The girl groups actually started in the 1950’s as far as what we know as rock n roll. Most of the 60’s girl groups were influenced by the Do-Wop girl groups of the 50’s.
We must also understand the difference between girl groups and girl bands, all female bands usually also played instruments. In the late 50’s we saw the beginnings of all female singing groups as a major force, with 750 distinctive girl groups releasing songs that reached US and UK charts from 1960-1966.
The years of 1955-1970 were known as the golden age of girl groups. Although in the early 50’s acts like the Chordettes, Fontaine Sisters, the McGuire Sisters all white female groups remained popular, it was not until 1958 when the all black girl group the Chantels song “Maybe” became the first true glimmering of the girl group sound, it was a mixture of black Doo-Wop music, Rock “n”Roll and white pop music.
However 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 the song “Tonight’s the Night”, and in 1961 became the first group to reach #1 on the hot 100 with” Will you still love me tomorrow”.
Two and a half years later the Marvelettes became a major indication of the racial integration of popular music, as it was the first #1 song in the U.S. for African American owned label Motown Records. Other Motown groups that followed were Martha and the Vandellas, the Velvelettes and the Supremes.
To make a long story as short as possible other girl groups of the 60’s included the Phil Spector style of the Crystals the Blossoms and the Ronettes. More girls followed also during this era, we had the Shangri-las the Dixie Cups, the Paris Sisters, the Chiffons, the Angels, the Cookies the Orlons and so many more.
Over 750 girl groups were able to chart a song between 1960-1966.The girl group sound also extended to existing acts backed by studio musicians,usually girls performing without label credit,examples are too numerous to mention.
Find out more of the girl groups of the 50’ and 60’ on the “Little Red Rooster Show”on the all new “Classic Hits Station” KWMC 1490 AM as we feature the girl groups of the 50’ and 60’s. All information and known facts are by Wendy Johnson and all shows are produced by Javier Martinez.