My One and Only Baby

‘Be My Baby’ was the first Ronettes song produced by Phil Spector and released on his label, Philles Records.  The song was recorded on the 1963 album Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes Featuring Veronica and it charted #4 in the UK and went to #2 in the US.  In 2004, the song was ranked 22 by Rolling Stone in its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.  In 1999, it was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame, and in 2006, the Library of Congress honored the Ronettes’ version by adding it to the United States National Recording Registry.  In 2017, Billboard named the song number 1 on their list of the “100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time”.  Many people have said that ‘Be My Baby’ is one of the defining rock ‘n’ roll songs of the 1960s and some have gone as far as saying it is potentially the best pop song ever written.

‘Be My Baby’ is a simple song about a girl who is trying to convince a guy she likes, to give her a chance.  She lets him know that she’s been into him from the day they met, and she thinks they can be together forever.  She tells him that for every kiss he gives her, she will return three.  This song became the biggest hit for the Ronettes and their only song to make the Top 10.  The Ronettes had four other songs that charted in 1964, those being ‘Walking In The Rain’ which reached #23, ‘Baby, I Love You’ got to #24, ‘Do I Love You?’ peaked at #34 and ‘The Best Part of Breaking Up’ rose to #39.  In January of 2019, their song ‘Sleigh Ride’ from their November 1963 A Christmas Gift For You album reached #26 and you have to love that “Ring-a-ling-a-ling Ding-dong-ding”.  ‘Be My Baby’ was written by husband and wife Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich, and producer Phil Spector also took a songwriting credit.

The Ronettes were from New York’s Spanish Harlem and they were made up of the sisters Veronica (Ronnie) Bennett, and Estelle Bennett and their cousin Nedra Talley, but the 19-year-old Veronica was the only Ronette to sing on this.  Phil Spector assembled a supergroup for the backing band that included several members of the Wrecking Crew.  Backup vocals were provided by the all-girl group the Blossoms, led by Darlene Love, and both Fanita James and Gracia Nitzsche also sang.  Sonny Bono and Cher, Bobby Sheen, Nino Tempo and Ellie Greenwich were all part of the group of guests that provided additional backup vocals.  Guitars were played by Tommy Tedesco and Bill Pitman and Ray Pohlman and Carol Kaye both played bass.  Hal Blaine played drums along with Frank Capp also on drums.  Don Randi was on piano while Leon Russell and Al de Lory both were on keyboards.  Louis Blackburn played trombone and both Steve Douglas and Jay Migliori played the saxophone.  Sonny and Cher got married a year later and Ronnie married Phil Spector in 1968 and took his name professionally.

Hal Blaine said that he was supposed to play the snare on the second beat as well as the fourth, but he dropped a stick and he left the mistake in and after that everyone wanted that iconic beat.  This song exemplified Spector’s “Wall Of Sound” production technique, where he layered lots of instruments and used echo effects.  Spector’s instrumentation filled all the space in a song without killing the vocals, while incorporating a good driving beat.  The result of this orchestration and studio wizardry often had a clear demarcation in the song, producing an almost “wall-of-music”-like effect and rock music would never be the same after Spector.

The Ronettes disbanded in 1966 and of the three Ronettes, only Ronnie continued to perform after the group broke up.  Phil Spector was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 for his music production talents and in 2007, The Ronettes made it.  In 2003, Phil Spector was arrested for the shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson and he was eventually convicted and given a prison sentence of 19 years to life, which he is currently serving.  In February 2009, Estelle Bennett died from colon cancer.

The night we met I knew I needed you so
And if I had the chance I’d never let you go
So won’t you say you love me
I’ll make you so proud of me
We’ll make ‘em turn their heads every place we go
So won’t you, please, be my, be my baby
Be my little baby, my one and only baby
Say you’ll be my darlin’, be my, be my baby
Be my baby now, my one and only baby
Wha oh oh oh
I’ll make you happy, baby, just wait and see
For every kiss you give me I’ll give you three
Oh, since the day I saw you
I have been waiting for you
You know I will adore you ‘til eternity
So won’t you, please, be my, be my baby
Be my little baby, my one and only baby
Say you’ll be my darlin’, be my, be my baby
Be my baby now, my one and only baby
Wha oh oh oh oh
So come on and, please, be my, be my baby
Be my little baby, my one and only baby
Say you’ll be my darlin’, be my, be my baby
Be my baby now, my one and only baby
Wha oh oh oh
Be my, be my baby, be my little baby
My one and only baby, oh oh
Be my, be my baby, oh
My one and only baby, wha oh oh oh oh
Be my, be my baby, oh
My one and only baby, oh
Be my, be my baby, oh
Be my baby now

Written for Song Lyric Sunday where the theme is baby.

18 thoughts on “My One and Only Baby

  1. This time (I was born in 1946) and this place (NYC) were my time and place – but for my money The Shirelles were the greatest girl group of all time…Interesting isn’t it that there were so many girl groups in the 50’s and 60’s…

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    1. Did you watch all three videos and if you did which one did you like the best? I put three videos on this post to show how it evolved over the years and how Ronnie Spector just kept getting better.

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      1. Yes Jim I did. It was great to see her evolve after all that monster Phil Spector put here through. I saw her in New York some years ago performing at a jazz club. 2002 I think it was. She was still amazing 🙂

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  2. Phil Spector is where he needs to be and I wish he would have been there earlier. Ronnie was extremely too good for him.
    She also hung out with Keith Richards and I believe George Harrison for a short time.

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    1. Yes I read that Ronnie Spector turned down John Lennon and also that Jimi Hendrix and David Bowie tried to date her. George Harrison went out with Estelle Bennett, but Paul was already taken. I read that Ronnie did have a romance with Keith Richards.

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