BRIEF ENCOUNTERS WITH PHIL SPECTOR!
April 15, 2009
L to R: Artie Ripp, Jeff Barry, Phil Spector, Paul Case, Ellie Greenwich, Jerry Leiber, and Ed Silvers at BMI award dinner in 1964
Yesterday I was talking to a pal from the past, Ira Howard, the former editor of Cashbox Magazine, who ran the music division of Readers Digest for 28 years. He was telling me about a new super website he’s about to launch especially for our generation, who never lost our love for the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s. As we talked about old times, the conversation turned to the headlines and Phil Spector, and our encounters over the years with him.
I told Ira, “After I left Aldon music, I started hanging out at Paul Vance’s (“Itsy, Bitsy, Teeny Weeny, Yellow Polka Dot Bikini”) office at 1650 Broadway. Ellie Greenwich (“Hanky Panky”) dropped in one day to see Paul who wasn’t there, and wound up writing a song with me and Danny Jordan (The Detergents), “You Should’ve Told Me”, which the Angels recorded. As Danny and I were dreaming of further collaborations with this talented young lady, Ellie, her fiance Jeff Barry (“Tell Laura I Love Her”) had other plans.
The two of them had started writing songs with 21 year-old producer, Phil Spector (“To Know Him Is To Love Him”). ..songs that defined a generation. “Be My Baby” by The Ronettes, “Da Doo Run Run” by the Crystals, and “River Deep Mountain High” by Ike and Tina Turner.”
Ira Howard recalls, “I was at Cashbox in the early ’60s when Phil came in and immediately blurted out “I got a hit record and I need a name for this new group I’m producing.” (the group, by the way, included Bobby Sheen, Darlene Love and Fanita James, who recorded under many group names back them.) We began throwing around some ideas, when, out of left field, I mentioned that we could possibly name them after the clothes the kids were wearing. I then said “how about dungarees…or blue jeans?’ Phil’s eyes lit up and said “bingo…it’s The Blue Jeans.” He followed it by saying, “now how about a lead singer?” I then followed with “how about bobby sox?” Phil had a grin from ear to ear and said “great…it’s Bob B. Soxx and The Blue Jeans.” The recording was “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” and it went Top Ten in November of ’62. Ira went on to mention that Phil had an amazing memory. The two didn’t meet until 40 years later at a songwriters awards dinner in New York. Ira got past Phil’s bodyguards and went up to him and just smiled. Phil then said “Bob B. Soxx & The Blue Jeans as his hello.”
Copyright 2009 by Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/
For more personal encounters with Phil Spector click onto
To see and hear Phil’s brilliant recordings with the Beatles as well as EVERY BEATLE VIDEO EVER MADE! http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2009/04/11/every-beatle-video-ever-made-for-free/