Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ronnie Spector, still bringin' it

Ed. note: My friend and co-blogger R.K. Barry writes the political blog Lippmann's Ghost and also a music blog called Music Across the 49th (you know, because he's an "Americo-Canadian," and the 49th parallel is much of the border that separates our two countries). I highly recommend both. At the latter, he's blogging his way through learning to play the piano (sort of like blogging your way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking) and otherwise writing about his various musical passions. Thus far, his posts here have been cross-posted at/from Lippmann's Ghost, but he's going to start cross-posting from The 49th as well. Which is perfectly fine with me. Our focus here is politics, of course, but we do write about other things now and then, including "culture" (film, art, music, etc.), and I'm hoping to diversify a bit more going forward -- without losing that political focus. -- MJWS


On weekends I can frequently be found at my computer blogging with music on in the background, sometimes with the television on if the program isn't too distracting. One type of show that seems to be on a lot these day is the standard Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) fund-raising pitch in which they show a concert of some kind and then offer a box set of the proceedings for a set-amount donation. You know the drill. (An approach we are likely to see a lot more if the Republicans in Congress get their way).

Last weekend it was a doo-wop / early '60s musical extravaganza from Philadelpia, or Pittsburgh maybe. I'm not sure. One act after another comes up to do a couple of songs. In any case, it was a very good show, and while this style of music pre-dates my entry into musical consciousness, I was moved by it.

At one point, Ronnie Spector, once upon a time of the Ronettes, stepped onto the stage to do a rendition of "Be My Baby," at which point I stopped the other things I was doing to watch this really great segment. After forty years plus, the girl can still bring it in a big way.

If you know anything about the group and its history, you'll know that the tune was written by Phil Spector, among others, and that it employed what was called the "wall of sound" recording technique, which as a style is fairly self-explanatory.

As you can tell, I was impressed. But what I loved more was the occasional shot of the audience during this number and others, which at moments was simply beside itself with excitement at hearing these classic songs played and sung by the originals. Yeah, I'm a big suck when it comes to this kind of thing -- watching people dragged back to younger days when these songs really meant something to them. The first few bars and you can almost feel the room start to vibrate. Sweet stuff.

Anyway, it was very cool. I found a clip on YouTube to share. The sound quality is not the best, but it is what it is.

My musical tastes are all over the map, but good music is good music.

(Cross-posted from Music Across the 49th.)


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  • RK

    Thanks for posting this ... One of my all-time favorites - both song and singer ... Yes, she can certainly still bring it


    By Blogger 13909 Antiques, at 11:15 AM  

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