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Song of the Day Tribute for December 2: "Be My Baby" featuring Ronnie Spector

Obit Ronnie Spector
Peter Kramer/AP
FILE - Ronnie Spector appears in the press room after performing at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony on March 15, 2010, in New York. Spector, the cat-eyed, bee-hived rock 'n' roll siren who sang such 1960s hits as "Be My Baby," "Baby I Love You" and "Walking in the Rain" as the leader of the girl group the Ronettes, has died. She was 78. (AP Photo/Peter Kramer, File)

Ronnie Spector is best known for two things: being the lead singer of the Ronettes and being married to Phil Spector.

Spector, then known as Veronica Bennett, and her sister Estelle Bennett and cousin Nedra Talley made up the girl group, The Ronettes. Their gimmick was opposite of another girl group, The Shirrelles, who wore wide party dresses. Instead the Ronettes chose to wear miniskirts, the tighter the better.

Their careers were going nowhere until they signed with producer Phil Spector. He produced their string of hits: “Be My Baby”, “Baby I love You”, and “Walking in the Rain.” Veronica changed her name to Ronnie Spector when she and Phil married in 1968.

Spector, in her memoir, recalled how the six-year marriage turned into a prison sentence. He froze her career and rarely allowed her to leave the house, taking away her shoes, using guard dogs to keep watch. She escaped in 1972 with the help of her mom. The couple divorced in 1974.

She signed over all future recording earnings in the divorce settlement, saying Phil Spector threatened he would have a hit man kill her if she didn't.

Spector never had the same success as a solo artist as she did as a Ronette. She’s most noted for her vocals on Eddie Money’s “Take Me Home Tonight,” in 1986.

The Song of the Day, “Be My Baby,” was the Ronettes’ first hit and the  most successful. The husband-wife team of Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich wrote it. It reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1963. It would be the only Top Ten Song. for The Ronettes.

Ronnie Spector died of cancer January 12, 2022. She was 78.