Page last updated at 08:01 GMT, Tuesday, 14 April 2009 09:01 UK

Phil Spector: Pop innovator

Phil Spector
Phil Spector maintained a flamboyant image during his appearances at court

After nearly 30 hours of deliberation, a jury in the second trial of legendary pop producer Phil Spector found him guilty of murdering a woman at his California home in 2003.

Spector became one of the music world's most celebrated record producers through work with some of the biggest names in pop and rock, such as The Beatles and Ike and Tina Turner.

He produced hits including You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' by the Righteous Brothers and The Ronettes' Be My Baby.

The 68-year-old pioneered the "Wall of Sound" recording technique, featuring lush orchestration mixed with rock 'n' roll.

Born Harvey Phillip Spector, the New Yorker started out in 1958 as a musician in his own right with Los Angeles band The Teddy Bears.

As songwriter, guitarist and back-up singer for the group, who hit the big time with To Know Him is to Love Him, he became a millionaire by the age of 21.

That song was inspired by the inscription on the gravestone of his father Benjamin, who committed suicide in 1949.

PRODUCTION CREDITS
The Ronettes
The Beatles
John Lennon
George Harrison
The Crystals
The Ronettes
The Righteous Brothers
Ike and Tina Turner
The Ramones

When The Teddy Bears split, Spector moved back to New York, where he continued to write songs and produce records, notably for The Crystals and The Ronettes, effectively inventing the girl group.

He created the "Wall of Sound", which involved overdubbing scores of musicians to create a massive roar. It changed the way pop records were produced.

His session players included guitarist Glen Campbell, pianist Leon Russell, drummer Hal Blaine and the late Sonny Bono. They were affectionately called The Wrecking Crew.

Spector also ran the label Philles Records with Lester Sill, eventually buying out his partner.

Some say his career had reached its zenith by 1966, when a Spector-produced record - Ike and Tina Turner's River Deep, Mountain High - failed commercially and he stepped back from the public eye and closed down Philles Records.

But he went on to produce The Beatles' album Let it Be, which was released in 1970.

He continued his association with The Beatles following their break-up, working with John Lennon on Imagine and helping Yoko Ono produce Lennon's work after his death.

Phil Spector's wife Rachelle Short
The producer is now married to 28-year-old Rachelle Short

He also produced George Harrison's All Things Must Pass in 1970.

Spector was married to Veronica "Ronnie" Bennett, a member of the Ronettes, but they divorced in 1974.

He spent almost two decades out of the spotlight, although the US music industry honoured him in 1989, inducting him into its Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame.

He was lured out of retirement to work with UK band Starsailor on their 2003 album Silence is Easy, his first project for 23 years.

But he became legendary - even notorious - for his eccentric habits while recording.

Spector is said to have pulled guns on artists including The Ramones, John Lennon, Leonard Cohen, Stevie Wonder and his former wife Ronnie.

He was first tried for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson in 2007, four years after she was found dead at his Los Angeles mansion.

The jury in that case failed to reach a verdict and a retrial got underway in September 2008.

The new jury heard from ex-girlfriends and was taken to visit the scene of Clarkson's death.

Jurors delivered a guilty verdict and Spector faces between 15 years and life imprisonment when he is sentenced on 29 May.

The hitmaker is now married to 28-year-old Rachelle Short, a former Playboy model who has been by his side throughout the trial and who wept when the verdict was delivered.



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