Phil Spector, Music Producer Known for the ‘Wall of Sound,’ Dies at 81 – The New York Times

After “Theres No Other (Like My Baby)” and “Uptown” reached the Top 20, Mr. Spector was eager to have the Crystals tape the Gene Pitney composition “Hes a Rebel” immediately. To speed things along, he got the Blossoms, a widely known Los Angeles backup group, and taped them under the Crystals name, with Darlene Wright (whose last name he altered to Love) on lead. The record ended up being Philless first No. 1 hit.Mr. Spector shuffled his vocalists at will. He prepared Ms. Love and another Blossom, Fanita James, to sing with Bobby Sheen on one of his more distinctive hits, “Zip-a-Dee Doo-Dah,” credited to the group Bob B. Soxx and the Bluejeans. For the singles “Da Doo Ron Ron” and “Then He Kissed Me,” he re-enlisted the original Crystals, now with a new diva, the 15-year-old Dolores Brooks, called LaLa. Both tunes made the Top 10. The Crystals, along with the Ronettes and Ms. Love, all performed on “A Christmas Gift for You From Phil Spector,” a collection of holiday tunes. The album, now considered as a Spector masterpiece, was launched the day of the Kennedy assassination in 1963. Mr. Spector withdrew it from sale, and it sank without a trace.With the Righteous Brothers, the wall of sound assumed towering heights, but Mr. Spector exceeded himself when he put Tina Turner in the studio in 1966 to tape “River Deep, Mountain High,” which utilized 21 musicians and an equal variety of backup vocalists.The record increased to the upper reaches of the British charts however flopped in the United States. Upset, Mr. Spector withdrew from the music organization for several years and got in a decades-long decline marked by unpredictable behavior, typically including his extensive pistol collection, and heavy drinking.An affair with the lead vocalist of the Ronettes, Veronica Bennett, referred to as Ronnie, led to the breakup of his marital relationship. His rough marriage to Ms. Bennett, narrated in her 1990 memoir “Be My Baby,” ended in divorce.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *