Phil Spector
American songwriter and music producer
Phil Spector
Phillip Harvey "Phil" Spector is an American record producer and songwriter. The originator of the "Wall of Sound" production technique, Spector was a pioneer of the 1960s girl-group sound and produced over 25 Top 40 hits in 1960–1965. Some of his famous girl groups are The Ronettes and The Crystals.
Biography
Phil Spector's personal information overview.
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Photo Albums
Popular photos of Phil Spector
September 13, 2012
Celebrity Old Timers Doing Time! Phil Spector Take a look at these 1920's style celebrity mugshots, created by Michael Jason Enriquez, an art director and advertising student from Santa Monica, CA. The mugshot doppelganger series, which Enriquez dubs the
June 09, 2009
Phil Spector who was sentenced last month to 19 years to life in prison, was photographed upon arriving at the North Kern State Prison Reception Center in Delano last week without one of his trademark wigs. This is a PR photo. WENN does not claim any owne
April 12, 2009
* SPECTOR CONVICTED Music producer PHIL SPECTOR has been found guilty of second-degree murder after a six month retrial in Los Angeles. Jurors, who were handed the case on 26 March (09), reached a verdict at Los Angeles Superior Court early on Monday (13A
November 05, 2008
Phil Spector (mid 1970s) This is a PR photo. WENN does not claim any Copyright or License in the attached material. Fees charged by WENN are for WENN's services only, and do not, nor are they intended to, convey to the user any ownership of Copyright or L
October 15, 2007
Carol Conners of 'The Teddy Bears' discusses her relationship with Phil Spector who she claims once once wished her dead on documentary 'Phil Spector's Demons' on Channel 4England - 16.10.07Supplied by WENN(WENN does not claim any Copyright or License in
April 30, 2007
Devra Robitaille photographed at the time of her affair with Phil Spector
January 26, 2006
SPECTOR DROPS LAWSUIT Music producer PHIL SPECTOR has abandoned a lawsuit against his former attorney ROBERT SHAPIRO, who he claims cheated him. Spector claims he gave Shapiro a $1 million (£556,000) retainer after he was arrested for the murder of actres
September 27, 2004
Indicted!!! Phil Spector Indicted!!! on a Charge For Murder of Actress Lana Clarkson
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News
News abour Phil Spector from around the web
Leon Russell, Musician And Rock And Roll Hall Of Famer, Dead At 74
Huffington Post - 3 months
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Leon Russell, the songwriter behind some of rock music’s top hits like “A Song For You” and “Delta Lady,” has died. He was 74.  Russell’s official website confirmed that the musician “passed away in his sleep” in Nashville on Sunday.  Though an official cause of death has not been released, Russell underwent surgery after suffering a heart attack this past July and was reportedly still in recovery, according to The Associated Press. In 2010, he was also treat ...
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On the Dixie Cups and 'Chapel of Love' and a Little More Respect for the 'Girl Groups' Everywhere
Huffington Post - 5 months
The death this week of Joan Marie Johnson Faust, sad as it is, does call to mind something good and enduring: the "girl groups" of the 1950s and 1960s. Actually, the "girl groups" label is unfortunate. Accurate. Just unfortunate. But before we get to that, let us praise Joan Marie Johnson's group, the Dixie Cups, who started singing together in 1963 and a year later recorded "Chapel of Love." Ah, " target="_hplink">"Chapel Of Love." "Chapel Of Love" remains one of the great and most exhilarating songs from an era that produced a multitude of both. When people talk about the darkness, turmoil and trouble of the 1960s, they sometimes don't realize or remember that the decade also produced countless sunbursts of optimism and joy. Nothing illustrates its sunny side more exuberantly than "Chapel of Love." It hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts in June of 1964, a year after a teenage Joan Marie Johnson - Faust later became her married name - stopped Barbara Hawkins on her ...
