Da Doo Ron Ron

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"Da Doo Ron Ron"
Da Doo Ron Ron single.jpeg
Single by The Crystals
B-side "Git' It"
Released April 1963
Format 7" single
Recorded March 1963
Genre R&B, pop, doo-wop
Length 2:18
Label Philles Records
Songwriter(s) Phil Spector
Jeff Barry
Ellie Greenwich
Producer(s) Phil Spector
The Crystals singles chronology
"He's Sure the Boy I Love"
(1962)
"Da Doo Ron Ron"
(1963)
"Then He Kissed Me"
(1963)
"He's Sure the Boy I Love"
(1962)
"Da Doo Ron Ron"
(1963)
"Then He Kissed Me"
(1963)
Audio sample

"Da Doo Ron Ron" is a song written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector. It first became a popular top five hit single for the American girl group The Crystals in 1963. American teen idol Shaun Cassidy covered the song in 1977 and his version hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. There have also been many other cover versions of this song, including a version by the Raindrops, which featured the original songwriters of "Da Doo Ron Ron" Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich.

Composition[edit]

The song is the first collaboration in songwriting by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector. The song was composed over two days in Spector's office in New York. The title "Da Doo Ron Ron" was initially just nonsense syllables used as dummy line to separate each stanza and chorus until proper lyrics could be written, but Spector liked it so much that he kept it.[1] Phil Spector did not want lyrics that were too cerebral that would interfere with a simple boy-meets-girl story line.[2] The rhymes of the opening lines, "I met him on a Monday and my heart stood still ... Somebody told me that his name was Bill" was inspired by Bill Walsh, a friend of Spector who happened to visit Spector while the three were writing the song.[1]

The Crystals original version[edit]

Background[edit]

The Crystals recorded "Da Doo Ron Ron" in March 1963 at Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles. It was produced by Phil Spector in his Wall of Sound style. Jack Nitzsche was the arranger and Larry Levine the engineer. The drummer was Hal Blaine.[3] Dolores "LaLa" Brooks was the lead vocalist. La La Brooks told the syndicated radio program Solid Gold Weekend that Cher was one of the singers backing her lead vocals.[4]

On June 8, 1963, it reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100,[5] and on June 22, 1963, number four on the Cash Box chart.[6] It also reached number five in the UK.[7]

That's gold. That's solid gold coming out of that speaker.

— Spector to Sonny Bono, after listening to the final playback of "Da Doo Ron Ron".[8]

In 2004, the Crystals' song was ranked number 114 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[9] It was, however, removed from the same list in the 2010 update, being the highest-ranked of the 27 songs that were removed. It was listed at number 528 by Q Magazine in their list of The 1001 Best Songs Ever, published in 2003. Berlin Media listed the song at number 43 on their list of The 100 Best Singles of All Time list published in 1998. It was also recognized by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the "500 Songs That Shaped Rock". Billboard named the song #55 on their list of 100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time.[10]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1963) Peak
position
Germany (Official German Charts)[11] 22
Ireland (IRMA) 3
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 5
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 3
U.S. Cash Box 4

Shaun Cassidy version[edit]

"Da Doo Ron Ron"
"Da Doo Ron Ron" by Shaun Cassidy.jpg
Single by Shaun Cassidy
from the album Shaun Cassidy
B-side "Holiday"
Released March 1977
Format 7" single
Recorded 1976
Genre Pop
Length 2:50
Label Warner/Curb
Songwriter(s) Phil Spector
Jeff Barry
Ellie Greenwich
Producer(s) Michael Lloyd
Shaun Cassidy singles chronology
"Da Doo Ron Ron"
(1977)
"That's Rock 'n' Roll"
(1977)
"Da Doo Ron Ron"
(1977)
"That's Rock 'n' Roll"
(1977)

Background[edit]

"Da Doo Ron Ron" was covered in 1977 by teen idol Shaun Cassidy on his first solo LP, Shaun Cassidy, launching his career. His version was produced by Michael Lloyd and issued on Warner. It peaked at number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.[12] (The words were changed slightly to make it a boy-girl song, after The Searchers' cover version.) The song was his first of three consecutive Top 10 U.S. hits. Cassidy's cover of "Da Doo Ron Ron" spent 22 weeks on the chart. It became a gold record, as did all of Cassidy's first three single releases.[13]

Chart performance[edit]

Other versions[edit]

