Who remembers the 2013 documentary on background singers “20 Feet From Stardom? It featured some of the best backup singers in the music business. Whether it is the Rolling Stones, Elton John, Michael Jackson or David Bowie, one artist stood out. That was Darlene Love. Don’t get me wrong Táta Vega, Lisa Fischer, Judith Hill and Mary Clayton are no way slouches and can hold there own when it comes to being wanted by the top artists, but Darlene Love has worked with most of the top stars in most genres.
Darlene was discovered by the “Wall Of Sound,” man Phil Spector. Her voice was well suited to the type of songs he was promoting back in the 1960s. Phil was into female groups, like The Ronettes, The Crystals and The Blossoms. She was successful as part of a female group but could not find traction as a solo artist.
During the 1960s she also sang backup on several major releases and tours for the top artists of the time. Darlene mentioned that one time she sat down to make a list of some of the artists she had backed up. The list totalled over 200 artists. We are talking about artists like Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, The Beach Boys and Dionne Warwick.
Let us listen to Darlene Love and Ronnie Spector, Phil Spector’s former wife sing “Rocking Around The Christmas Tree.”