“…Presenting The Fabulous RONETTES” (click here to read the entire story)

I can’t believe during yesterday’s rant, I forgot to post a picture of my favorite 60’s girl group who happened to be on the Philles label!

(so now they get their very own entry on this thing!)

sisters- Estelle and Veronica Bennett and cousin Nedra Talley.

I love, LOVE the Ronettes! These were the bad girls of Rock & Roll.  Teased hair, tight skirts and mascara as thick as Veronica’s accent.  The Ronettes were first signed to the Colpix label and recorded several songs that- for the most part, were only heard by some of the local teens in the NY area.  They got their start singing a small birthday parties and small dances in the neighborhood.  Eventually, they became dancers at the world famous “Peppermint Lounge” that stole the show.  Can you imagine how cool it must have been to see these three teenage girls shakin’ it on stage, hair piled high and enough make-up to frost a cake?  At the time, they hadn’t yet recorded the hit songs that would eventually earn them Gold Records but I’m sure everyone in that club probably knew who the Ronettes were.

To pass the time before a concert, The Ronettes would sometimes have a little contest between themselves to see “Who could get their hair the highest or extend their eye make-up the furthest”. 

During their “Colpix” sessions, they recorded songs that may have not hit Number #1 on the Billboard Music Charts but they remain some of my personal favorites.  I love, LOVE their version of “Silhouettes”.  A few other cool tunes from those early sessions (this was before they were being produced by the magic that is Phil Spector) included songs like-   “I Want A Boy”, “I’m On The Wagon” and “Good Girls”….(which showcases Veronica singing about how a good girl is looking for a real good boy) has one of the coolest lines they ever recorded- “I’ll mashed potato but forget the gravy!”

They got out of their Colpix recording contract (thanks to a little white lie) and signed with Phil Spector- that’s when they started writing their chapter in Rock & Roll History.  The song that kicked it off for them was called “Be My Baby” and if you’ve never heard it… you’re missin it.  That is one of the few songs I can put on repeat and listen to over and over and over again.  I love the opening drum beat, Veronica’s lead vocals, the constant chanting of the background vocals, the entire production of that song is just amazing.  A few other gems from Gold Star Studios sessions are “I Wish I Never Saw The Sunshine”, “Walking In The Rain” and “Is This What I Get For Loving You?”.

The girls in 1963, backstage with a couple of fans.

Is that a cigarette in Estelle’s hand?…COOL!

Veronica, Estelle and Nedra performed as “The Ronettes” all over the world and played for millions of screaming fans.  They toured with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones and they have made their own little chapter in the history books of  Rock & Roll Music.  These three girls were recently and FINALLY inducted into the ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME- and for the first time in 40 years, The Ronettes were on the same stage together and honored by their peers. 

This has always been my favorite publicity photo of the girls-



(left to right) Nedra, Veronica & Estelle

A can of Aqua Net and two pounds of mascara…..each!

Love ya girls… thanks for the music-

….especially Estelle Bennett, my favorite Ronette who left us in 2009

medium_estelle2Rest in peace- sweet Estelle, you’re free now….


15 Responses to ““…Presenting The Fabulous RONETTES” (click here to read the entire story)”

  1. i really love the ronettes too, but i’m french and so i don’t understand everything that they sing….
    could you please explain me this line “i ll mashed potatoes….”
    anyway, really nice article, it’s good to see another fans of the fabulous RONETTES !!!
    i hope they won’t be forgotten…
    maybe you’ll answer me.
    thank you for this article !

    • Bonsoir Souki
      Cette phrase : I will mash potatoes” veut dire je vais piller des pommes de terre (ou patate) our encore je vais pulveriser des pommes de terre.
      J’ai l’age de ces darlings ;elles etaient toujours jolies et elles chantaient avec leur coeur et aussi c’etait la grande mode de New York ;les cheveux en bouffant et beaucoup de maquillage.Ce temps ne reviendra plus mais la vie etait plus belle et il y avait beaucoup d’amour dans le monde. L’esperance des beaux jours a venir nous tenait hors d’haleine et les hommes adoraient les femmes.L’amour etait chante pas tellement les choses sexuelles et terre a terre .Les romantiques vivaient tranquilement dans l’attente du mariage et de la vie en famille.Un baiser au cinema fesait rever …
      Hugs to you

    • There was a song called “The Mashed Potato” at this time and it spawned a dance of the same name! Then there was a follow-up song called “Gravy for My Mashed Potatoes”! Probably the song meant she was going to have some mashed potatoes, but forget the gravy, so she could keep it low-calorie and watch her figure!

      • Joe Guenther Says:

        I doubt gravy referred to Ronnie’s figure. Who cares anyway. Ronnie is a hottie at any age or figure. I think there was a little double-entrende or so there. Maybe our French translator can give us some clues. They were all such stars. I love them all.

  2. phillipphiles Says:

    **Hi, glad you liked the entry for The Ronettes! I emailed you privately, if you did not get it- let me know here and I will post a reply to your question. Thanks again** PP

  3. I’ve always loved you three women, you make us 60 guys
    feel 18 again. I listen to your music everday and live out my
    fantasies. You’re all beautiful and I love to imagine holding
    all three of you close and listening to you sing softly to me
    “Be my baby”. See you in my dreams.

    Faithfully YOURS

  4. could not agree with Bobby more,(from dec. 4, 2008 at 7:20)Happy Birthday to NEDRA, january 27, 2009.
    I Love you

  5. I kinda miss the ’60s. Nice post!

  6. I miss the 60’s to! oddly I wasn’t born until ’82. I’m glad for sites like this, where I can get a glimpse of what real musical talent was.

  7. rediscovered “be my baby” from watching dirty dancing again after many years…it’s on repeat on my mp3 player as i type this 🙂 i was born in ’85, but i swear i should’ve been alive during their era. thanks for a great post.

  8. I will always miss the sixties ;life was really Cool.I feel sorry about the Ronette who passed away early this year ;she was smoking ;this was not really cool but it was so fashionable and so charming for a woman to look emancipated when she kept a cigarette in her hands.Most people who smoked in the sixties did not live too long.All my friends and relatives who grew up in the fifties and sixties who smoked passed away already;all of them without exception.But the sixties and fifties were the best in my book.I still think that we had a great time then;much nicer than this 21 st century.

  9. I love Ronnie Bennett – she is just so talented and energetic – what a firecracker! How can I email her? I just want to tell her how great she is and how much I appreciate her. Thanks.

  10. robot frank Says:

    I want to email that firecracker, too. Only I want to send my email back to 1964.

  11. Joe Guenther Says:

    I want Ronnie to know right now how much I love her. What a talent she was and I’m sure still is. Smoking? I don’t smoke now thank God but I smoked a lot in the sixties and seventies. Still kicking at 61 and swimming long distance. Anyway these ladies were smoking hot.

  12. Wished you stayed in touch with them –maybe you could have been friend to Estelle-and she wouldn’t have died alone.. when so many of us loved her.
    Had I known she was in Englewood I would have gone to see her.. so many stars are alone now..

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