Sunday, February 13, 2022
R.I.P Ronnie Spector
R.I.P Ronnie Spector, lead singer of the Ronettes, a romantic figure for a generation of young people who had begun to challenge racial boundaries, but who still believed in love and marriage, at least until the Vietnam War and the Counter Culture started to shatter traditional gender roles Ronnie Spector, from a bi-racial family in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan, projected a unique combination of innocence and sexiness that broke the hearts of millions of men, and quite a few women, of different racial and cultural backgrounds. She also had an amazing voice and inserted a rhythmic chant in the middle of her vocals " Wo Ho Oh Oh, " that was so distinctive that everyone my age who listened to her, which basically means everyone my age, still remembers Her voice and stage persona was so unique and powerful that she had great career as a solo artist after she left the Ronettes, and her brilliant but abusive husband, Phil Spector. She also did some amazing duets with other artists, including my favorite "Take Me Home Tonight" which she did with Eddie Money I can't think of my life in the early and mid 60's, especially all the times I fell in love, whether it was reciprocated or not, without thinking of songs like "I Can Hear Music" "Baby I Love You" and "Walking in the Rain." The Ronettes' harmonies, coupled with her lead vocals gave me hope of a future of love, joy and harmony, that all the cruelties and injustices of subsequent years couldn't erase. Ronnie Spector embodies the spirit of Sixties Optimism, a spirit we still need to draw upon to take on the challenges of today. She may be gone, but she is not forgotten, at least by me, because her music lives inside my head, and will be with me until it is my turn to leave.