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Why Buddy Holly Should Not Fade Away -- and Won't
Huffington Post - about 1 year
In case you didn't notice, the music didn't really die on Feb. 3, 1959. But Buddy Holly did, and so did Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper, and that's more than enough to make the day worth remembering. So let's do it anyway, 57 years later, because we don't remember this kind of thing enough. I don't think it's personal. Popular music, like most of popular culture, just moves on. People who remember seeing or hearing Buddy Holly while he was alive are all on Medicare now. Younger folks, like most younger folks, tend to be interested in their own music memories. That's sad not because their own music is bad, but because they deny themselves so much music that's good - the same way the first generation of young rock 'n' roll fans shortchanged themselves when they wrote off everything before Elvis as suitable only for their parents. Buddy Holly was 22 when he died, which is startling when you think how much music he made and how he was already moving into a second m ...
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Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Lisa Immordino Vreeland's Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict illustrates all that is wrong with the art world and all also all that is wrong with being an artist, to the extent that it underscores the way in which narcissistic grandiosity can camouflage itself as a spiritual quest. As she's depicted in the movie Guggenheim is truly repugnant (though the despicable nature of her character also exudes the sadness of the poor little not so rich girl). In 1939, at the outbreak of the war, she spends $40,000 to acquire the works of many artists who desperately needed money to escape the Nazi onslaught. Hitler had in fact pointed his finger at modernism in his l937 Degenerate Art Exhibition. She picked up works by the likes Leger and Brancusi and in the course bedded literally any artist who came into her path. Writers weren't exempt. She'd once spent four days in a hotel room bed with Beckett, who only got up to get sandwiches left at the door by room service. It's an anecdote which makes one re ...
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Miles Ahead
Huffington Post - over 1 year
There's an old Phil Spector song called, "To Know Him is To Love Him." But, if you are referring to legendary trumpeter Miles Davis, you'd have to re-coin the title: "To Know Him is to Love How Talented, Scattered and Crazy He Was." (Photo by Dwight Brown) Don Cheadle, Emayatzy Corinealdi and Michael Stuhlbarg co-star in Miles Ahead. That's the theme of actor/writer/director Don Cheadle's drama Miles Ahead. If you're looking for a conventional bio-film, you'll be disappointed. If you want to get inside the head of the ingenious, erratic, enigmatic high priest of jazz, fasten your seat belt and enjoy the ride. This Closing Night film for the 2015 New York Film Festival is jazzed. The screenplay by Don Cheadle and Steven Baigelman (Get on Up, the James Brown bio) doesn't pretend to put the life of Miles Dewey Davis III in order. You won't learn where or when he was born (Alton, Illinois, May 26, 1926), how he grew up, when he starting playing the trumpet, how he became a pro ...
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Bobby Susser: Songs in My Pocket
Huffington Post - over 1 year
How do you tell the story of a complex man in a complex business? The details speak for themselves. Bobby Susser is a family man. He lives in N.Y. He earns his daily bread as a songwriter having sold over five million albums in his career. His success must be measured in equal parts to his obvious songwriting talents, his business acumen and his love of family. Bobby Susser as a young Yankees fan. Bobby Susser was born in 1942, the son of middle class Jewish parents and raised in Brooklyn. A Yankees fan all his life, Susser's career began in 1961 when he and his boyhood friend Paul Simon, raised $300 and decided to produce a song that Simon had written. Paul introduced Bobby to the process of "record production," having acquired a working knowledge from his father, Lou Simon, a bass player, who did a good deal of studio work. "I thought "producing" might be a nice way to make a living," says Mr. Susser. Their first song, "Motorcycle" recorded by local band The Triumphs charte ...
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The Unsung Hero of Sixties Music
Huffington Post - almost 2 years
"I met him on a Monday and my heart stood still." That's the opening line of the 1963 hit "Da Doo Ron Ron", one of a string of songs that vividly captured the essence of teenage romance in a way American popular music had rarely done. There's been a recent resurgence of interest in those 1960's tunes. Bette Midler leads off her new CD It's The Girls, a glorious tribute to girl groups, with "Be My Baby", which she credited to The Ronettes during a television appearance. In December, Darlene Love wrapped up a nearly 30-year annual tradition of performing "Christmas: Baby Please Come Home" on David Letterman's late-night show. When singer Lesley Gore passed away in February, her song "Maybe I Know (That He's Been Cheating)" was heard again on the radio. And on the latest edition of NBC's The Sing-off, host Nick Lachey introduced one group's number by saying "Now performing "River Deep, Mountain High" by Tina Turner, here is Traces." Yes, Turner's 1966 version of that classic, ...
