Tuesday, November 26, 2013

She fell for The Leader of the Pack in 1964 Dramatic song performance

Leader of the Pack
The Shangri-Las' hit Number One Nov. 28, 1964

Is she really going out with him?
Well, there she is. Let's ask her.
Betty, is that Jimmy's ring you're wearing?
Gee, it must be great riding with him
Is he picking you up after school today?
By the way, where'd you meet him? .....

Unfamiliar with this pop classic?? It's part of the genre of so-called teenage tragedy songs from the 1960s.

In November 1964 girl group, The Shangri-Las appeared on an episode of the popular panel game show, I've Got a Secret. 

The secret : They had just acted out/seen a dramatic reading based on "the words to the Number 1 Rock 'n Roll song hit." Whoa Nellie.

In 1964 Steve Allen was host of the show. Other panel members were Henry Morgan and Bill Cullen.

Before The Shangri-Las came on, Betsy Palmer, Robert Goulet and Bess Myerson presented a dramatic reading of the lyrics (omitting the title).

Mary Weiss, Margie Ganser and Mary Ann Ganser appeared on the show. Betty Weiss sings on the record and band members lip synched her part.

In 1945 Bess Myerson had been the first Jewish American Miss New York and the first to win the Miss America pageant. 

Mr. Roberts film Photo
Jack Lemmon and Betsy Palmer 8x10 Autographed

Betsy Palmer appeared in on stage in South Pacific and in the 1955 film, Mister Roberts. The stars were Henry Fonda, James Cagney and William Powell. Mister Roberts featured a young actor named Jack Lemmon. 

Palmer is also well known for her appearances in the Friday the 13th movies as Mrs. Voorhees.

Leader of the Pack is credited to George Shadow Morton with Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich. There has been controversy in regards to who wrote it.

The flip side of the single was a song called What is Love?

My folks were always putting him down (down, down)
They said he came from the wrong side of town
(whatcha mean when ya say that he came from the wrong side of town?)
They told me he was bad
But I knew he was sad
That's why I fell for the leader of the pack....

This is all 49 years ago. These fictitious kids in the song would probably be long since married and having issues with their own teenagers now.  What do you think? I love 50s and 60s songs and singers like the Shangri-Las. 

Never knew that Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry, then her then-husband, who wrote Leader Of The Pack had a previous iconic number one hit. It was another song, Chapel of Love by The Dixie Cups. Have you heard this one at a wedding, bridal shower or bachelorette party?


Fun activities: Try reading the lyrics to one of your favorite songs out like a poem or dramatically as they did here. Have fun and do it in honor of The Shangs.

At your Thanksgiving table, a few of you can agree to recite the words to a favorite oldie, show tune or a current song. Do a little rap and beatbox while holding a turkey drumstick or piece of tofurkey

See how long it takes others to figure out what the song is or maybe even what the heck you're doing? Please send cell phone video of your creativity.

Related pages to visit: 

Kids' Motorcycle Jackets : Baby Biker Jackets : DOT Helmets

Shangri-Las Page on Amazon 

Please Mister Postman the Marvelettes, The Beatles, Mel Blanc, George and Gracie

Rocking Motorcycle & Modern Kids' Pedal Cars 

The leader of the pack - now he's gone
The leader of the pack - now he's gone....

-- image(s) from Amazon

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