I will never forget the time I heard this on the radio (this was in 1963) and the disc jockey said something like ”Now we’re going to hear a new song by The Angels. It’s called ‘My Boyfriend’s Elbow.’ No, wait, it’s called ‘My Boyfriend’s Nose.’ No, I’m sorry, I still have it wrong, it’s called ‘My Boyfriend’s Back’.” And then he played the song. I laughed out loud. (Times were simpler then.) But, I have never forgotten that and think of it everytime I hear the Angels sing this song.
It could be said that The Angels were part of the girl-group invasion of the early Sixties. They were unique in that they were the first white girl group to have a number one song. The Angels were three girls, two of them sisters. The sisters were Barbara “Bibs” and Phyllis “Jiggs” Allbut. The third member of the group changed several times, but the sisters remained in the group for several years. At the time of “My Boyfriend’s Back,” the third member was Peggy Santiglia. She was the lead singer. The Angels had had two Top 40 hits before “Boyfriend.” In 1961, “Till” reached number fourteen. The third member at that time was Linda Jensen. Jensen left the group in 1962 to go solo (never to be heard from again) and was replaced by Santiglia.
The Angels started out on the Caprice label, but when “My Boyfriend’s Back” came along, they moved over to Smash Records. The song was written by the writing team of Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer. Surprisingly, these three later would perform under the name of The Strangeloves and had a hit called “I Want Candy” (#11) in 1965. But, back in 1963, they were writers and producers and wrote the song “My Boyfriend’s Back.”
This is how the song came to be: Bob Feldman was wandering the streets of New York one night, when he happened upon an altercation between a girl and a guy who definitely was not her boyfriend. She was screaming at him and Bob stopped to listen. She told the guy that her boyfriend was back in town and he was going to be in trouble. She said that he had been spreading lies about her and that her boyfriend wouldn’t believe them and he was going to be sorry he was ever born. Bob thought about the exchange, went back to his office and talked it over with his two writing partners and they wrote “My Boyfriend’s Back.”
They wrote the song for The Angels but the label didn’t want The Angels to release it. They weren’t well enough known. The label wanted The Shirelles to record it. Feldman and his partners put their foot down and refused to let them change the artist. They insisted that The Angels release the song. It didn’t hurt that Peggy Santiglia was dating Jerry Goldstein at the time. So, the record was released by The Angels.
It would be the only number one The Angels had. The group continued to perform well into the Seventies. At some point Barbara had had enough and she left the group, so they brought in a replacement. They earned a living performing in oldies shows and still do to this day. As far as I know, all original members of The Angels are still alive.
“My Boyfriend’s Back” entered the Hot 100 at number at number 73, took four weeks to get to number one and stayed there for three weeks.
Here’s a video that looks like it’s a clip from The Ed Sullivan Show.