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The Shangri-Las

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The Shangri-Las


Girl Groups of the 1960s can be divided into two styles -- those who were prissy and upheld the traditional image of the female, and those who were seen as bad girls. The gum-smacking, motorcycle-riding, leather jacket-wearing Shangri-Las epitomized the latter. They were thrust into the national spotlight in 1964 with the melodramatic ballad "Remember (Walking in the Sand)," and soon after, "Leader of the Pack" -- with its spine-tingling motorcycle samples and an oddly morbid theme -- ensured their place in rock 'n' roll history. George "Shadow" Morton, whose compositions rivaled Phil Spector's own brilliant "little symphonies for the kids," was the genius producer and songwriter behind the Shangri-Las. His songs for them tended to be campy and overly dramatic, whether they were spoken monologues, moody, sobbing songs, lush string orchestrations, dire death numbers or self-confident songs about boys. As with many Girl Groups, the Shangri-Las rose to the top fast but were quickly knocked down by the tidal wave of British bands storming the charts, and they faded into obscurity by the late '60s.
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