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Subject: Nearly 50 Top 40 hits, 7 #1's...

Rob Durkee
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Date Posted: Sunday, January 17, 11:40:57am
In reply to: Dead at 81 's message, "Music Producer Phil Spector" on Sunday, January 17, 07:42:21am

Phil Spector, one of the most famous, creative and innovative producers and song-writers in rock and roll music history, died Saturday of natural causes at a California hospital. He was 81.

As successful Phil Spector was in a music studio, his life was filled with controversy outside of it. In 2009, he was convicted of murdering actress Lana Clarkson in 2003. He was sentenced to 19 years to life. In recent years, this writer saw a photo of Spector. Suffice to say he looked much older than his early 80’s. He lost his ability to speak in 2014 due to polyps in his throat. Plus, rumors persisted that he was in dire need of medical help that may not have ever happened.

Long before his legal problems, Spector’s life was revealed in a telling early 90’s book by Ronnie Spector/Bennett, the former lead singer of the Ronettes. In that book with the title that was the same as the Ronettes’ biggest hit, the #2-peaking “Be My Baby,” author Vince Waldron details that marriage that lasted from roughly 1968 to 1974. In the book’s liner notes, Waldron described Phil Spector as someone who “became increasingly eccentric, reclusive and violent. Some of the details of the marriage —faked pregnancies, cars with inflatable passengers, closets without shoes—are so bizarre that they’re almost funny. But the ordeal was real.” For instance, Phil Spector adopted a pair of twins without informing Ronnie. Yes, she divorced him in 1974.

Putting aside all his legal and marriage woes, Phil Spector revolutionized rock and roll music with his “wall of sound.” He wrote and/or produced nearly 50 Top 40 hits and seven #1’s. His legendary LP entitled “A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector” overcame its bad-luck-filled release date of November 22, 1963 (the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated). That holiday LP never died, though, as small market and college stations played cuts from that LP for its first nine years of existence. The album resurfaced on a list of the top-selling Christmas LP’s in 1972 and gradually increased its popularity from there. Many songs from that Christmas LP are played in the last two months of calendar years on many of the USA’s stations that flip to all-Christmas music.

Of those seven #1’s associated with Phil Spector, this one’s by far my favorite…from November, 1962.


Ironically, “He’s A Rebel” told the big lie…because the act was not the Crystals, but the Blossoms. Vicki Carr was releasing the song as a single and Spector was frantic in getting the Crystals to record it. However, the Crystals weren’t around (probably touring), so the Blossoms recorded it. But the label credited “He’s A Rebel” to the Crystals.

This wasn’t the first case of a Spector-affiliated hit song lying on the label. In some pressings, the record that went to #1 in February, 1965, the song’s time was listed as 3:05. Why? Spector and his label feared stations wouldn’t play a 3:47-long single. No matter. The song went to #1 and became the 20th century’s most-aired song…


Speaking of #1’s, this was Phil Spector’s breakthrough hit from late 1958. Its title was based on a quote on the gravestone of Phil Spector’s father…”To Know Him Is To Love Him”...


One of the greatest wedding hits from June 1964 was also a Phil Spector classic…


Meanwhile, the first solo Beatle #1 was courtesy of Phil Spector…from late 1970-early 1971…


And so was the last of the 20 Beatle #1’s…


Finally, the last of Spector’s #1-affiliated hits came in 1977 as a remake of a Crystals’ hit…


For much more on this breaking story…





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Subject Author Date
Seems he died from Covid related symtoms (NT).Sunday, January 17, 11:43:25am

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