It was never supposed to be released that way: The Angels recorded “My Boyfriend’s Back” in 1963 as a demo for The Shirelles. But the recording was too good to be denied, and The Angels’ version, which somehow managed to sound sweet and tough at the same time, became a No. 1 hit in its own right.
The group had been kicking around for a few years by then and had had some minor success, but nothing like this. And they never reached such heights again. But if you’ve got to be a one-hit wonder, it’s kind of cool to have that song be one of the iconic hits of your era.
The group had undergone some lineup changes by the time of “My Boyfriend’s Back,” which featured lead singer Peggy Santiglia of Belleville, and sisters Barbara and Phyllis Allbut of Orange. The three still perform together as The Angels.
The song was written by the team of Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer, and Gottehrer went on, strangely enough, to be an important figure in new wave music, producing or co-producing early albums for Blondie, The Go-Go’s and Marshall Crenshaw.
New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday from Sept. 2014 to Sept. 2015. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, for almost a year — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. The complete list is here.