On this day in music history: October 17, 1964 - “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” by Manfred Mann hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks. Written by Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich, it is the biggest hit for the London based pop quintet. Formed in 1962 by South African born keyboardist Manfred Mann, the band originally call themselves The Mann-Hugg Blues Brothers. They establish themselves as part of the thriving British blues scene in London along with contemporaries including The Yardbirds, Alexis Corner, and The Rolling Stones. When they land a record contract with EMI Records HMV label in 1963, Manfred Mann’s producer John Burgess insists on a name change, and adapt their keyboardist and bandleaders name as their new moniker. After scoring a handful of hits in their native UK, they record a cover of the song “Do Wah Diddy Diddy”, written by the husband and wife songwriting team of Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich. Newly married at the time it was written, Barry and Greenwich perfectly express their newly wedded bliss, with the title being a clever euphemism for a “sexual dalliance”. Originally written for and recorded by The Exciters (“Tell Him”) as “Do-Wah-Diddy”, their version is only a minor hit, peaking at #78 on the Hot 100 on January 25, 1964. Manfred Mann records their version after lead singer Paul Jones discovers the song in his record collection. Issued in the UK first in July of 1964, it is an immediate smash, leaping to number one on August 13, 1964. Licensed to Ascot Records (distributed by United Artists) in the US, it quickly becomes a hit on American radio. Entering the Hot 100 at #58 on September 5, 1964, it streaks to the top of the chart six weeks later. Regarded as one of the great party anthems of all time, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” is covered by a wide variety of artists including Jan & Dean, Andrew Gold, and the 2 Live Crew. Bill Murray and Harold Ramis sing the song during a marching sequence in the film “Stripes” in 1981.