R&B Sunday: The Ronettes – “Be My Baby”

The great debate continues in 2019. I can not decide if 60’s R&B or 70’s R&B is my favorite. R&B in the 1960s had the polished look of men in suits with slick hair and women in dresses with beehives. The 70’s featured artists in their best threads from the discotheque, but more natural looks with the emergence of afros in pop culture. I noticed that a lot of songs from the era of the Civil Rights Movement focused on teenage romance and light pop themes. Many songs from girl groups told a tale of meeting a boy, falling in love, and getting married all within 3 minutes. The 70’s featured elements of funk, disco, and soul in its R&B that was filled with more serious, political themes.  Maybe I’ll decide by the end of this year if I prefer the sounds of a tambourine in most of the songs or a funk guitar in most of the songs.

The Ronettes were a girl group from Spanish Harlem New York consisting of sisters, Ronnie Bennett and Estelle Bennett, and their cousin Nedra Tally. In 1963, they released their hit single, “Be My Baby” after years of being background singers and dancers, and a somewhat disastrous performance at the Apollo Theatre. The family group disbanded in 1967, with only one full LP in their discography, Presenting The Fabulous Ronettes Featuring Veronica. They did not reunite until their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. Two years later, after years of mental illness that kept her from ever returning to music with her younger sister and cousin, Estelle Bennett passed due to colon cancer. Ronnie Bennett continues to perform and release music as a solo artist, but the legacy of the work from The Ronettes will never be overshadowed or forgotten. Enjoy. Happy Sunday!

Final Thought: I don’t want her to get sued, but I do think there are some similarities between “Be My Baby” and DaniLeigh’s “Lil Bebe”. I just think it would be a cool mash-up or at least see her do a performance that is 60’s inspired. 

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