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The Beatles -- The Week -- The Legacy
Huffington Post - about 3 years
In the early 90s, Babe Ruth biographer Kal Wagenheim told me the only way to describe the Bambino's effect on the game of baseball and America at large during his first few tumultuously historic years in New York pinstripes would be to say it was like he had been dropped from another planet. "There had been nothing like him before or since," he said. "No one could remember what the game or American sports were like before Babe Ruth arrived on the scene. He changed everything." For my money, this is as close as anyone has come to framing The Beatles arrival on American soil half a century ago this week. Like Ruth, there was no lead-up to The Beatles in New York City on the second week of February, 1964. How could there be? Much of The Beatles image -- the four cheerfully pasty, monochromatically dressed mop-topped British lads -- was a hodgepodge of German art-house nihilism drenched in a transsexual sheen. At first glance, it was if the four figures were equal parts of a whole - ...
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'Breaking Bad' And American Hustle' Lead SAG Awards Wins
Business Insider - about 3 years
Saturday night's 20th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards honored outstanding performances in film and television, voted on by the actors themselves. Both "Breaking Bad" and Bryan Cranston took home top TV awards, while "American Hustle" won the big film award of the night.  Take a look at the full list of winners below (via TheWrap): FILM Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role Jennifer Lawrence, “American Hustle” Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years A Slave” * WINNER Julia Roberts, “August: Osage County” June Squibb, “Nebraska” Oprah Winfrey, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role Barkhad Abdi, “Captain Phillips” Daniel Bruhl, “Rush” James Gandolfini, “Enough Said” Michael Fassbender, “12 Years A Slave” Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club” * WINNER Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role Bruce Dern, “Nebraska” Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years A Slave” Tom Hanks, “Captain Phillips” Matthew McConaughey, ...
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Business Insider article
SAG Awards 2014 Winners List: 'American Hustle,' Matthew McConaughey & More
Popeater - about 3 years
The Screen Actors Guild handed out its 2014 awards on Saturday night in Los Angeles. "American Hustle" won Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture, the SAG Awards' equivalent of Best Picture. David O. Russell's film, which stars Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, defeated "12 Years A Slave," "Dallas Buyers Club," "August: Osage County" and "Lee Daniels' The Butler" for the top honor. Matthew McConaughey won Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role for "Dallas Buyers Club." McConaughey is favored to win the Best Actor Oscar at the 86th annual Academy Awards on March 2, but it should be noted that he didn't compete against Leonardo DiCaprio at the Screen Actors Guild Awards; DiCaprio's "Wolf of Wall Street" performance was not among the Male Actor in a Leading Role nominees. Cate Blanchett was awarded Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role for "Blue Jasmine." Blanchett is heavily favored to win the Oscar ...
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Popeater article
Golden Globe Nominations: See All the 2014 Nominees
US Magazine - about 3 years
The first of the trophies won't be handed out until next year, but awards season is already heating up in a big way! One day after the Screen Actors Guild revealed its list of nominees for the 2014 SAG Awards, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association followed suit, revealing its nominees for the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards. The nominations -- honoring the year's best in both TV and film -- were announced live on Thursday, Dec. 12, in a ceremony at the Beverly Hilton Hotel with Zoe Saldana, Olivia Wilde, Aziz Ansari, and Miss Golden Globe Sosie Bacon. Among the favorites? American Hustle, 12 Years a Slave, and Gravity. Check out the full list of nominees below, and tell Us who you'll be rooting for come January. PHOTOS: The best-dressed stars from the 2013 Golden Globes BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA 12 Years A Slave Captain Phillips Gravity Philomena Rush BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine Sandra Bullock, Gravity Judi ...
