Phil Spector!

By Gary:

Well let’s take a look back:  without Sam Phillip’s Sun Records, Elvis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and so on, may never have been heard.  Then there where all the people at Chess, Atlantic, King and so many more that gave us the heritage we have today.

But I think without a doubt, there was “One” Producer and music creator that stood out from the crowd, according to the music industry, according to his peers, and myself.

Regardless of media coverage and news that now exists in 2010 about this man, I will deal only with the years 1958 – 1979.  I will cover just some of his many creations and hits —-

Phil Spector
Harvey Philip Spector
(born December 26, 1939)


The Making of “Be My Baby”  The Ronettes /


The Making of “Da Do Ron Ron”  The Crystals /


The Wall of Sound /


Brian Wilson on Phil Spector /


Many Hits


Phil at Goldstar Studio

(Please wait for audio to start on this short sample)

The Crystals on Hullabaloo / Da Do Ron Ron /
Same Show / He’s a Rebel /
La La Brooks on PBS / Then He Kissed Me /

La La Brooks on PBS / Da Do Ron Ron /
River Deep Mountain High / Ike, Tina, Ikettes but no Phil Spector /
2003 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductions / Both Bill and Bobby (Bobby died the same year)
The Ramones / Rock and Roll High School /
Mike Douglas Show / John Lennon / Imagine /
Tribute to  Sonny Charles / Black Pearl / Checkmates LTD /
The Ronettes / Be my Baby /
The Legendary Ladies of Rock and Roll / Da Do Ron Ron /


1. “Every Breath I Take” – Gene Pitney (9/11/61, #42)


2. “Puddin N’ Tain (Ask Me Again, I’ll Tell You the Same)– The Alley Cats (2/16/63, #43)

Some of the Artists

The Teddy Bears

To Know Him Is to Love Him” – The Teddy Bears (12/01/58, #1)


Ray Peterson

Corrine, Corrina” – Ray Peterson (1/09/61, #9)


Curtis Lee

Pretty Little Angel Eyes” – Curtis Lee (8/07/61, #7)

Under the Moon of Love – Curtis Lee (11/27/61, #46)

I Love How You Love Me” – The Paris Sisters (10/30/61, #5)

There’s No Other (Like My Baby)” – The Crystals (1/22/62, #20)

Uptown” – The Crystals (3/03/62, #13)

He’s A Rebel” – The Crystals (11/03/62, #1)

He’s Sure the Boy I Love” – The Crystals (1/19/63, #11)

Da Doo Ron Ron (When He Walked Me Home)” – The Crystals (6/08/63, #3)


Then He Kissed Me– The Crystals (8/17/63, #6)


Second Hand Love” – Connie Francis (6/09/62, #7)

Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” – Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans (1/12/63, #8)

(Today I Met) The Boy I’m Gonna Marry” – Darlene Love (5/11/63, #39)

Be My Baby” – The Ronettes (10/12/63, #2)

You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” – The Righteous Brother(2/06/65 #1, UK #1)

Just Once in My Life” – The Righteous Brothers (5/15/65, #9)

Unchained Melody – The Righteous Brothers (8/28/65, #4)

Ebb Tide” – The Righteous Brothers (1/08/66, #5)

River Deep – Mountain High” – Ike and Tina Turner (6/18/66, #88 UK #3)

Black Pearl” – Sonny Charles and The Checkmates, Ltd. (7/05/69, #13)

The Long and Winding Road“/”For You Blue” – The Beatles (6/13/70, #1)

My Sweet Lord” – George Harrison (12/26/70, #1)

Imagine” – John Lennon (11/13/71, #3)

Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” – Ramones (8/04/79, UK #67)

Phil Spector is among the greatest producers of rock and roll, and some would passionately argue that he is the greatest ever. His ambitious approach to the art of record production helped redefine and revitalize rock and roll during its early-Sixties slump.

On a string of classic records released between 1961 and 1966 on his Philles label, he elevated the monaural 45 rpm single to an art form. “Little symphonies for the kiddies,” he called them, and they were indeed dramatic pop records possessed of a grandeur and intimacy theretofore uncommon in rock and roll.

He was born Harvey Phillip Spector in the Bronx in 1940. He picked up guitar and piano in high school and began writing and recording original songs with classmate Marshall Lieb. Joined by a third friend, Annette Kleinbard, they formed the Teddy Bears and had a Top Ten hit with “To Know Him Is to Love Him.”

When Spector was only 17 years old, his creative genius as a writer/producer flourished as he co-wrote the classic “Spanish Harlem” with Jerry Leiber (of Leiber and Stoller), a soul hit for Ben E. King.

In the early Sixties, he produced hits for such artists as Gene Pitney (“Every Breath I Take“), Curtis Lee (“Pretty Little Angel Eyes“) and the Paris Sisters (“I Love How You Love Me“).

In 1961, he co-founded the Philles label with partner Lester Sill, and was immediately successful with “There’s No Other (Like My Baby),” by the Crystals.

Spector utilized the studio like no producer before him. In exploring its possibilities, he constructed a musical monolith known as the “Wall of Sound.” The chief ingredients in the Wall of Sound – a massive and cavernous roar created by the fusing of many individual instruments – were maximum volume and liberal use of echo.

Spector exhibited a singular knack for matching talented singers with expert session musicians and wonderful songs. He worked his charges through endless takes as he tried to realize the sound he heard in his head.

Several of the many timeless Spector-produced hits that stand as a testament to his genius include “Da Doo Ron Ron” and “He’s a Rebel” and “Then He Kissed Me” (by the Crystals); “Be My Baby,” “Baby, I Love You” and “Walking in the Rain” (by the Ronettes); “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” “Unchained Melody” and “Ebb Tide” (by the Righteous Brothers); and “River Deep – Mountain High” (by Ike and Tina Turner).

After the glory days of Top Forty radio began waning in the late Sixties, Spector’s impact inevitably ebbed as well. However, he adapted to changing circumstances and went on to produce the Beatles (Let It Be), John Lennon (Plastic Ono Band) and George Harrison (All Things Must Pass), plus acts ranging from Cher to the Ramones.



2 responses to “Phil Spector!

  1. Pingback: One Hit Wonders / 1961 | Russ & Gary's "The Best Years of Music"

  2. In the past, you have put together some great bios, clips,etc. Many hours of enjoyment watching and listening to your efforts. None, however would match what you have done this time. Wow! What a look at the #1 musical genius of our time. A special thans for this one.

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