Chapel of Love – The Dixie Cups

THIS DAY IN MUSIC……………………………………on June 6th of 1964 The Dixie Cups became the first American group to top the Billboard chart in 1964 when “Chapel of Love” went to number one. Up until then, the year had been dominated by The Beatles and US solo performers.The Dixie Cups consisted of sisters Barbara Ann and Rosa Lee Hawkins; plus their cousin Joan Marie Johnson, from New Orleans. They first sang together in grade school. Originally, they were to be called Little Miss and the Muffets, but were named the Dixie Cups just prior to their first release. The song was written by Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich, and versions recorded by The Ronettes and Darlene Love were produced by Phil Spector. Barry, Greenwich and Spector were responsible for “Be My Baby” by The Ronettes and several other hits of the mid-’60s. Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich formed Red Bird Records along with Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller and George Goldner. The first release on the new label was the Dixie Cups version of “Chapel Of Love,” which came out before Spector’s recordings with The Ronettes and Darlene Love. Spector was furious with Jeff and Ellie for beating him to the market with the song and took it as an act of betrayal, although he did get a songwriting credit, which was something he demanded when working with songwriters. Spector would team up with Barry and Greenwich again for the 1966 track “River Deep, Mountain High.”In 1972, a version by Bette Midler reached #40 in the US. The Dixie Cups version reached #22 in the UK.