Ronettes Entitled to Back Pay From Phil Spector, Judge Rules
Members of the 1960s singing group the Ronettes are entitled to $2.6 million in back earnings from their former producer, Phil Spector, a New York judge ruled Friday.
Ronnie Spector, who is Phil Spector’s former wife, and two other members of the Ronettes trio sued him for $11 million, claiming he had cheated them out of their royalties and that they had not gotten any money from him since 1964.
They accused him of breach of contract and asked him for back and future earnings, which Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Paula Omansky ruled they are entitled to receive.
However, the judge denied their request for ownership of original recordings, writing in a 24-page decision that the monetary damages are adequate.
“Spector’s contributions to the Ronettes’ success cannot be underestimated, as composer of their songs, and as creator of the sound for which the Ronettes’ recording hits became famous,” the judge wrote.
“Rescinding the 1963 recording contract and taking ownership of the masters away from Spector is not warranted,” she wrote.
Spector was one of the ‘60s’ most influential and successful producers, and his technique of overdubbing in a recording became known as the Wall of Sound. He produced records for such acts as the Righteous Brothers, Ike and Tina Turner and John Lennon.
The Ronettes, with their beehive hairdos and dark eye makeup, also included Ronnie Spector’s sister Estelle Bennett and their cousin, Nedra Talley Ross.
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