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US Magazine article
Another Guy Predicting Another Golden Globes Telecast in Another Blog Post
Huffington Post - about 3 years
Ever since I was a little fat kid who used movies and television as a way to escape my sad, sometimes bullied world, I've loved watching the glitz, the glamor, and the flowing booze of the Golden Globes. While many in the industry don't take the awards seriously (they nominated The Tourist remember?) and feel they don't hold as much weight any more in terms of shaping the Oscar race, I've always enjoyed seeing stars make drunken speeches or schmooze in-between commercial breaks. I also, of course, love that they honor comedic films as well as television. Focusing on the former, let me just say I'm still not over Will Ferrell getting shafted for Elf a decade ago. Anyway, the Globes are a party - nothing less, nothing more. Where else can you find Jack Nicholson literally talking out of his ass or Christine Lahti late out of the gate because she was dropping a deuce? OK, maybe she wasn't but you know what I mean. I love it all, and love that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are hosting the fun s ...
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Of Phil Spector, Marshmallows and Ebb Tides
Huffington Post - about 3 years
During the early 1960s, my father, songwriter Carl Sigman, and many of his "Great American Songbook" contemporaries watched in horror as airwaves and record stores were overrun by alien creatures making noises that, to their ears, did not qualify as "music." Carl came from a tradition in which songwriters wrote songs and singers sang them. As the shift away from that model accelerated -- with the advent of the Beatles and other artists who wrote their own songs -- fewer and fewer of Carl's new tunes made the kind of (chart) noise he would have liked. Phil Spector helped change that. Spector's 1963 Christmas Album (nee A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector), which marked its semi-centennial anniversary last week, gave Carl an appreciation of the potential of rock & roll to take his old-school paeans to love (requited or, more often, not) to strange and beautiful places he had never imagined. Writing in the examiner, ace music writer/Rock 'n' Roll Pantheon czar Jim Bessma ...
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Phil Spector
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2016
    Age 75
    Spector filed for divorce in April 2016, claiming irreconcilable differences.
    More Details Hide Details In the first criminal trial for the Clarkson murder, defense expert Vincent DiMaio asserted that Spector may be suffering from Parkinson's disease, stating, "Look at Mr. Spector. He has Parkinson's features. He trembles."
  • 2014
    Age 73
    In September 2014, it was reported that Spector had lost his ability to speak due to laryngeal papillomatosis.
    More Details Hide Details Albums Singles Music-related Legal-related
  • 2013
    Age 72
    Department of Corrections photos from 2013 (released in September 2014) show evidence of a progressive deterioration in Spector's health, according to observers.
    More Details Hide Details He has been an inpatient in the California Health Care Facility in Stockton since October 2013.
  • 2009
    Age 68
    Spector was immediately taken into custody and was sentenced, on May 29, 2009, to 19 years to life in the California state prison system., Spector is serving his sentence at the California Health Care Facility, California State Prison (Stockton, California).
    More Details Hide Details He will be 88 years old before becoming eligible for parole. Spector's early musical influences included Latin music in general, and Latin percussion in particular. This is perceptible in many if not all of Spector's recordings, from the percussion in many of his hit songs: shakers, güiros (gourds) and maracas in "Be My Baby" and the son montuno in "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" (heard clearly in the song's bridge, played by session bassist Carol Kaye, while the same repeating refrain is played on harpsichord by Larry Knechtel). Spector would visit Spanish Harlem clubs and schools to hone his listening and practical skills. Spector's trademark during his recording career was the so-called Wall of Sound, a production technique yielding a dense, layered effect that reproduced well on AM radio and jukeboxes. To attain this signature sound, Spector gathered large groups of musicians (playing some instruments not generally used for ensemble playing, such as electric and acoustic guitars) playing orchestrated parts—often doubling and tripling many instruments playing in unison—for a fuller sound. Spector himself called his technique "a Wagnerian approach to rock & roll: little symphonies for the kids".
  • 2008
    Age 67
    In mid-April 2008, BBC 2 broadcast a special entitled Phil Spector: The Agony and the Ecstasy.
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  • 2007
    Age 66
    Also in December 2007, Spector attended the funeral of Ike Turner, whose former wife, Tina Turner, he produced in 1966 (only Tina was recorded, but the record label still read "Ike and Tina Turner").
