The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


Will You Love Me Tomorrow

The Early 1960s / Girl Groups

Girl groups, though sometimes seen as puppets manipulated by unseen and mostly male handlers, were an authentic manifestation of the worldview of teenage girls – a group just coming into its own in the early 1960s and increasingly recognized for its growing economic power as consumers and arbiters of style.  The girl groups reflected teenage girls’ explorations of their world, their limitations and their limitless potential.

Darlene Love

Take a listen to Darlene Love (b. 1938), pictured right, whose voice is featured on countless classic recordings by treasured artists including the Crystals, the Ronettes and the Righteous Brothers. Watch Love sing "Da Doo Ron Ron" with Bruce Springsteen at the 25th Anniversary of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concerts.

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The Shirelles

The Shirelles were one of the earliest and certainly among the very best girl groups from the late 1950s and early 1960s. They were from the New York metropolitan area and had an R&B grounding and a fondness for Latin rhythms and string arrangements. The Shirelles recorded for the New York-based Scepter label from 1959 to 1968 and enjoyed sustained success from 1960-63, during which they charted a dozen Top Forty singles. With their innocent, unblemished vocal style, the Shirelles projected a “girl next door” image, and their songs about young love and its travails appealed to youthful pop fans. Watch them sing Carole King-penned, "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?"

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Lesley Gore

New York native "It's My Party" singer Lesley Gore (b. 1946) was a teen pop idol whose career started when she was just 16 years old. Produced by Quincy Jones, Gore projected a sweet, teenage innocence in her (mostly) light-hearted songs that celebrated adolescent life.  Watch Gore perform "You Don't Own Me," an interesting take on possessive relationships, which topped the charts.

 

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The Ronettes

Pair one of rock’s greatest voices (Ronnie Spector, born Veronica Bennett) with one of its greatest producers (Phil Spector), and memorable music was bound to result. That is exactly what happened when New Yorkers Veronica Bennett, along with her sister Estelle and cousin Nedra Talley, signed to Spector’s Philles label in 1963. From that point, the Ronettes quickly became the premier act of the girl-group era and garnered fans worldwide including Beach Boy Brian Wilson, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, with whom the Ronettes toured.  Watch the Ronettes performing "Be My Baby."

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The Shangri-Las

Formed at Andrew Jackson High School in Queens, NYC, in 1963, the Shangri-Las were two sets of sisters, Mary and Betty Weiss and Marge and Mary Ann Ganser. Their recordings featured lush orchestration and sound effects, especially on the ever popular, "Leader of the Pack," which included motorcycle sounds.  As Richie Unterberger of AllMusic notes, "They combined an innocent adolescent charm with more than a hint of darkness, singing about dead bikers, teenage runaways, and doomed love affairs as well as ebullient high-school crushes." Watch the girls sing "Give Him a Great Big Kiss."

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The Supremes

The Supremes rose from the poverty of Detroit’s Brewster housing project to become Motown’s most consistent hitmakers and the most popular female group of the Sixties. The Supremes sang in a polished style that bridged the worlds of pop and soul. Their greatest success came with songs tailor-made for them by Motown’s peerless in-house writing and production team of Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland (see “Holland-Dozier-Holland"). Watch them perform "Where Did Our Love Go."

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Carole King

Born in 1942, songwriter (and later performer) Carole King partnered with Gerry Goffin, composing a string of classic hits and cherished album tracks for a variety of artists during the Sixties. A brief sampling: “Up On the Roof” (the Drifters), “One Fine Day” (the Chiffons), “I’m Into Something Good” (Herman’s Hermits), “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” (the Shirelles), “Take Good Care of My Baby” (Bobby Vee), “Chains” (the Cookies).