The Ronettes

The Ronettes  were an American girl group from New York City.  One of the most popular groups from the 1960s, they placed nine songs on the Billboard Hot 100, five of which became Top 40 hits.  Among the Ronettes’ most famous songs are “Be My Baby”, “Baby, I Love You”, “(The Best Part of) Breakin’ Up”, and “Walking in the Rain”, all of which charted on the Billboard Hot 100.  “Walking in the Rain” won a Grammy Award in 1965, and “Be My Baby” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.  The group were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004.  The Ronettes were the only girl group to tour with the Beatles.  (More from Wikipedia)

A torrent of girl groups followed, among them Martha and the Vandellasthe Supremes, the Marvelettesthe Shirellesthe Ronettes, and the Orlons.  Bette Midler’s revival of “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” in 1973 reminded rock audiences of the Andrews Sisters, who had had the original hit with “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” during World War II.  More recently, the Spice GirlsTLC and Destiny’s Child (whence came Beyoncé) continued the tradition. 


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Phil Spector perfected his renowned “Wall of Sound” technique while making girl group records, where massive amounts of music were recorded together with a subtle echo effect.  “Sleigh Ride” by the Ronettes and “Da Doo Ron Ron” by the Crystals are cited as being prime examples of this technique.  Phil Spector himself says that he reached his peak with the recording of “River Deep, Mountain High” by Ike and Tina TurnerGeorge Harrison has called that song “a perfect record from start to finish”. 


(October 2013)


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Their sound was heavily aligned with the girl group sound of the 1960’sRemember (Walking in the Sand) by the Shangri-Las and Baby, I Love You by the Ronettes are songs that the Passengers frequently covered in their concerts.  But mostly they played their own songs. 


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Greg Shaw was quoted as saying of Les Hell on Heels:  “I feel the same way that Phil Spector must have felt when he first saw the Ronettes.” 


(December 2013)


Last edited: March 22, 2021