21

109 The Orlons South Street 2:12

110 The Angels 'Til 2:28

111 The Chiffons I Have a Boyfriend 2:07

112 The Shangri-Las Out in the Streets 2:45

113 The Cinderellas Please Don't Wake Me 2:42

114 The Honeys The One You Can't Have 1:57

115 The Marvelettes When You're Young and in Love 2:39

116 The Chantels Look In My Eyes 2:17

117 The Fascinations Girls Are Out to Get You 2:06

118 The Butterflys Good Night Baby 2:37

119 The Shirelles I Met Him On a Sunday (Ronde Ronde) 2:15

120 The Royalettes It's Gonna Take a Miracle 3:15

121 The Dixie Cups People Say 2:26

122 Reparata and The Delrons I'm Nobody's Baby Now 2:43

123 The Flirtations Nothing But a Heartache 2:41

124 The Breakaways That's How It Goes 2:26

125 The Supremes Stoned Love 3:00




  1. Thanks very much for what appears to be another phenomenal compilation. I don't usually read the track listing beforehand as I like to be suprised when listening to see what great tune is coming up next. Once again thanks a lot guys

    1. Hi eelcat,
      We felt this was a good follow up to the Phil Spector post earlier this week. Enjoy

  2. HATED this stuff when I was a kid, LOVE it now! Thanks!

    1. We all change Gummo.
      When I was young my listening tastes were very narrow but now, they are extremely broad. Music always seems better because of that. As I age my thirst to discover grows.

  3. Thanks
    I have always enjoyed these wonderful ladies.
    This is a good one K.

  4. Glorious gals in fine voice, thanks K & BB