Phil Spector, The Ronettes and ‘Be My Baby’

Yet another person written about in the early days of this blog left us yesterday. Phil Spector was an innovator, coming up with the “Wall of Sound”, a Wagnerian approach to rock ‘n’ roll. His work with the Ronettes, the Crystals and Darlene Love produced some of the finest pop tunes ever recorded, and of course he gave us the best Christmas Album ever made, A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records. I think I’ve shared something from it every year since starting this blog.

He had a troubled life however and at the time of his death was an inmate of the California state prison system. Here is not the place to go into the whys and wherefores, but if you want to hear a bit of classic Phil Spector, click on the post below where you will find his once wife, Ronnie Spector, performing Be My Baby with her fellow Ronettes. This two-and-a-half minute gem is often cited as being “the perfect pop song” – A fine accolade indeed.

What's It All About?

Following on from my last post when I wrote about Amy Winehouse’s album “Back to Black”, her image at that time was very much taken from the American girl groups of the early ’60s. The most famous and recognisable of these was probably The Ronettes of Be My Baby fame.

Be My Baby by The Ronettes:

Now I would be lying if I said that I remembered this song from 1963 when it was first released, but it is one of those songs you will have heard throughout your entire life, popping up on the radio and on film soundtracks. Phil Spector, who produced the record, was an innovator and in the early 60s created his now infamous “wall of sound” as a backdrop to the sultry vocals of singers like Veronica (Ronnie) Bennett of The Ronettes and Darlene Love. This new approach to recording included using whole string and…

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Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days - I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 50 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team Bacharach and David - The opening line to that song was "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping that by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

12 thoughts on “Phil Spector, The Ronettes and ‘Be My Baby’”

    1. Indeed. Yet the most messed-up people often produce the best “art”. In the 1960s pop music was an art form but somewhere along the line it lost its credibility. Phil’s music was up there with the best.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. All I know is that in the mid 60’s I had a girlfriend called Lesley who had a (blonde) bouffant hairdo and she dumped me for a bus conductor. I consoled myself by thinking it was the uniform that attracted her to him. *sigh*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah the big bouffant hairdo – We laugh now at the ‘big hair’ styles of the 1980s but those girl-groups from the early 60s would have given them a run for their money.


  2. Yes…Phil Spector. Great music producer, sh*tty human being. He was known to be abusive to the musicians he worked with, often pulling guns on them. Terrible what he did to his own wife, to the Ramones, etc. Love the story where he fires a pistol near John Lennon’s ear, and Lennon basically told him “Look, if you are going to kill me, get on with it, but don’t F— with my ears.” No denying the quality of art that came from his production work, though. I guess I’ll just celebrate the performers themselves…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As you say, a pretty awful human being which is why there hasn’t been much in the way of tributes. I usually take note around here when someone I have written about dies however so decided to reblog the Ronettes post from my first year of blogging. I also love the Christmas album songs and usually end up sharing them at that time of year.

      I did read some incredible stories about him pulling a gun on the people he was producing. Sounds as if John Lennon stayed quite calm as did Leonard Cohen. Sadly the ladies in his life had a tough time and of course one lost her own life.


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