Darlene Love on Phil Spector Death: ‘I Feel Very Sad

The “He’s a Rebel” singer shares her complex emotions in the aftermath of producer’s death

legendary producer reported victim of Covid at 81

He was only a few years away from his prison release date with fans hoping for at least one more production effort by the

‘Wall of Sound’. Spector passed Jan 16 at 81 in Stockton CA. More to follow

All Time Legendary Christmas LP, 1963


FILM DOMUMENTARY: The Agony and Ecstacy of Phil Spector

Phil Spector was a pioneer of American music, a legendary producer to John Lennon and Tina Turner, and, as of April 13th 2009, a convicted murderer. Yet the Spector who appears in Vikram Jayanti’s documentary is not the severe, outlandishly coiffed defendant seen in sensationalistic accounts of his trial, but a charming, savvy music executive with a generous, but arguably accurate, estimation of his place in the history of popular music. (from Rafael Theater review, San Rafael CA)


After just losing 2 hours of writing my review of this film I saw last night, let me just say , that whatever you think of Phil Spector I would recommend seeing this film. For old rock and rollers or anyone iinterested in a good psychological drama, producer gives us a little bit of everything by juxtaposing Spector’s’ music with the court case and with , the highlight, excerpts from a rare interview he got with Spector just prior to the court case and eventual conviction.

Spector was now in jail for over 10 years so critics can feel more comfortable watching this film knowing he was paying his dues for an apparent accidental murder of girlfriend Lana Clarkson. Those with a psychological bent maybe able to get into the head of Spector , at least somewhat, to see if a miserable childhood with suicidal father may have contributed to Spector’s bizarre personality. At the same time, one must be able to separate this terrible crime from a brilliant music career that has been largely forgotten .

Whether it is because rock and roll never gained full respect until the Beatles came along in 1964 or because Spector’s behavior was so abhorent

to many, some great music may never have seen major exposure again without the criminal case. I know its sad that it often takes a crime to bring a talent back in the limelight. But take it for what it is. Ajanty has laid out 20 or so of of Spectors finest productions, featuring classics like Be My Baby by the Ronnettes and You’ve Lost That Lovin Feeling by The Righteous Brothers as a backdrop, or perhaps foredrop, to the ongoing trial excerpts and amazing S pector interview from 2007.

In the interview excerpts, chich account for about half the movie, Spector comes across as both sympathetic and perhaps sociopathic, as he has been labelled by many. His grandeous ego and seeming lack of wrongdoing goes along with the latter, yet one must consider Spectors actual statements – much more lucid than might expect – re the trial and the treatment he has received both recently and in his past. Spector talks about his father, who committed suicide (though Spector embellishes the story, saying that his Dad ‘ shot himself when Phil was five or six’ when , in fact, it was by gas asphyixiation when Spector was 10 or 11, according to the producer, who was in the audience opening night, in San Rafael, where he later tood questions.

Phil Spector’s landmark effort, River Deep Mountain High, by Tina Turner in 1966, is regarded by many pure music critics as his finest single effort; yet, by then Spector’s time may have run out. The recording failed inthe United States, though it was No. 1 in England. Spector blamed it on white DJs not wanting to play it because it was too black and black DJs not wanting to play it for whatever reason, I didn’t quite get… Few would have little to do with him and the Ramones actually fired him midway thru recording, to this writer’s memory.

Spector was given a second life, as it were when Beatles and then John Lennon and George Harrison hired him . Many top sellers came out of these sessions, including a the ‘Let It Be’ sessions, ‘My Sweet Lord’ for George Harrison, ‘Imagine’ for Lennon, a full album of classic rock and roll from Lennon and some rewrites including ‘The Long and Winding Road,’of which Spector had criticized the original as full of mistakes with John ‘playing wrong notes on bass, ‘ etc. It may be a wonder the Beatles kept Spector around as long as they did, thru 1972 and Lennon’s song ‘ Woman is the World’s Nigger.’ Buy then maybe they realized Spector knew what he was talking about. Spector always known for speaking his mind and speaking out; elsewhere in the film he criticized his wealthy and talented high school mates and teachers at Fairfax High in Los Angeles for NOT speaking out, saying he was the only one who did, and became ostricized for it. He was always a loner, he said, though music did give him a modicum of popularity.

