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Spector Gets Slammed In Court

June 12, 1998 12:00 AM ET

The Ronettes finally got their day in court Tuesday, as a judge in the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York heard first-day arguments in their lawsuit vs. producer Phil Spector.

The Ronettes -- whose Spector-helmed hits include "Be My Baby" and "Walking In The Rain" -- charge that the producer, his Philles Records label, and successor labels breached the group's 34-year-old contract by paying the members, led by Spector's ex-wife Ronnie Greenfield, no royalties since 1963.

The suit, filed in 1988, was held up by a slow discovery process and legal maneuvering. It asks for $12 million in damages, rescission of the contract, the return of the masters, and recoupment of all monies received by the defendants, minus expenses, from the sale of Ronettes masters.

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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