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Phil Spector

What happens?

In the late 1950s, there is a transition period in which the discs come from laboratories. Producers and composers create hundreds of excellent recordings for the stars featured on the cover.

Also, in this period, the girl groups’ black pop is born, the dances cause furor and the skiffle initiates thousands of young British people in the new popular music. In addition, the first sounds of international rock and roll appear.

The Isley Brothers - Twist and Shout (1962)

A song composed by Bert Berns and Philip Medley. Berns is one of the examples of great musicians working for other stars. In this case, it is a black pop band with a lot of soul.

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That have remained as a synthesis of the best pop. Rock glorifies the stars and although the credit should go to producers and composers, they remain anonymous. It is the age of geniuses such as Phill Spector or the Leiber-Stoller tandem, the composers of the Brill Building, Carol King, and a long etcetera. On the other hand, in Detroit, two young men named Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson will create the Motown label and establish the foundations of soul.

Who is Phil Spector?

Among these creators, the figure of Phil Spector stands out, considered as the record producer paradigm. He was a neurotic and picturesque character; he understood the essence of pop without losing the triviality of consumer music.

With the well-known Spector sound and working against the current, he created dozens of emotional songs, combining craftsmanship and feelings, which are among the most memorable songs of the sixties.

Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans - Zip-a-dee-doo-dah (1962)

A song composed by Allie Wrubel and Ray Gilbert, and arranged by Jack Nietsche. It is one of the great songs produced by Spector in which his characteristic sound is appreciated.

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Harvey Philip Spector was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1940. In 1953 his father died, and his family moved to Hollywood. At Fairfax High School, he meets future music stars like Jan & Dean. His first band, not very relevant, was The Sleepwalkers. With 18 years he assembled The Teddy Bears, a vocal band that reached number one with the song To Know Him Is to Love Him, in 1958. The title of the song is related to the inscription that appears in his father's grave.

When does he become a producer?

Despite the success achieved, The Teddy Bears split the following year. Phil Spector, who has no resources to study at university and works as a transcriptionist in court, decides to venture into the world of music.

He starts working as a freelance musician. He composes, performs, and produces with Leiber and Stoller, and he creates records for stars like Gene Pitney and Connie Francis, among others. He quickly learns the mysteries of the recording studio.

Ray Peterson – Corrina, Corrina (1961)

A version of a traditional blues by an unknown author. It was first recorded by Blind Lemon Jefferson in 1926. This version was one of Spector's first productions.

While recording The Teddy Bears’ album, Spector met a former promoter named Lester Sill and his partner, producer Lee Hazlewood. In 1960, Sill successfully recruited Spector as an apprentice on the prestigious Leiber and Stoller production team in New York. Supported by his mentors, he soon began working as a producer, with Ronnie Crawford being the first artist for whom he made an album. He worked with stars such as Ben E. King, LaVern Baker, Ruth Brown, The Paris Sisters, or Curtis Lee, among others.

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