    More Details Hide Details While delivering a eulogy, Spector lashed out at Tina and stated that "Ike made Tina the jewel she was. When I went to see Ike play at the Cinegrill in the 90s there were at least five Tina Turners on the stage performing that night, any one of them could have been Tina Turner." Spector lashed out at Oprah Winfrey for promoting Tina Turner's autobiography, which "demonized and vilified Ike."
  • 2006
    Age 65
    On September 1, 2006, Spector, while on bail and awaiting trial, married his third wife Rachelle Short, who was 26 at the time.
    More Details Hide Details
    Spector produced singer-songwriter Hargo's track "Crying for John Lennon", which originally appears on Hargo's 2006 album In Your Eyes, but on a visit to Spector's mansion for an interview for the John Lennon tribute movie Strawberry Fields, Hargo played Spector the song and asked him to produce it.
    More Details Hide Details Spector and former Paul McCartney drummer Graham Ward produced it in the classic Wall of Sound style on nights after his first murder trial. In December 2007, the song "B Boy Baby" by Mutya Buena and Amy Winehouse featured melodic and lyrical passages heavily influenced by the Ronettes song "Be My Baby". As a result, Spector was given a songwriting credit on the single. The sections from "Be My Baby" are sung by Winehouse, not directly sampled from the mono single. Winehouse referenced her admiration of Spector's work and often performed Spector's first hit song, "To Know Him Is to Love Him".
  • 2003
    Age 62
    Spector told Esquire Magazine in July 2003 that Clarkson's death was an "accidental suicide" and that she "kissed the gun".
    More Details Hide Details The emergency call from Spector's home, made by Spector's driver, Adriano de Souza, quotes Spector as saying, "I think I've killed someone". De Souza added that he saw Spector come out the back door of the house with a gun in his hand. The case went to the jury on March 26, 2009, and nineteen days later, on April 13, the jury returned a guilty verdict. Additionally, he was found guilty of using a firearm in the commission of a crime, which added four years to the sentence.
    His most recent released project was Silence Is Easy by Starsailor, in 2003.
    More Details Hide Details He was originally supposed to produce the entire album, but was fired owing to personal and creative differences. One of the two Spector-produced songs on the album, the title track, was a UK top 10 single (the other single being "White Dove").
  • THIRTIES
  • 1979
    Age 38
    Spector also produced the much-publicized Ramones album End of the Century in 1979.
    More Details Hide Details As with his work with Leonard Cohen, End of the Century received criticism from Ramones fans who were angered over its radio-friendly sound. However, it contains some of the best known and most successful Ramones singles, such as "Rock 'n' Roll High School", "Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio? " and their cover of a previously released Spector song for the Ronettes, "Baby, I Love You." Guitarist Johnny Ramone later commented on working with Spector on the recording of the album, "It really worked when he got to a slower song like 'Danny Says'—the production really worked tremendously. For the harder stuff, it didn't work as well." Rumors circulated for years that Spector had threatened members of the Ramones with a gun during the sessions. Dee Dee claimed that Spector once pulled a gun on him when he tried to leave a session. Drummer Marky Ramone recalled in 2008, "They guns were there but he had a license to carry. He never held us hostage. We could have left at any time".
  • 1977
    Age 36
    Spector began to reemerge in the late 1970s, producing and co-writing a controversial 1977 album by Leonard Cohen, entitled Death of a Ladies' Man.
    More Details Hide Details The album angered many devout Cohen fans who preferred his stark acoustic sound to the orchestral and choral wall of sound that the album contains. The recording of the album was fraught with difficulty. After Cohen had laid down practice vocal tracks, Spector mixed the album in studio sessions, rather than allowing Cohen to take a role in the mixing, as Cohen had previously done. Cohen has remarked that the end result is "grotesque", but also "semi-virtuous"; he still includes a reworked version of the track "Memories" in live concerts. Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg also participated in the background vocals on "Don't Go Home with Your Hard-On", which is the second time Spector indirectly "produced" Dylan—the first being Dylan's live recordings on The Concert for Bangladesh.
