Da Doo Ron Ron – The Crystals

THIS DAY IN MUSIC……………………………………….on June 8th of 1963 The Crystals’ “Da Doo Ron Ron” peaks at #3 on the Billboard Pop chart. The effort is the brain child of Phil Spector, who uses a multi-track recording system to build the song layer upon layer to achieve a result that will become known as a “wall of sound”. Backing musicians include Glen Campbell on guitar, Hal Blain on drums, Leon Russell on piano and Nino Tempo on sax. He recorded it at Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles, packing all the musicians into a room that measured just 19 x 24 feet. Spector was meticulous about microphone placement, especially when it came to the drums (played on this track and many other Spector productions by Hal Blaine). He recorded the song in mono, which meant that every instrument was coming out of both speakers at full force, eschewing the nuance of stereo for the power of a single track. Spector wasn’t big on editing or post-production, so he spent a lot of his studio time having the musicians run through the track before he would roll tape. Typically, he would have the guitarists play for a while while he worked out the song, then bring in pianos, bass, and drums. Vocals were recorded in an echo chamber located behind the control room at Gold Star. Among the background singers was one of Spector’s favorites: Cher.  Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich wrote this song. The refrain of “da doo ron ron” came from nonsense syllables they stuck in as filler, but it was exactly what Phil Spector w as looking for, since he didn’t want a cerebral lyric getting in the way of his massive production.The song was gold for Spector, who was not just the producer of the track, but also got credit as a songwriter along with Barry and Greenwich, which is a testament to his influence in the studio. A version by Shaun Cassidy reached US #1 in 1977 (switching gender for the lyrics so “Bill” becomes “Jill”).Cassidy, who was 18 years old at the time and better known as the half-brother of The Partridge Family star David Cassidy, claimed that he wanted to record it because it was the first record he ever bought. His version was his first hit, and it introduced the song to a new generation. The song by The Crystals was a Top 10 hit in the UK as well peaking at#5.