Ellie Greenwich, a songwriter who along with producer Phil Spector and co-writer Jeff Barry crafted some of the biggest and greatest singles of the 1960s, passed away at the age of 68. The AP reports that Greenwich died of a heart attack in New York’s Roosevelt Hospital, where she was battling pneumonia. Among the most famous songs that list Greenwich as a songwriter are the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” and “Baby, I Love You,” the Shangri-La’s “Leader of the Pack,” the Dixie Cups’ “Chapel of Love,” Tina & Ike Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High” and the Crystals’ “Then He Kissed Me” and “Da Doo Ron Ron.” Each of those landmark tracks were listed among Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Discovered by famed songwriters Leiber and Stoller, Greenwich’s other major hits include Manfred Mann’s “Doo Wah Diddy Diddy,” Darlene Love’s “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” and Tommy James’ and the Shondells’ “Hanky Panky.” Greenwich and Barry also helped nurture the career of a fledgling singer-songwriter named Neil Diamond, and Greenwich and Barry produced and contributed background vocals to Diamond hits like “Kentucky Woman,” “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon,” “Cherry, Cherry,” “Red, Red Wine” and “I’m a Believer.”
Dominick Dunne, a best-selling author and special correspondent for Vanity Fair, died today at his home in Manhattan. He was 83.
The cause of death was bladder cancer, said his son Griffin Dunne.
Dunne—who joined Vanity Fair in 1984 as a contributing editor and was named special correspondent in 1993—famously covered the trials of O. J. Simpson, the Menendez brothers, Michael Skakel, William Kennedy Smith, and Phil Spector, as well as the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. He wrote memorable profiles on numerous personalities, among them Imelda Marcos, Robert Mapplethorpe, Elizabeth Taylor, Claus von Bülow, Adnan Khashoggi, and Warren Beatty and Annette Bening. His monthly column provided a glimpse inside high society, and captivated readers.
His first article for the magazine appeared in March 1984—an account of the trial of the man who murdered his daughter Dominique. Throughout his life, Dunne was a vocal advocate for victims’ rights.