What a great book! Not only does the author cover the usual suspects - the Supremes, Chiffons and Shirelles, but he gives extensive information on the less widely known, but no less (and often more) talented girl groups from coast to coast. For instance, records by Cincinnati's "Teardrops", whose raw talent and natural vocal blends made them a stand-out in that region, are still being collected from the US to the UK to Japan! Those girls never signed a major record deal, but their natural talents, unique sounds and inventive musical techniques were more "supreme" by far than some of their more famous, professionally produced counterparts.
Luckily, this book goes to great lengths to include 60 of the girl groups who were most influential in the genre, not just rehash what we already know about the best-known handful.
The Pre-British-Invasion sound of the 50s and 60s was largely influenced by girl groups, until the rise of their rich sound was eclipsed by an influx of first generation boy bands from across the sea. The sounds, styles and sentiments expressed through the girl group sound have never been matched.
Girl groups made music because they loved singing. Many of them were in their early to late teens when they hit the limelight. They grew up singing together with friends on street corners, in gymnasiums or wherever else the acoustics were good for creating that distinct harmonic sound we know and love - often times without any instruments to back them up.
That pure vocal magic has never been tapped again, as music has regrettably gone from passion to pop profit play. Finally, we have a book which explores the music and the makers of the last great era in heart-felt & soul-created music and gives us all a comprehensive understanding of how the groups came to be and where the girls who won our hearts are now.
The discography and pricing guide for collectors is a great added bonus, which illustrates the ongoing value of the music made decades ago. Some of the records, especially those made by the lesser known groups, are "hot" collector's items, hard to come by -- even in bootleg -- because it just doesn't get any better than it was when the Girl Groups sang!