Spinner.com -- Estelle Bennett, whose voice helped the Ronettes climb the charts on such hits as 'Be My Baby' and 'Baby, I Love You,' has died at 67. Her trio, working with producer Phil Spector, helped crystallize the famed "wall of sound" production that became part of pop music history.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame welcomed the Ronettes in 2007, with voting members calling the trio "the premier act of the girl group era." The Beatles and the Rolling Stones considered themselves fans; their exotic hairstyles and makeup are aped by Amy Winehouse. Greenfield is the manager and husband of Bennett's sister, Ronettes lead singer Ronnie Spector, who married producer Spector in 1968 but divorced him six years later.
Baby I LOVE YOU!
Do I Love You
The Ronettes - sisters Veronica "Ronnie" and Estelle Bennett and their cousin Nedra Talley - signed with Spector's Philles Records in 1963. Their recording of the iconic hit single "Be My Baby" hit No. 2 on Billboard magazine's pop music chart that year. "Baby I Love You" followed in 1964. They also did a memorable version of "Sleigh Ride" that appeared on Spector's "A Christmas Gift for You" album. Their last Philles single was "I Can Hear Music" in 1966. The songs feature Spector's elaborate arrangements that blend many instruments into a smooth, pulsating "wall."
"They could sing all their way right through a wall of sound," Keith Richards of the Stones said as the Ronettes were inducted into the rock hall. "They didn't need anything. They touched my heart right there and then and they touch it still."
But their string of hits had tailed off by the time they split around 1967.
Sole is in love with The Ronnettes! I bought a karaoke track and sang Be My Baby and it traumatized him!!! LOLOL!!!!!!!!!
Bet I won't do 'that' again!!!! Bwaaaa ha ah ha ha haaaa..in all fairness though, he didn't know it was me. I guess since it didn't sound like his beloved...Ronnie, he talked about me like I had stole somethin'!!! ROFLMBO. Great post dear!!!
Lawd i was not only embarassed, but i felt soooooooooooo terrible afterwards....LOL. Brother Ronn, you already know how i feel about Ronnie, i know Estelle had been sick for sometime, but her death is still shocking, may she R.I.P
Traumatized him.......................FUNNY!. LOL Hey Brother you know Ms Edie......she gonna get you if she can....Thats too funny. I didn't know she had been sick. Was Ronnie the younges? Wat is she doing now, Edie???
The Ronnettes were one of my favorite girl groups back in da day. They were a pleasure to look at as well as listen to. Phil Specter was crazy as a bedbug but I always loved his "Wall Of Sound" concept. It made for a very lush sound. Did I just say lush? Now thats a word I don`t use everyday. :)
Brother Gene, Lush is a great way to describe their sound, Ronnie singing Walking In The Rain, mmm mmm mmm, man that was something else....
Brother Ronn...Sisters Estelle (1941-2009) and Veronica Bennett (born 1943), and their cousin Nedra Talley (born 1947)
In 2007, when the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, she refused to perform with them, and spoke only a brief two sentences during her acceptance speech, "I would just like to say, thank you very much for giving us this award. I'm Estelle of the Ronettes, thank you."
She died at her home in Englewood, New Jersey aged 67. According to her sister Ronnie's site, Bennett died of colon cancer on February 11. A week after her death it was revealed, in an article in The New York Times, that Bennett had suffered from mental illness in the years after the Ronettes break up and that later on she had been homeless. Fellow Ronette Nedra Talley Ross and Bennett's daughter were interviewed for the article, though Bennett's sister Ronnie chose not to be interviewed
It was believed that Phil Spector, in his capacity as a member of the Board of Governors, deliberately prevented the Ronettes (and Darlene Love) from being nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, although they had been eligible for a considerable period. The alleged reasons included the acrimonious divorce of Ronnie and Spector, in addition to the group having (unsuccessfully) sued Spector for back royalties. While Spector was awaiting trial on a murder charge and out on $1 million bail, the Ronettes were finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the March 12, 2007, induction ceremony held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. Keith Richards, a self-confessed longtime fan, inducted the trio. Ronnie Bennett (Spector) and Nedra Talley performed "Baby I Love You," "(Walking) In the Rain" and "Be My Baby." Estelle Bennett was present to accept her award but did not perform.
