Phil Spector was one of the biggest producers of rock and roll during the early Sixties. He produced such groups as the Crystals, the Ronettes, Bobby Sox and the Blue Jeans and the Righteous Brothers. He started his own record label, Philles and created what became known as “the wall of sound.” But, in 1958, he was just one third of the group The Teddy Bears.
The Teddy Bears didn’t start out as a trio, but that’s the way they ended up. The other two were Marshall Leib and Annette Kleinbard. Annette was the girlfriend of a girl Phil was dating and he liked her voice. “To Know Him Is To Love Love Him” was written specifically for Annette’s voice. The song is taken from words that were engraved on Phil Spector’s father’s tombstone. The words: “To Know Him Was To Love Him.” Phil thought that was a good idea for a song and so he wrote it. The record was recorded at Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles and the total cost for the recording was $75. Phil recruited drummer Sandy Nelson to play on the record. Nelson would go on to become one of the most well-known drummers of the Sixties, recording several instrumental hits of his own.
“To Know Him is To Love Him” was the only hit the Teddy Bears had. I think Phil Spector was just getting started and he had better things to do than sing. He was better as a behind the scene person. Annette Kleinbard changed her name to Carol Connors and became a songwriter in her own right. Her writing credits include “Hey Little Cobra” by the Rip Chords and “With You I’m Born Again” by Billy Preston and Syreeta Wright. But, her most famous song, possibly, is the theme from the movie Rocky, “Gonna Fly Now,” which earned her an Academy Award nomination.
“To Know Him is To Love Him” entered the pop charts on October 13, 1958 and spent three weeks at number one. The Teddy Bears would never chart again.
Here is a terrible video of the Teddy Bears, but it shows them the way they were in 1958. Phil Spector is the guy with the guitar.
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