Phil Spector put an indelible mark on popular music. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989, and is best known for producing rock songs containing a "wall of sound" -- loud and full orchestral arrangements that Spector famously called "little symphonies for the kids."
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Phil Spector worked with the Beatles, not in the beginning (here they are in 1964 going on a tour of the U.S.), but at the end. In 1970, he produced the Beatles' last album, "Let It Be," which was a big hit. One (soon to be ex) Beatle, Paul McCartney, did not like it. But Spector went on to co-produce John Lennon's "Imagine" album, and also George Harrison's "Bangladesh."
Spector had his first hit at age 18, "To Know Him Is to Love Him," which he wrote and recorded as part of a group called "The Teddy Bears." Shortly afterward he began working as a producer, specializing in "girl groups" such as The Ronettes, pictured nearly a half century later performing at the 2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
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"You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling," a song Spector co-wrote in 1965 for The Righteous Brothers (Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield, pictured) for an album he produced of theirs, was the most played song on American radio and television in the 20th century, according to Broadcast Music, Inc.
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Spector produced songs for everybody from Connie Francis (pictured here many years later, in 2002); the song he produced for her was "Second Hand Love" ...
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... to Ruth Brown (pictured here in 2004) ...
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... to Tina Turner (when she was still with Ike Turner); he produced their song "River Deep, Mountain High."
Spector produced the Ramones 1980 album "End of the Century" (here the four surviving Ramones receive their Hall of Fame trophies in 2002) and worked with Yoko One in 1981, co-producing her "Season of Glass." But most critics agree his best work was done in the Sixties and Seventies.
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Phil Spector was reportedly given to periods of reclusiveness. During one such period, he married the lead singer of the Ronettes, Veronica "Ronnie" Bennett," in 1968. She filed for divorce four years later, saying later that she felt trapped in his mansion, and had she not left, "I was going to die there."