The Agony and Exstacy of Phil Spector has a little bit of something for everyone. Music fan or not, you should find it compelling and one of the few films that combines psychological drama , great music and a rare, up close, candid interview, the likes of which you will probably never see again.

As a music person, I would like to see a second movie about Spector featuring the making of the ‘Wall of Sound,’ interviews with members of the ‘Wrecking Crew’ which backed many Spector productions, more of the lesser known gems produced by Spector, such as those by Ray Peterson and Gene Pitney (including the incomparable ‘Every Little Breath I Take’ which can be heard on this site) and the infamous ‘Christmas Album’ in 1962.’During the trial on Court TV we were treated to interviews with many of Spector’s cohorts such as Darlene Love(who sang on many of the songs, regardless of group name, Carroll Connors, who sang lead on ‘To Know Him Is To Love Him,’ Spector’s first recording, on which he sang, with the Teddy Bears .

Phil Spector is crazy, brilliant, charming all in one and he was convicted of killing a woman for which he paid his price.

The Ronettes: Ultimate Collection; Greatest HitsJohn Lennon: Imagine [VHS]

Tearing Down the Wall of Sound: The Rise and Fall of Phil Spector (Vintage)

SHINDIG! Presents the Righteous Brothers [VHS]The Righteous Brothers – In Concert

Phil Spector’s Christmas Album The Beatles 1972 APPLE ReleasePhil Spector: Back to Mono
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Phil Spector Returns

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85 Years of Jerry Lee Whole Lotta Celebratin’ Goin’ On

Whole Lotta Celebratin’ Goin’ On: 85 Years Of The Killer

Join Jerry Lee Lewis for the YouTube and Facebook Premiere of “Whole Lotta Celebratin’ Goin’ On: 85 Years Of The Killer” hosted By John Stamos to air October 27 benefiting World Vision!

RSVP Online to sign-up for email updates and get the link to the show sent directly to your Inbox!

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame icon and the “Last Man Standing,” Jerry Lee Lewis, will celebrate his 85th birthday with his millions of fans around the world. The virtual livestream event, hosted by actor John Stamos, will feature performances and well wishes from friends and fans of Lewis. The evening will feature a special moment, the first time in forty years that Jerry Lee has been in the same room with his famous cousins, country legend Mickey Gilley and iconic televangelist Jimmy Swaggart.

Whole Lotta Celebratin’ Goin’ On: 85 Years of The Killer will air on Tuesday, October 27 at 8pm ET / 7pm CT via Jerry Lee Lewis’ official Facebook and YouTube channels and The event will benefit World Vision, a Christian organization working to help communities lift themselves out of poverty. For good.

The current list of celebrities lined up to celebrate “The Killer” includes: Andy Grammer, President Bill Clinton, Billy F Gibbons, Bonnie Raitt, Brenda Lee, Chris Isaak, Chris Janson, Drew Carey, Elton John, Freda Payne, Gavin DeGraw, Jacob Tolliver, James Burton, Jerry Kennedy, Jerry Phillips, Jimmy Swaggart, Joe Walsh, John Fogerty, Keith Richards, Kris Kristofferson, Lee Ann Womack, Linda Gail Lewis, Lindsay Ell, Marty Stuart, Mickey Gilley, The Beach Boy’s Mike Love, Nancy Wilson, Peyton Manning, Priscilla Presley, Randy Houser, Ringo Starr, Tanya Tucker, Tom Jones, Willie Nelson and Wink Martindale along with appearances from Jerry Lee Lewis’ road band, Kenny Lovelace, Ray Gann and Kenny Aronoff.

RSVP Online to join Jerry Lee Lewis’ email list and get the link to the show sent directly to your Inbox! When October 27th, 2020 7:00 PM through  9:00 PM Contact Phone: 901-488-1823 Email: Download iCalendar entry for this event. iCalendar feed for this event.

