- AARP - http://blog.aarp.org -
George ‘Shadow’ Morton: 7 Facts About ‘Leader of the Pack’
Posted By Patrick Kiger On February 21, 2013 @ 1:31 pm In Legacy | Comments Disabled
You know the story: Girl from respectable family falls in love with motorcycle-riding bad boy from the wrong side of town. Parents disapprove, and force the girl to break up with the boy. Boy, aggrieved and despondent as only a young romantic can be, peels out on his motorcycle, and promptly crashes and is killed. Girl cries and promises never to forget him.
If William Shakespeare had been alive in 1964 and worked at the Brill Building, he might well have written the chart-topping hit single “Leader of the Pack ” instead of Romeo and Juliet. But he wasn’t around, so instead, that job fell to the writing/producing team of Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and George “Shadow” Morton.
While Greenwich  (who died in 2009) and Barry ended up in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame  and became the subject of a 1980s Broadway musical , their collaborator remained intriguingly obscure. Morton, a Brooklyn native who died on Feb. 14 at age 71  in Laguna Beach, Calif., was a songwriting savant who never learned to play an instrument or read music. What he did have was an exotic imagination, the chutzpah to talk his way into the music business and the luck to have a friend who knew three high school girls from Queens who had formed a group called the Shangri-Las. Here they are, performing “Leader of the Pack” on the 1960s TV show I’ve Got a Secret, with actor Robert Goulet as the spurned biker. 
Here are some intriguing facts about Morton and “Leader of the Pack”:
Article printed from AARP: http://blog.aarp.org
URL to article: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/02/21/george-shadow-morton-7-facts-about-leader-of-the-pack/
URLs in this post:
 Leader of the Pack: http://www.oldielyrics.com/lyrics/the_shangri-las/the_leader_of_the_pack.html
 Greenwich: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/27/arts/music/27greenwich.html
 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: http://rockhall.com/inductees/greenwich-and-barry/
 1980s Broadway musical: http://www.nytimes.com/1984/01/22/arts/revue-leader-of-the-pack.html
 who died on Feb. 14 at age 71: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/16/arts/music/shadow-morton-songwriter-and-producer-dies-at-71.html
 Image: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGQt6GY8nKA
 Tony Fletcher: http://books.google.com/books?id=-koGlfLp7DcC&pg=PA207&dq=%22leader+of+the+pack%22+morton+greenwich&hl=en&sa=X&ei=OEElUY64GYTG0wG91oGoDQ&ved=0CDkQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=%22leader%20of%20the%20pack%22%20morton%20greenwich&f=false
 Richard Crouse’s: http://books.google.com/books?id=OyZyWKcmRhEC&pg=PT56&dq=leader+of+the+pack+shirt+cardboard&hl=en&sa=X&ei=C0klUZrGE6rC0AHJ9oDoAw&ved=0CDUQ6AEwAA
 1991 interview: http://www.theshangri-las.com/home.htm
 The Billboard Book of Number One Hits: http://books.google.com/books?id=PgGqNrqfrsoC&pg=PT169&dq=%22shadow+morton%22+%22leader+of+the+pack%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=0zclUZK2JYWD0QHVo4DQCw&ved=0CDcQ6AEwAQ
 Image: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_aSbp9ZIv8
 Image: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JL2CDRhagU
 Image: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANJGTyZ6v_A
Copyright © 2013 AARP. All rights reserved.