I played the video "Soul" It was very sad.............Thank you! I think I felt every emotion there was to feel. We as consumers never really know the story of the lives of our icons.May she rest in peace. Thanks everybody for all your additions to Estelles "Homegoing"
The history of the Butlers/Raw Soul is dense, but for all of us music nerds, that's normal. It is not totally clear what year the Butlers actually formed but they released their first single in 1963 on Liberty Records. That single was "She Tried To Kiss Me" and another single followed on Guyden entitled "Lovable Girl." After the Guyden single the Butlers took a break not recording another record until the single "Laugh, Laugh, Laugh" was released on the Phila label in 1966. The group also backed Charles Earland and Jean Wells on one Phila single ("I Know She Loves Me").
As you might be noticing, the Butlers were doing a fair amount of recording but not achieving much success. The group's recordings sold regionally but never had the promotion to make an impact on the national scene. After the single with Phila, the Butlers moved to the Fairmount label (part of the Cameo-Parkway family) and released a handful of singles, some being reissued singles of the past. The Butlers were with Fairmount for 1966-67 and then moved to Sassy Records. Sassy released the group's greatest single (in my opinion) "Love (Your Pain Goes Deep)" b/w "If That's What You Wanted." A copy of that 45 sold for just under $500 last summer on eBay. Even though that isn't that much in the world of record collecting--it's still a hefty sum. The Butlers released another single on Sassy ("She's Gone" b/w "Love Is Good") that appears to be even
harder to come by then the "Love (Your Pain Goes Deep)" single.
The true history become a bit blurred here as the AMG biography states that the Butlers last record was released on C.R.S. in 1974 (". However, between 1971 and that single, Frankie Beverly formed a group called Raw Soul and released a number of singles. Some of the songs recorded by Beverly during this period are "While I'm Alone," "Open Up Your Heart," (both on the Gregor label) and "Color Blind." "Color Blind" was released by the Eldorado label and rerecorded by Maze. Beverly's big break came when Marvin Gaye asked Raw Soul to back him on a tour. Gaye helped Beverly/Raw Soul get a contract at Capitol. Beverly decided to take the group in a different direction, a name change occurred, and Maze was created.
The above isn't the most complete history of Beverly but hopefully someone will know a way to get in touch with the man or his management because a comprehensive pre-Maze history needs to be done on Frankie Beverly (his real name is Howard, by the way). Below you'll find every Frankie Beverly (pre-Maze) song available to me right now ("Color Blind" will be up soon).
If you have a song that is not included below, shoot it over to funkinsoulman (at) yahoo.com and it will go up in the next Frankie Beverly post (later this week--highlighting Maze). Also, if you have any more information please share your knowledge. The Butlers material has been comp-ed sporadically (usually imports) but the entire Maze catalog has been reissued and is available.
Enjoy. "She Kissed Me" (Fairmount, 1966 or 1967)
"I Want To Feel I'm Wanted" (not sure which label or year) "Laugh, Laugh, Laugh" (Phila, 1966) "Because Of My Heart" (Fairmount, 1966 or 1967)
"Love (Your Pain Goes Deep)" (Sassy, 1967)
"If That's What You Wanted" (Sassy, 1967)
Frankie Beverly is one of those cats that has lasting power. He started in the music business doing a tour with doo wop group the Silhouettes and then formed his own group called the Blenders. The Blenders never recorded a single, Beverly wouldn't appear on wax until forming the Butlers a few years later. Along with Beverly, the Butlers included Jack "Sonny" Nicholson, Joe Collins, John Fitch, and Talmadge Conway.
Beverly would later enjoy great success fronting Maze and Conway would become a
well-known penning Double Exposure's
"Ten Percent" and the Intruders' "Memories Are Here To Stay."
While Maze is a phenomenal group, Beverly's work before that group will always stand out as his best (imo).
The Butlers produced tunes that most Northern Soul fans would kill for and Raw Soul gave the funksters something to pursue. If, by chance, you know of a way to get in touch with Frankie Beverly or his management, please drop me an e-mail. It would be absolutely great to do an interview with him about his pre-Maze work. He's still playing out, most recently doing a New Year's Eve show in Atlanta.