I thought I’d do something a little different for this MBIP Sunday Record Party, instead of featuring a bunch of tunes, I thought I’d write about and share videos all relating to one single song. The song I’ve chosen is, “Be My Baby,” by The Ronettes and here’s a video of The Ronettes singing it live on TV back in 1963.
“Be My Baby,” is my favorite song from the whole Phil Spector, “Wall of Sound” era. The song was recorded in July of 1963 at Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles. It was written by the Brill Building songwriting team of Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry. Phil Spector tacked his name on to the songwriting credits for a little taste of what would be a big payday after the song came out.
The song was released in August of 1963 and by the fall it had landed the number two slot on the Billboard Charts and number four on the R&B chart listings.
“Be My Baby” has an iconic drum introduction that’s been widely copied and duplicated through the years. The man who did the drumming on that was legendary drummer, Hal Blaine. This video shows Hal Blaine talking about how he became Phil Spector’s drummer for the Wall of Sound sessions.
Hal Blaine became part of an in house studio group at Gold Star known as The Wrecking Crew. Some of the more well-known members of this exclusive group of studio musicians included: Glen Campbell, Leon Russell, James Burton, Nino Tempo, Carol Kaye, Mac Rebennack (aka Dr. John), Jim Gordon and Jim Keltner. Below is a trailer from a documentary about these musicians.
In addition to the Ronettes singing on the song, other people contributing to the background vocals included: Ellie Greenwich, Nino Tempo, Bobby Sheen, Sonny Bono, Cher, Darlene Love, Fanita James, and Gracia Nitzsche. This was the first time that Sonny and Cher were recorded singing together as part of this background group of singers. Cher sang background on a lot of Phil Spector’s songs before she and Sonny eventually became, Sonny and Cher and struck out on their own with Sonny producing their records. The next video is different studio takes that eventually led up to the final version of “Be My Baby.”
Brian Wilson has long said that his favorite record of all time is, “Be My Baby.” The clip below shows him talking about his passion for the song.
Here’s a clip of The Ronettes accepting their awards upon being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Yet Another Book Release Announcement From Jaws The Cabbie!
Last week we reported that MBIP pal and Contributor, Jaws the Cabbie had a new book out from his MBIP stories called, "Peoria, I Hardly Knew Ye..." Well, he's back this week with a new book, well kind of a new book, he's combined his first two books into one edition and it's titled, "Two Fisted Cab Driving Tales / Two Fisted Customer Service Tales by Jaws." It's loaded with great stories by Jaws the Cabbie! Check it out here!