SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Ronnie Spector, the cat-eyed, bee-hived rock ‘n’ roll singer who sang such hits as “Be My Baby” and “Walking in the Rain” in the 1960s died Wednesday after a brief battle with cancer.
A Sioux Falls rocker shares what it was like touring with Ronnie and the Ronettes.
“Be My Baby” is probably the most popular song people will remember about Ronnie and the Ronettes, at least it is for Myron Wachendorf of Myron Lee and the Caddies.
“She’s got such a wide distinctive bravado, nobody sounds like her,” Wachendorf said.
Wachendorf toured with Ronnie in the 1960’s as part of the Dick Clark Caravan of Stars.
Besides his instruments, Wachendorf also carried an 8 millimeter movie camera.
“I don’t know, I was the only one. Nobody was interested in taking pictures, never even thought of it, but I carried that camera wherever we went,” Wachendorf said.
Wachendorf said while documenting everything on camera, he got to know Ronnie and the Ronettes on a personal basis while out touring.
“They practiced a lot and the way they danced together, there was just something about them that everybody liked and obviously they still do now,” Wachendorf said.
Ronnie and the Ronettes were from New York City.
While touring in the Big Apple, Myron Lee and the Caddies had no place to go for Thanksgiving.
That’s when they got a special invitation.
“The Ronettes were nice enough to invite my band over to her parent’s house in Harlem, so we had Thanksgiving dinner with them,” Wachendorf said.
Over the years, Wachendorf lost touch with Ronnie, but still watches his home movies where you see her just being herself.
Then one day he got an unexpected phone call asking about his home movies.
“Ronnie’s husband called me about 4 years ago, 5:11 and he said Ronnie still goes out and does shows by herself and she has seen your home movies of that Dick Clark parade 5:33 But he said she’d like to use parts of your film as a background when they introduce her, ‘would you let us do that?’ I said of course,” Wachendorf said.
Home movies that are now a piece of rock n roll history.
Ronnie Spector was 78 years old.