The Ronettes

Best remembered for their 1963 hit "Be My Baby," The Ronettes helped define the grand, groundbreaking sound of 1960s pop music. The influential girl group was formed in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City in 1959, when sisters Veronica and Estelle Bennett began singing with their cousin Nedra Talley. The girls' grandmother entered them into a talent show at the New York's famous Apollo Theatre under the name The Darling Sisters. They won, went on to become dancers at the Peppermint Lounge, and eventually got the chance to sing at the club, where they became a regular attraction. The group released a debut single, "I Want a Boy," under the name Ronnie & the Relatives in 1961, then used the Ronettes tag for the first time with their next release, "Good Girls." Signed by producer Phil Spector, the group worked as backup singers for acts like Darlene Love before earning their big break with 1963's "Be My Baby," a Top 5 single in both the US and UK. With sensual harmonies, distinctive beehive hairdos, and the sonic sweep of Spector's dense "Wall of Sound" production technique, the Ronettes became major international stars, scoring another huge hit in 1963 with "Baby I Love You" and touring with both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. However, the possessiveness and obsessive behaviour of Spector, who married Ronnie Bennett in 1968, effectively ended the group. Under the name Ronnie Spector, the group's most visible member released music as a solo artist throughout the rest of her life, even earning another Top 10 hit during the mid-'80s with her Eddie Money duet "Take Me Home Tonight." Estelle Bennett passed away on February 11, 2009, and Ronnie Spector succumbed to cancer on January 12, 2022, leaving Nedra Talley at the last surviving member of the band.

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Stations Featuring The Ronettes

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