R.I.P. Ronnie Spector

Ronnie Spector has died after a brief bout with cancer at age 78.

Ronnie Spector’s influence was felt far and wide. Brian Wilson became obsessed with “Be My Baby” and Billy Joel wrote “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” in Spector’s honor. Amy Winehouse frequently cited Spector as an idol.

Martin Scorsese used “Be My Baby” to open his 1973 film “Mean Streets” and the song appears in the title sequence of “Dirty Dancing” and the closing credits of “Baby Mama.” It also appeared on TV in “Moonlighting” and “The Wonder Years.”

When the Ronettes were inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones remembered opening for the trio in England in the mid-1960s. “They could sing all their way right through a wall of sound,” Richards said. “They didn’t need anything. They touched my heart right there and then and they touch it still.”


Another death this week from the '60's era: Dwayne Hickman, aka "Dobie Gillis" passed away at age 87 from complications of Parkinson's.

Complications from Parkinson's is also credited as the cause of the death a few weeks ago of my favorite author, the inimitable Joan Didion. I still have my 1972 dog-eared copy of what is just about my favorite book, Play it as It Lays.

I have read it so many times -- and watched the movie version (with Tuesday Weld and Anthony Perkins) so often I can recite most of the dialogue before the actors speak it. So many of Joan Didion's characters are unforgettable -- because of her genius way of describing them.

R.I.P. to all the recently departed. Feel free to comment on others who have recently passed I haven't mentioned.

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    Civil Rights attorney and professor (none / 0) (#1)
    by Chuck0 on Wed Jan 12, 2022 at 08:03:27 PM EST
    Lani Guinier passed away this past week as well.

    Lani Guinier was a year ahead of me (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by Peter G on Wed Jan 12, 2022 at 09:01:14 PM EST
    in law school (two years ahead of my wife), and we really looked up to her then. (Lani was someone who stood out, even as a student, as Hillary Rodham did, who was two years ahead of me.) So naturally we followed her career with awe as she litigated difficult voting rights cases in the South for NAACP LDF (along with Pamela Karlan). She then began her career as a law prof at Penn, developing pioneering approaches (both theoretical and practical) to increasing democracy in our contemporary society. Took that to Harvard, where she was the first tenured woman of color on the law school faculty. Bill Clinton's withdrawal of his nomination of her to be Assistant AG for Civil Rights in the face of know-nothing, veiled racist criticism (akin to today's attacks on critical race theory) is one of the (many, alas) most shameful and cowardly episodes of his Presidency. So sad and cruelly ironic to hear that someone so brilliant, just 71 years old, would die of early-onset Alzheimers.

    Sidney Poitier (none / 0) (#2)
    by jondee on Wed Jan 12, 2022 at 08:47:26 PM EST
    and Peter Bogdanovich on the 6th.

    A few days ago I had an out-of-nowhere urge to listen to Hank Williams, before remembering that Bogdanovich had used Hank's music as the soundtrack for his classic The Last Picture Show.

    Bogdanovich also had a recurring acting role (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by McBain on Thu Jan 13, 2022 at 11:35:19 AM EST
    In The Sopranos, probably the greatest TV show of all time.