The Bob Crewe Generation – Music To Watch Girls By

24th September 2022 · 1960s, 1966, Music
Everyone surely loves this song. And everyone probably remembers it by Andy Williams, who took it into the UK charts, not once but twice.

The first time was in 1967 and the second in 1999 (on the back of a car advert). But in 1966 this infectious instrumental version gave Bob Crewe the only hit under his own name.

It didn’t get into the UK charts, where Andy Williams would first reach no.33 with his own version, with lyrics written by Tony Velona – and hit the top ten in 1999 – but it was a huge hit in America.

Crewe had first heard the music, composed by Sidney “Sid” Ramin, in a demo for a jingle recorded for a Diet Pepsi commercial.

In Crewe’s version, featuring strings and surf-style guitar that conjures the soundtrack of Sixties spy films, a trumpet plays the first verse, mimicking Herb Alpert’s Tijuana brass.

The second time around a tenor sax plays a jazzier version, with a harpsichord counter-melody, before the trumpets return. It’s perfect.

Although this was his only hit under his own name, Crewe was a giant of soft pop throughout the Sixties and Seventies.

He wrote and produced a string of hits for The Four Seasons, whom he first signed as backing singers before elevating Frankie Valli’s falsetto to the fore.

Among his many songwriting credits are Labelle’s Lady Marmalade and The Walker Brothers’ The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Any More and Silhouettes (his first hit, for The Rays).