    Finally, he released an American compilation of his Philles recordings in 1977, which put most of the better-known Spector hits back into circulation after many years.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1975
    Age 34
    When the Cher and Keno singles (the latter's recordings were only issued in Germany) foundered on the charts, Spector released Dion DiMucci's Born to Be with You to little commercial fanfare in 1975; largely produced and recorded by Spector in 1974, it was subsequently disowned by the singer before enjoying a resurgence among the indie rock cognoscenti of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
    More Details Hide Details The majority of Spector's classic Philles recordings had been out of print in the U.S. since the original label's demise, although Spector had released several Philles Records compilations in Britain.
    A similar relationship with Britain's Polydor Records led to the formation of the Phil Spector International label in 1975.
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  • 1974
    Age 33
    The 1974 accident took place shortly after he had established the Warner-Spector label with Warner Bros.
    More Details Hide Details Records, which undertook new Spector-produced recordings with Cher ("A Woman's Story" / "Baby, I Love You" 1974; "A Love Like Yours (Don't Come Knockin' Every Day)" / "(Just Enough to Keep Me) Hangin' On" 1975, with Harry Nilsson), Darlene Love ("Lord, If You're a Woman" / "Stumble and Fall" 1977), Danny Potter, and Jerri Bo Keno ("Here It Comes (And Here I Go)" / "I Don't Know Why" 1975) in addition to several reissues.
    He was admitted to the UCLA Medical Center on the night of March 31, 1974, suffering serious head injuries that required several hours of surgery, with over 300 stitches to his face and more than 400 to the back of his head.
    More Details Hide Details His head injuries, Thompson suggests, were the reason that Spector began his habit of wearing outlandish wigs in later years.
    The most probable and significant reason for his withdrawal, as revealed by biographer Dave Thompson, was that in 1974 he was seriously injured when he was thrown through the windshield of his car in a crash in Hollywood.
    More Details Hide Details According to a contemporary report published in the New Musical Express, Spector was almost killed, and it was only because the attending police officer detected a faint pulse that Spector was not declared dead at the scene.
  • 1973
    Age 32
    In 1973, Spector participated in the recording sessions for what would be Lennon's Rock 'n' Roll album (number 6).
    More Details Hide Details As the 1970s progressed, Spector became increasingly reclusive.
  • 1972
    Age 31
    The album later won the "Album of the Year" award at the 1972 Grammys.
    More Details Hide Details Despite being recorded live, Spector used up to 44 microphones simultaneously to create his trademark Wall of Sound.
  • 1971
    Age 30
    Lennon retained Spector for the 1971 Christmas single "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" and the poorly reviewed 1972 album, Some Time In New York City (number 48).
    More Details Hide Details Similar to the unusual pattern of success that Spector's A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records experienced, "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" also stalled in sales upon its initial release, only later to become a fixture on radio station playlists during the holiday season.
    In 1971, Spector was named director of A&R for Apple Records.
    More Details Hide Details He held the post for only a year, but during that time he co-produced the single "Power to the People" with John Lennon (number 11), as well as Lennon's chart-topping album, Imagine. The album's title track hit number 3. With Harrison, Spector co-produced Harrison's "Bangla-Desh" (number 23) and wife Ronnie Spector's "Try Some, Buy Some" (number 77). That same year Spector recorded the music for the number 1 triple album The Concert For Bangladesh.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1970
    Age 29
    In 1970, Allen Klein, manager of the Beatles, brought Spector to England.
    More Details Hide Details While producing John Lennon's hit solo single "Instant Karma! ", which went to number 3, Spector was invited by Lennon and George Harrison to take on the task of turning the Beatles' abandoned Get Back recording sessions into a usable album. He went to work using many of his production techniques, making significant changes to the arrangements and sound of some songs. The resulting album, Let It Be, was a massive commercial success and topped the US and UK charts. The album also yielded the number 1 US singles "The Long and Winding Road" and "Let It Be," the latter a UK number 2 released two months ahead of the album; "Get Back", an international number 1, was issued in 1969, right after the original Get Back sessions. His overdubbing of "The Long and Winding Road" infuriated its composer, Paul McCartney, especially since the work was allegedly completed without his knowledge and without any opportunity for him to assess the results. In 2003, McCartney spearheaded the release of Let It Be... Naked, which stripped the songs of Spector's input.
