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The Ronettes

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Biography

The Ronettes were a girl group of the 1960s from New York City, best known for their work with producer Phil Spector. They consisted of lead singer Veronica Bennett (a.k.a. Ronnie Spector), her sister Estelle Bennett, and their cousin Nedra Talley. Their defining album is “Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes Featuring Veronica” from 1963, and their most famous songs include “Be My Baby”, “Baby, I Love You”, “(The Best Part Of) Breakin’ Up”, and “Walking In The Rain”.

The group’s career:

Sisters Estelle (born 1941) and Veronica Bennett (born 1943), and their cousin Nedra Talley (born 1946), began singing together as teenagers in Washington Heights, Manhattan. Encouraged by their grandmother, they entered and won a talent show at the Apollo Theatre in 1959, as The Darling Sisters. Phillip Halikus saw their potential, became their manager, and promoted their early appearances at hops and charity shows.

In 1961, while standing in line at the Peppermint Lounge, they were mistaken for a singing trio that had not arrived and were ushered on stage. After performing Ray Charles’ “What’d I Say”, they were signed to appear regularly there and in Miami. Later that year, they danced in shows staged by disc jockey Murray the K, but, contrary to many sources, did not appear in the 1961 film Twist Around the Clock. They did get a record deal with the Colpix label, and, as Ronnie & The Relatives, released their first single “I Want a Boy”. They also worked as backing singers for Bobby Rydell, Del Shannon, and Joey Dee & The Starliters.

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