Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich wrote “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” in 1963. They released the song as The Raindrops. The song did not reach the charts but the studio created Raindrops would place five songs on the Billboard Pop Charts. They even added Greenwich’s sister to the album cover so people would thing they were an actual group.
Enter South African born pianist Manfred Mann. In 1961, while living in England, he formed the Mann-Hugg Blues Brothers with drummer Mike Hugg. The addition of singer Paul Jones changed them from a instrumental group to a traditional British Invasion band. Their third release “5-4-3-2-1” reached number five on the British charts and set the stage for their biggest hit.
They recorded “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” and it reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States on October 17, 1964, and there it remained for two weeks. It is one of those simple and catchy tunes that you like in spite of yourself.
Manfred Mann would undergo a number of changes down through the years and in 1977 would return to the top of the charts, but that’s another story.