Skip to Content

Girl Groups []



This rare, long out of print copy of Steve Alpert and Stephanie Bennett’s 1982 film provides a joyous glimpse into the history and development of the girl group sound. In addition to candid interviews with key figures like Darlene Love, Mary Wilson, Ronnie Spector, Arlene Smith and Ellie Greenwich, the film includes rare performance footage discovered by the filmmakers in the damp basement of a local TV affiliate in Windsor, Canada. These clips and performances by seminal groups of the era were originally aired on Teen Town, Detroit’s local version of American Bandstand. The film traces the history of the girl group sound from song writers in the Brill Building in New York to Motown and beyond, and includes clips of the Ronettes, Martha and the Vandellas, the Shangri-Las, the Marvelettes, the Angels, the Dixie Cups, the Shirelles, Dee Dee Sharp and a rare short color film of the Exciters bizarrely miming “Tell Her” in the general direction of lions and bears in a zoo. The film quality is certainly dated and shows it’s age in places, and a segment on the Supremes runs perhaps a bit too long (Motown required a minimum of ten songs to be featured for the rights to the Supremes) while other important groups are barely mentioned. All things considered, the interview segments and performances more than make up for these faults and the film stands as a valuable artifact of the times, and must viewing for fans of the Girl Group Sound.

Tagged: , , ,