Personalities | The Ronettes | Sixties | Rock

(Vocal group, 1963–66)

One Top 10 (‘Be My Baby’) and one Top 20 hit (‘Baby I Love You’) do not explain the enduring reputation of The Ronettes, a group of school friends mistaken for a singing act when they queued for entrance to a New York dance club in 1961. Sisters Veronica and Estelle Bennett, with cousin Nedra Talley, became the club’s resident vocalists, and in 1963 they succeeded The Crystals as a vehicle for Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound.

The Ronettes’ real legacy was to change for ever the performer-audience relationship, transforming the third-person musings of The Chiffons’ ‘He’s So Fine’ and The Crystals’ ‘Then He Kissed Me’ to their own direct ‘Baby I Love You’. Put simply, it drove the boys wild. Lead singer Ronnie Bennett married Spector, divorcing him in 1974. Recording and touring sporadically since, her 2006 comeback album Last Of The Rock Stars was acclaimed by fans and critics.

Styles & Forms | Sixties | Rock
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Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley


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