In breaking news, Ronnie Spector, Queen of the Girl Groups and one of the defining voices of female rock n’ roll, will headline She’s Got The Power! Her timeless style and sound continues to influence performers today, as evidenced by the latest wave of young bands who frequently cite her as a primary inspiration. Ronnie will join her old friends to perform on the evening show, which kicks off at 5 p.m. at the Damrosch Park Bandshell.
The story of the girl group sound is also a unique New York story, in which young writers, producers, and musicians from all walks of life collaborated to create a style that celebrated American teenage dreams, in songs that combined raw emotional urgency and sophisticated musical production. Kids everywhere responded to their music, sending the girl groups to the top of the charts, dominating the airwaves for several years and defining the era between early rock and the British invasion.
Lesley Gore, LaLa Brooks (formerly of the Crystals), Arlene Smith (formerly of the Chantels), Barbara Harris (of the Toys) Margaret Ross (of the Cookies), Maxine Brown, Brenda Reid and Lillian Walker Moss (of The Exciters), Peggy Santiglia Davison and Jiggs Sirico ( of The Angels®), Beverly Warren (of the Raindrops), Nanette Licari (of the Delrons), Baby Washington and Toni Wine will breathe life into unforgettable songs with the backing of the Boyfriends, led by musical director Jeremy Chatzky.
An afternoon symposium dubbed Girl Talk will present moderators Lauren Onkey of the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, journalist Alison Fensterstock and Sheryl Farber (producer of Rhino’s box set One Kiss Can Lead To Another: Girl Group Sounds, Lost & Found)) discussing their histories and lives on the road and in the studio, with a special panel devoted to the legacy of the late Ellie Greenwich, who’ll also be honored with a musical tribute that evening. An Interview with Lesley Gore and a panel with the Exciters and the Angels will also be presented.
Bill Bragin, director of public programming at Lincoln Center, explains, “Our mult-year partnership with the Ponderosa Stomp is very much focused on welcoming under-appreciated popular music artists into the cultural canon. We’re thrilled to celebrate these powerful female artists, who have had such a lasting impact on American popular music, at Lincoln Center, where their art stands alongside world class orchestras, opera divas, Tony-Award winners and ballet companies.”
For lagniappe, click here to see Ronnie on the Sha Na Na show doing “Be My Baby.”
For John Lennon’s version of “Be My Baby,” produced by Phil Spector during Lennon’s “lost years,” click here.