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JB’s Thought for the Day: Then and Now- Year of the Lockdown

To quote a FF ,

‘Back when people found time for each other…
a time of kindness and courtesy…
back when we would sit in the shade and find faces in the clouds…
back when we were more innocent…and free.

Oh, I know life wasn’t perfect back then…
and memory has a way
of highlighting the good while forgetting the bad
and calling it all the ‘good old days’.

Still, there’s a reason we hold on to those good memories.
Why life seems, in retrospect, happier than it appeared.
Why we think back on those times with a smile…
Why we remember the laughter instead of the tears…

It’s because we cannot escape our past
no matter how comforting…or beautiful…or frightful…
but If we can bring the best of our past to our present…
it makes our future much more delightful…

So now when I sit in the shade and find faces in the clouds.
I take a moment to say thank you because of those ‘good old days. ‘ -FF

Now…and then…

Well said FF. As a sidelight, I just heard a politician praising tbe internet , saying ‘the internet is the books of today.’ Yeah, I’ll take 1962 or 1957 or anything before, say, 1984…as if history doesn’t exist. Yes , the past certainly lives on, must live on. Imagine if a new Draconian govt. said we could only read, listen and watch media from recent times… nothing before 1984, which is another topic for another time..

Imagine life without books and movies that came out before 1984 and the sounds of

dick contino
Baseball Voices
Rod Dibble at the keyboards with singer at the famous Alley piano bar in Oakland
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Bee Boppers Quiz

1. When did ”Little Suzie” finally wake up?

(a) The movie’s over, it’s 2 o’clock (b) The movie’s over, it’s 3 o’clock (c) The movie’s over, it’s 4 o’clock

 2. ”Rock Around The Clock” was used in what movie?

(a) Rebel Without A Cause(b) Blackboard Jungle(c) The Wild Ones 

3. What’s missing from a Rock & Roll standpoint?Earth _____

(a) Angel(b) Mother(c) Worm 

4. ”I found my thrill…’’ Where?

(a) Kansas City(b) Heartbreak Hotel(c) Blueberry Hill 

5. ”Please turn on your magic beam_____ _____ bring me a dream,”

(a) Mr. Sandman(b) Earth Angel(c) Dream Lover 

6. For which label did Elvis Presley first record?

(a) Atlantic(b) RCA(c) Sun 

7. He asked, ”Why’s everybody always pickin’ on me?” Who was he?

a) Bad, Bad Leroy Brown(b) Charlie Brown(c) Buster Brown 

8. In Bobby Darin’s ”Mack The Knife,” the one with the knife, was named:

(a) Mac Heath(b) Mac Cloud(c) McNamara 

9. Name the song with ”A-wop bop a-loo bop a-lop bam boom.”

(a) Good Golly, Miss Molly(b) Be-Bop-A-Lula(c) Tutti Fruitti 

10. Who is generally given credit for originating the term ”Rock And Roll”?

(a) Dick Clark(b) Wolfman Jack(c) Alan Freed11. In 1957, he left the music business to become a preacher:

(a) Little Richard(b) Frankie Lymon(c) Tony Orlando 

12. Paul Anka’s ”Puppy Love” is written to what star?

(a) Brenda Lee(b) Connie Francis(c) Annette Funicello 

13. The Everly Brothers were…..

(a) Pete and Dick(b) Don and Phil(c) Bob and Bill

 14. The Big Bopper’s real name was:

(a) Jiles P. Richardson(b) Roy Harold Scherer Jr.(c) Marion Michael Morrison 

15. In 1959, Berry Gordy, Jr., started a small record company called…

(a) Decca(b) Cameo(c) Motown

16. Edd Brynes had a hit with ”Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb”. What TV show was he on?

(a) 77 Sunset Strip(b) Hawaiian Eye(c) Surfside Six 

17. In 1960 Bobby Darin married:

(a) Carol Lynley(b) Sandra Dee(c) Natalie Wood 

18. They were a one hit wonder with ”Book Of Love”

(a) The Penguins(b) The Monotones(c) The Moonglows 

19. The Everly Brothers sang a song called”Till I ______ You.”

(a) Loved(b) Kissed(c) Screwed(d) Met 

20. Chuck Berry sang ”Oh, ___________, why can’t you be true?”

(a) Suzie Q(b) Peggy Sue(c) Maybelline 21. ”Wooly _______”(a) Mammouth(b) Bully(c) Pully

