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Crystals

In 1961, Barbara Alston, Mary Thomas, Dolores "Dee Dee" Kenniebrew, Myrna Giraud and Patricia "Patsy" Wright formed The Crystals through the help of Benny Wells, Barbara's uncle. Soon, the quintet signed with Phil Spector's label Philles Records.

Their first hit, the gospel-influenced "There's No Other (Like My Baby)", debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 in November 1961. Originally the B-side to "Oh Yeah, Maybe Baby" (featuring Wright on lead), the stirring pop ballad was co-written by Spector and Leroy Bates and featured Barbara Alston on vocals. The recording was made late on the evening of the high school prom at Central Commercial High School, the school attended by Barbara, Mary, and Myrna; they were still wearing their prom dresses, as they had come to the studio straight from the event. The single reached number 20 in January 1962, marking an auspicious debut for Spector's Philles label.

Brill Building songwriters Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil's "Uptown" gave the girls their second radio hit. Ethnically flavoured with flamenco guitar and castanets, the more uptempo "Uptown" featured Alston once again emoting convincingly over a boy, though this time with class issues woven into the story. After the success of "Uptown", a pregnant Giraud was replaced by Dolores "LaLa" Brooks.

The controversial subject matter of the next single, 1962's "He Hit Me (And It Felt Like a Kiss)" (written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin and sung by Alston), resulted in limited airplay with the track only "bubbling under" the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #123. Barbara Alston later disowned the track, stating it was “absolutely, positively, the one record that none of us liked”

The Crystals were a New York City singing group and are considered one of the defining acts of the girl group era of the first half of the 1960s. Their 1961—1964 chart hits — including "Uptown", "He's A Rebel", "Da Doo Ron Ron (When He Walked Me Home)" and "Then He Kissed Me" — featured three successive female lead singers and were all produced by Phil Spector.
Then He Kissed Me" is the opening song to which Elisabeth Shue dances around her bedroom in Adventures in BabysittingRay Liotta and Lorraine Bracco enter the Copacabana on their first real date in the movie GoodfellasAsobi Seksu and used on their live album. (1990); and it is used during the "Kiss Cam" during 'Homer and Marge Turn a Double Play' on The Simpsons (2006). It was also covered by (1987); it is the song in which
Crystal is the name of one of the girl group-inspired street urchin characters in the musical Little Shop of HorrorsChiffon and Ronnette. , along with
Amy Winehouse has citied their song "He Hit Me (And It Felt Like a Kiss)" as an influence when writing her acclaimed second album Back to Black.
"All Grown Up"___ the track on the Crystals C.D. (the C.D.supervised by Spector) is a much different arrangement of the song than the original single.

 

50s, 60s Hits

Da Do Ron Ron
He's A Rebel
Then He Kissed Me

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