Phil Spector has seen many descriptions beside his name over some four decades in the public eye. The nice ones run along the line of "legendary record producer," which ultimately puts all the not-so-nice ones in perspective.
But one description that doesn't show up often enough is one without which he would not have created anything approaching the legacy we know today. Phil Spector was, and is, a songwriter.
He wrote his first number-one hit in 1958, when he was a 17year-old high school student nominally headed for a responsible career as a court stenographer.
He and three high school classmates who had formed a group called the Teddy Bears entered a Los Angeles recording studio armed with a Spector song called "Don't You Worry My Little Pet," an upbeat tune that reflected the precocious Spector's ear for Chuck Berry and the light, bouncy pop of early rock 'n' roll. The acetate got him into the door of Dore Records, where "Pet" got his group a deal to make a record, which meant Spector now had to come up with at least one more song for a B side.
He did, writing "Wonderful Lovable You." Then he came up with a better one, "To Know Him Is To Love Him," the proverbial last minute addition that gets tacked onto the end of a session with no expectations and turns out to be the hit. Most songwriters will say they don't know where a lot of their songs come from, but Spector could trace this one quite precisely: He had taken a phrase off his father's tombstone (changing it slightly from "To…
(AND) THEN HE KISSED ME
Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry, Phil Spector
Trio Music Co., Inc./Universal Songs of Polygram/Mother Bertha Music, Inc./Abkco Music, Inc.
YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVIN’ FEELING
Cynthia Weil, Barry Mann, Phil Spector
Screen Gems - EMI Music, Inc./Mother Bertha Music, Inc./Abkco Music, Inc.