  • 1969
    Age 28
    In 1969, Spector made a brief return to the music business by signing a production deal with A&M Records.
    More Details Hide Details A Ronettes single, "You Came, You Saw, You Conquered" flopped, but Spector returned to the Hot 100 with "Black Pearl", by Sonny Charles and the Checkmates, Ltd., which reached number 13.
  • 1968
    Age 27
    Their marriage lasted from 1968 to 1974.
    More Details Hide Details They adopted three children, Donté Phillip Spector (born March 23, 1969), Louis Phillip Spector, and Gary Phillip Spector (twins, both born May 12, 1966). In the 1980s, Spector had twin children with then-girlfriend Janis Zavala: Nicole Audrey Spector and Phillip Spector, Jr. (born October 18, 1982). Phillip Jr. died of leukemia on December 25, 1991.
  • 1967
    Age 26
    In 1967, Spector emerged briefly for a cameo as himself in an episode of I Dream of Jeannie and as a drug dealer in the film Easy Rider (1969).
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1966
    Age 25
    Spector's final signing to Philles was the husband-and-wife team of Ike and Tina Turner in 1966.
    More Details Hide Details Spector considered their recording of "River Deep – Mountain High", to be his best work, but it failed to go any higher than number 88 in the United States. The single, which was essentially a solo Tina Turner record, was more successful in Britain, reaching number 3. Spector subsequently lost enthusiasm for his label and the recording industry. Already something of a recluse, he withdrew temporarily from the public eye, marrying Veronica "Ronnie" Bennett, lead singer of the Ronettes, in 1968.
    However, the sound of the Righteous Brothers' singles was so distinctive that the act chose to replicate it after leaving Spector, notching a second number 1 hit in 1966 with the Bill Medley–produced "(You're My) Soul and Inspiration".
    More Details Hide Details The recording of "Unchained Melody", credited on some releases as a Spector production although Medley has consistently said he produced it originally as an album track, had a second wave of popularity 25 years after its initial release, when it was featured prominently in the 1990 hit movie Ghost. A re-release of the single re-charted on the Billboard Hot 100, and went to number one on the Adult Contemporary charts. This also put Spector back on the U.S. Top 40 charts for the first time since his last appearance in 1971 with John Lennon's "Imagine", although he did have UK top 40 hits in the interim with the Ramones.
  • 1963
    Age 22
    The first time Spector put the same amount of effort into an LP as he did into 45s was when he utilized the full Philles roster and the Wrecking Crew to make what he felt would become a hit for the 1963 Christmas season. A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records arrived in stores on November 22, 1963 — the day of the assassination of President Kennedy.
    More Details Hide Details September 28, 1963, the Ronettes appeared at the Cow Palace, near San Francisco. Also on the bill were the Righteous Brothers. Spector, who was conducting the band for all the acts, was so impressed with Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield that he bought their contract from Moonglow Records and signed them to Philles. In early 1965, "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'", became the label's second number 1 single. Three more major hits with the group followed: "Just Once in My Life" (number 9), "Unchained Melody" (number 4, originally the B side of "Hung on You") and "Ebb Tide" (number 5). Despite having hits, he lost interest in producing the Righteous Brothers and sold their contract and all their master recordings to Verve Records.
    Spector also released solo material by Darlene Love in 1963.
    More Details Hide Details In the same year, he released "Be My Baby" by the Ronettes, which went to number 2.
  • 1962
    Age 21
    Spector continued to work freelance with other artists. In 1962, he produced "Second Hand Love" by Connie Francis, which reached #7.
    More Details Hide Details In the early 1960s, he briefly worked with Atlantic Records' R&B artists Ruth Brown and LaVern Baker. Ahmet Ertegün of Atlantic paired Spector with future Broadway star Jean DuShon for "Talk to Me", the B-side of which was "Tired of Trying", written by DuShon. Spector briefly took a job as head of A&R for Liberty Records. It was while working at Liberty that he heard a song written by Gene Pitney, for whom he had produced a number 41 hit, "Every Breath I Take", a year earlier. "He's a Rebel" was due to be released on Liberty by Vikki Carr, but Spector rushed into Gold Star Studios and recorded a cover version using Darlene Love and the Blossoms on lead vocals. The record was released on Philles, attributed to the Crystals, and quickly rose to the top of the charts.
