Many of the great Sister Acts we’re featuring today in the Hall of Fame were part of the “Girl Group” era of rock music. The Angels were one of them.

The New Jersey group originally included Barbara “Bibbs” and Phyllis “Jiggs” Allbut  with Linda Jansen.  Linda sang lead on their first two hits, “‘Til” and “Cry Baby Cry”.  When she left the act and was replaced by Peggy Santiglia, the stage was set for the girls to record what would become  a classic #1 hit.

The Behind The Hits story of that song starts at Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, fertile ground for musicians and singers. [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Neil Sedaka[/lastfm] and the [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Tokens[/lastfm] went there, as did songwriter/producer Bob Feldman.  Bob graduated in 1958 and moved to Manhattan, where he became a staff writer for April-Blackwood Music.

But five years later he heard that the Sweet Shoppe across the street from Lincoln High, his favorite hangout in the ’50s, was being torn down. So he went back for a last look. “While I was there,” Feldman recalls, “an altercation started between a young girl and a hoody-looking young man with a leather jacket and a great D.A. hairstyle. She was pointing a finger at him and screaming ‘My boyfriend’s back and you’re gonna be in trouble. You’ve been spreading lies about me all over school and when he gets ahold of you, you’re gonna be sorry you were ever born. ‘”

That night Bob told his writing partners, Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer, about the incident and they sat down and wrote a song about it. They thought it would be a perfect tune for the Angels, who they’d been using for background vocals and demos (though it wasn’t strictly a professional relationship, at the time Jerry was going out with Jiggs).

But there was a slight hitch. “My Boyfriend’s Back” was published by April-Blackwood Music, Feldman’s employer, and the head of the company loved the song so much that he insisted on giving it to the [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Shirelles[/lastfm].   After all, the Shirelles had a proven track record of big hits and were guaranteed radio play if they cut it. Feldman refused to budge. “When we told him we intended to produce it ourselves with the Angels, he got really p****d off and locked us out of our office. About three weeks later he told us he wasn’t picking up our option.”

This turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the two trios. “My Boyfriend’s Back” soared to the top of the charts and Bob, Jerry and Richard went into business for themselves.

Later, they became singers (as the [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Strangeloves[/lastfm]), discovered the [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]McCoys[/lastfm], and achieved individual success with productions by [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]War[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Blondie[/lastfm], and the[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”] Go-Gos[/lastfm].

This past weekend (July 30th), Lincoln Center held an oudoor concert called “She’s Got The Power,” a salute to the Girl Group sound. Among the many performers were Peggy and Jiggs, singing the hit that made them famous!

Read the New York Times review of the concert!


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Comments (2)
  1. Mary Shaw says:

    loved the Angels as a teenager, I met one of them not long ago!!!

  2. MAUREEN says:

    ty Bob.. Look for those Angels.. I loved them..Sure I have that same 45….Mr. Shannon you know your stuff..ty Maureen (cupcake) Kenny, Bensonhurst

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