The Shangri-Las: Maybe


Considered to be the first ‘girl group’ number, this was written by George Goldner and Richard Barrett. Arlene Smith, lead singer of the Chantels, is believed to be an uncredited co-writer. It was released by the Chantels in December 1957 and reached No 15 in the US in January 1958.

Rolling Stone ranked it at 199 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

The Shangri-Las released it in 1964. It was a flop, getting to No 91 in the States and nowhere in Britain. I still think it is the best version.

Janis Joplin did it for her 1969 album I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama! I think it is one of her better tracks, though the bar is low.

The second-most successful version was by the ghastly Three Degrees, reaching No 29 in America in 1970. Sorry to subject you to this.

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