 22. ”I’m like a one-eyed cat…..”(a) can’t go into town no more(b) sleepin’ on a cold hard floor(c) peepin’ in a seafood store

 23. ”Sometimes I wonder what I’m gonna do…….”(a) cause there ain’t no answer for a life without booze(b) cause there ain’t no cure for the summertime blues(c) cause my car’s gassed up and I’m ready to cruise 

24. ”They often call me Speedo, but my real name is……”(a) Mr. Earl(b) Jackie Pearl(c) Milton Berle 

25. ”Be Bop A Lula ….”(a) she’s got the rabies(b) she’s my baby.(c) she loves me, maybe 

26. ”Fine Love, Fine Kissing …..”(a) right here(b) fifty cents(c) just for you 

27. ”He wore black denim trousers and …..”(a) a pink carnation(b) pink leotards


Buddy Holly and Little Richard in 1959. What advice did Richard give to Buddy?

Answers:Scroll Down so you aren’t tempted to cheat (as if cheating were needed here).* * * * * * * * * * * *1. (c) The movie’s over, it’s 4 o’clock2. (b) Blackboard Jungle3. (a) Angel4. (c) Blueberry Hill5. (a) Mr. Sandman6. (c) Sun7. (b) Charlie Brown8. (a) Mac Heath9. (c) Tutti Fruitti10 (c) Alan Freed11 (a) Little Richard12 (c) Annette Funicello13 (b) Don and Phil14 (a) Jiles P. Richardson15 (c) Motown16 (a) 77 Sunset Strip17 (b) Sandra Dee18 (b) The Monotones19 (b) Kissed20 (c) Maybelline21 (b) Bully22 (c) peepin’ in a sea food store23 (b) cause there ain’t no cure for the summertime blues24 (a) Mr. Earl25 (b) she’s my baby26 (a) right here27 (c) motorcycle boots28 (c) Boney Maroney Send this to everyone lucky enough to be teenagers in the Doo Wop era…… or who wishes they had been. 

Little Richard, Founding Father of Rock Who Broke Musical Barriers, has passed at 87⠀

Sorry to say, Dreaded this day and thought a lot about him lately seeing him in wheelchair…Little Richard, Founding Father of Rock Who Broke Musical Barriers, has passed at 87. Amazingly, he outlived younger proteges’ Michael and Prince #littlerichard Full recommended review

There was so much to Little Richard. He was probably the first to personify rock and roll on both musicality and flamboyance. Perhaps his interviews and clips in ‘Let the Good Tmes Roll’ gave the best glimpse into the REAL Little Richard, in his own words…

‘I cant look no better than that.’ – Little Richard backstage…before there was Prince or Michael, from ‘Let the Good Times Roll’. Richard tells it like it is or was
And even is generously kind to Pat Boone who ‘stole’ his songs.

Rock and Roll Hall of fame induction in the first class, 1986

More to follow…come back shortly. We will be adding highlights and tributes on the life and times of one of the top 5 pioneers of Rock and Roll. Like this remembnrance

The 50s: BuddyHolly , Little Richard and very old rotary payphone. ‘Not good bye but solong for now’ fellas

Rolling Stone has especially done a fair review of his life as has Biography with a nod to RS &⠀ Amazingly, he outlived younger proteges’ Michael and Prince #littlerichard. We will adding highlights and tributes on the life and times of one of the top 5 pioneers of Rock and Roll. He was the last survivor of the first wave that included Elvis, Chuck Berry. Fats Domino and Bill Haley. Yet, the music they said would never last more than a few years has survived 65 years. Long live Rock and Roll and Little Richard

Richard with obscure opening act 1962