  • Jack Nitzsche recorded a slowed-down ballad-style instrumental version on his 1963 album The Lonely Surfer.
  • The Searchers recorded it soon after an original release, on their debut album, Meet The Searchers, released in August 1963. They changed the words slightly to make it a boy-girl song, referring to a girl named Jill instead of a boy named Bill.
  • Original songwriters of "Da Doo Ron Ron" Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich covered the song as The Raindrops, who released it on their debut studio album on Jubilee Records towards the end of 1963.
  • Dutch singer Anneke Grönloh recorded the song in 1963 in Dutch as Da Doe Ron Ron and in Malayan under its original title.
  • Ted Herold recorded a German version in 1963.
  • Anita Lindblom recorded a Swedish version called Tänk på det.
  • Iain Matthews recorded a version of this song on Tigers Will Survive. He kept the gender-orientation intact. His cover charted at #96 in 1972.
  • Bette Midler recorded a version of the song for her album Bette Midler (1973). The song is performed as a medley with "Uptown" and "Don't Say Nothin' Bad (About My Baby)".[citation needed]
  • In 1977, Tina Arena and John Bowles recorded a version for their album "Tiny Tina and Little John".
  • In 1983, Mike Love of The Beach Boys covered the song on Love's and Dean Torrence album Rock 'N' Roll City.
  • Hungarian band Dolly Roll in 1989.
  • In 1996, all-girl rock band The Donnas recorded a version of the song as a single, which was later placed on the 1998 re-release of their 1997 self-titled CD.
  • The Beach Boys recorded a cover for their 1980 album Keepin' the Summer Alive, with Carl Wilson on lead vocals, but it was not released on that album. It was later released on their box set Made in California.
  • Bootlegged studio recordings of the song are found by Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones.
  • Other artists who have covered this song include Dave Edmunds, The Carpenters, and Brian Poole and the Tremeloes.[21]
  • It was used as the theme tune to Hale & Pace's one sitcom vehicle, The Management.
  • In 1963, Johnny Hallyday sang a French version, written by Georges Aber,[22] in his first film, D'où viens-tu Johnny ?[23] Other French singers also covered the song, including Frank Alamo (June 1, 1963),[24] Richard Anthony and Sylvie Vartan,[25] and Donald Lautrec in Quebec.[26]
  • The Belmonts also recorded this song on their album Cigars, Acappella, Candy.
  • In the 1981 movie Stripes starring Bill Murray and Harold Ramis, Russell (Ramis) is an English as a second language instructor. In an early scene he is seen teaching his students the song.
  • In 1984, singer Karen Kamon did a version of the song sounding similar to The Crystals version, and a music video was created for MTV. The video's premise was that of a guy going up to pick up his date (played by Kamon) and her taking much longer than expected while she finds out what to wear. While waiting, he ends up eating the chocolates he brought for her, and eventually his friends and their dates, who were all in the convertible he jumped out of at the beginning, show up at the apartment wondering what's taking so long and wait alongside him. By the third verse, she's down to needing to put on makeup, and goes through numerous exotic looks before finally coming out in a simple T-shirt and jeans, and they all leave for their night out.

Parodies[edit]

  • The British comedy show, Spitting Image, parodied this song as "Da Do Run Ron", a spoof election campaign song for Ronald Reagan in 1984, just after the programme was launched.
  • At least two parodies were made of this song revolving around the Enron scandal ("Enron-ron-ron"): one was a full recording of a song by political commentator and talk radio host, Dave Ross. The other was a quick singing of a verse by comedian Robin Williams on his Live on Broadway special. (Not present on the DVD.)
  • The song was also parodied for Energizer battery commercials in the mid 1980s, most notably one consisting of a robot entertaining a bunch of kids.
  • The song was parodied (as "We do Ron Ron") in the early 2000s in the UK and Australia for a series of McDonald's adverts. Despite their widespread use, the ads did not mention the McDonald's name or any products they sell, solely consisting of Ronald McDonald dancing with some kids.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Mick Brown (April 7, 2008). Tearing Down The Wall of Sound: The Rise And Fall of Phil Spector. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 129. ISBN 978-0747572473. 
  2. ^ "Da Doo Ron Ron by The Crystals". Song Facts. 
  3. ^ Weinberg, Max, ‘’The Big Beat: Conversations with Rock’s great drummers’’, Billboard Books, NY 1991, c1988 p.85
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel, "The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits", Billboard Books, NY 1992 p. 121
  6. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 Singles". Cash Box. June 22, 1963. Archived from the original on October 29, 2007. 
  7. ^ ‘’Phil Spector: Back to MONO (1958-1969)’’ ABKCO Records, 1991, liner notes
  8. ^ Du Noyer, Paul (2003). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music (1st ed.). Fulham, London: Flame Tree Publishing. p. 14. ISBN 1-904041-96-5. 
  9. ^ "The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 21, 2008. 
  10. ^ "100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time: Critics' Picks". Billboard. Retrieved July 11, 2017. 
  11. ^ "Musicline.de – The Crystals Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  12. ^ "Shaun Cassidy lyrics". Top40db.net. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  13. ^ "1977 Singles - Month By Month". Superseventies.com. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 3682a." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  15. ^ "NZ Top 40 Singles Chart | The Official New Zealand Music Chart". Nztop40.co.nz. 1977-08-14. Retrieved 2016-09-27. 
  16. ^ "Shaun Cassidy – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Shaun Cassidy.
  17. ^ "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles". July 9, 1977. Archived from the original on December 28, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Top 200 singles of 1977". RPM. 
  19. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1977/Top 100 Songs of 1977". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2016-09-27. 
  20. ^ http://tropicalglen.com/Archives/70s_files/1977YESP.html
  21. ^ "Da Doo Ron Ron". Songfacts.com. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Frank Alamo - Da Doo Ron Ron Lyrics". Artists.letssingit.com. Retrieved January 5, 2012. 
  23. ^ "Johnny Hallyday - Les Années 60". Rtbf.be. Retrieved 2016-09-27. 
  24. ^ "1er juin 1963: Frank Alamo - Da dou ron ron - Histoire de la Chansons Française" (in French). Histoiredelachanson.over-blog.com. June 1, 2012. Archived from the original on March 28, 2012. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  25. ^ "DA DOU RON RON RON (Hallyday, Anthony, Vartan) - Lyrics". Lyricsplayground.com. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  26. ^ "The Crystals". Retrojeunesse60.com. Retrieved January 5, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Undercover Angel" by Alan O'Day
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single (Shaun Cassidy version)
July 16, 1977 (one week)
Succeeded by
"Looks Like We Made It" by Barry Manilow