Grammy Award winning Rock and Roll and Songwriters Halls of Fame music producer Phil Spector died January 16, 2021 in a California state prison hospital at the age of 81. According to prison officials, the death is listed as natural causes.
Credited with changing the way music fans listened to rock and roll, Spector was convicted of murder in 2009 for the 2003 death of actress Lana Clarkson.
Channeling his inner Richard Wagner, Spector created the “Wall of Sound” into pop and rock music where songs featured vocal harmonies and orchestral arrangements that included overdubbing and sound effects.
Former Beatle and songwriter John Lennon referred to Spector as “the greatest record producer ever”.
Over the course of his career Spector has worked with numerous artists including The Beatles, John Lennon, George Harrison, Darlene Love, Tommy Tedesco, Leon Russell, Hal Blaine, Glen Campbell, Sonny Bono, Cher, Leonard Cohen, The Ramones, and Ronnie Spector.
He is listed as a co-writer on the hit song “Spanish Harlem” and lent his guitar skills to The Drifters for their smash hit “On Broadway”.
Despite his years of success, Spector’s name appears on only one gold album – his own “Back to Mono”.
Spector’s music appears in over 200 film and television productions including “American Dad”, “The Simpsons”, talk and late night shows, “GLOW”, “Pose”, “Screen Queens”, variety shows, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”, competition reality shows, “Glee”, “Pretty Little Liars”, “How I Met Your Mother”, “Gilmore Girls”, “My Cousin Vinny”, “Cheers”, “Dirty Dancing”, “Top Gun”, “The Partridge Family”, and “I’ve Got a Secret”. Spector also has two acting credits in “Easy Rider” and an episode of “I Dream of Jeannie”.
Harvey Phillip Spector was born December 26, 1939 in New York City to an iron worker and seamstress. While still fairly young, Spector’s father committed suicide. A short time later, his mother moved the family across country to Los Angeles where Spector formed a band whith some mates. The band, who called themselves the Teddy Bears, saw their first success with the original song “To Know Him is to Love Him”. After high school Spector returned to New York City where he became a part of the music scene.
Predeceased by his father and young son Phillip Jr; Spector is survived by his children – Gary, Louis, Donte, and Nicole. He was married and divorced four times.
Phil Spector discography:
“A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector”
“Phil Spector Wall of Sound, Vol. 5: Rare Masters Vol. 1’
“Wallpaper of Sound: The Songs of Phil Spector and the Brill Building”
“Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound Retrotspective”
feature photo credit: By Kingkongphoto & http://www.celebrity-photos.com from Laurel Maryland, USA – Phil Spector, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=74876017