  • 1961
    Age 20
    In late 1961, Spector formed a new record company with Lester Sill, who by this time had ended his business partnership with Hazlewood.
    More Details Hide Details Philles Records combined the names of its two founders. Through Hill and Range Publishers, Spector found three groups he wanted to produce: the Ducanes, the Creations, and the Crystals. The first two signed with other companies, but Spector managed to secure the Crystals for his new label. Their first single, "There's No Other (Like My Baby)" was a success, hitting number 20. Their next release, "Uptown", made it to number 13.
    Leiber and Stoller recommended Spector to produce Ray Peterson's Corrina, Corrina, which reached number 9 in January 1961.
    More Details Hide Details Later, he produced another major hit for Curtis Lee, "Pretty Little Angel Eyes", which made it to number 7. Returning to Hollywood, Spector agreed to produce one of Lester Sill's acts. After both Liberty Records and Capitol Records turned down the master of "Be My Boy" by the Paris Sisters, Sill formed a new label, Gregmark Records, with Lee Hazlewood, and released it. It reached only number 56, but the follow-up, "I Love How You Love Me", was a hit, reaching number 5.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1960
    Age 19
    In 1960, Sill arranged for Spector to work as an apprentice to Leiber and Stoller in New York.
    More Details Hide Details Ronnie Crawford would become Spector’s first true recording artist and project as producer. Spector quickly learned how to use a studio. He co-wrote the Ben E. King Top 10 hit "Spanish Harlem" with Jerry Leiber and also worked as a session musician, most notably playing the guitar solo on the Drifters' song, "On Broadway". His own productions during this time, while less conspicuous, included releases by LaVern Baker, Ruth Brown, and Billy Storm, as well as the Top Notes' original version of "Twist and Shout".
  • 1958
    Age 17
    In 1958, the Teddy Bears recorded the Spector-penned "Don't You Worry My Little Pet", which helped them secure a deal with Era Records.
    More Details Hide Details At their next session, they recorded another song Spector had written—this one inspired by the epitaph on Spector's father's tombstone. Released on Era's subsidiary label, Dore Records, "To Know Him Is to Love Him" reached number one on Billboard Hot 100 singles chart on December 1, 1958, selling over a million copies by year's end. It was the seventh number-one single on the newly formed chart. Following the success of their debut, the group signed with Imperial Records. Their next single, "I Don't Need You Anymore", reached number 91. They released several more recordings, including an album, The Teddy Bears Sing!, but failed to reach the top 100 in US sales. The group disbanded in 1959. After the split, Spector's career quickly moved from performing and songwriting to production. While recording the Teddy Bears' album, Spector had met Lester Sill, a former promotion man who was a mentor to Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. His next project, the Spectors Three, was undertaken under the aegis of Sill and his partner, Lee Hazlewood.
  • 1953
    Age 12
    In 1953, his mother moved the family to Los Angeles where she found work as a seamstress.
    More Details Hide Details Having learned to play guitar, Spector performed "Rock Island Line" in a talent show at Fairfax High School, where he was a student. While at Fairfax, he joined a loose-knit community of aspiring musicians, including Lou Adler, Bruce Johnston, Steve Douglas, and Sandy Nelson, the last of whom played drums on Spector's first record release, "To Know Him Is to Love Him". With three friends from high school, Marshall Leib, Sandy Nelson, and Annette Kleinbard, Spector formed a group, the Teddy Bears. During this period, record producer Stan Ross — co-owner of Gold Star Studios in Hollywood — began to tutor Spector in record production and exerted a major influence on Spector's production style.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1949
    Age 8
    Spector's father committed suicide on April 20, 1949.
    More Details Hide Details
  • OTHER
  • 1939
    Age -2
    Spector was born on December 26, 1939, to a first-generation immigrant Jewish family in the Bronx, New York City.
    More Details Hide Details His father, Ben, was an ironworker from Russia (now Ukraine) with the surname Spekter, which he later anglicized to Spector.
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