Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

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CRYSTALS, The

US vocal quartet. Lineup: Delores 'LaLa' Brooks, Dee Dee Kennibrew, others at various times incl. original lead singer Barbara Alston, Pat Wright, Mary Thomas, all from NYC, all b '45--6; also Frances Collins, Myrna Gerrard. 'Girl group' discovered by Phil Spector; first record 'There's No Other (Like My Baby)' no. 5 R&B, top 20 pop '61, then they had hits with their entire output on his Philles label, except 'He Hit Me (But It Felt Like A Kiss)', which was issued but withdrawn. 'He's A Rebel' (written by Gene Pitney) and 'He's Sure The Boy I Love' were in fact sung by Darlene Love, but classics 'Da-Do-Ron-Ron' (no. 5) and 'Then He Kissed Me' (no. 8) both '63 had punchy lead vocals of LaLa Brooks, and marked the beginning of 'wall of sound' prod. that made Spector famous. 'Little Boy' and 'All Grown Up' were minor hits '64. Many tracks remained unissued, like original versions of 'Chapel Of Love' and 'It's My Party'; 'I Wonder' was issued only in UK and is much sought-after. Reissue 'Da-Do-Ron- Ron'/'Then He Kissed Me' was top 20 UK '74; the group toured oldies circuit with Dee Dee as leader.