The Crystals

Not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Eligible since: 1988 (The 1989 Induction Ceremony)

Previously Considered? Yes  what's this?

Essential Songs (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3YouTube
He's a Rebel (1962)
Da Doo Ron Ron (1963)
Then He Kissed Me (1963)

The Crystals @ Wikipedia

The Crystals Videos

Will The Crystals be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?
"Musical excellence is the essential qualification for induction."


11 comments so far (post your own)

THE CRYSTALS are one of the best loved and best
known groups from the early 60s Rock & Roll era.
Six big U.S. hits, including DA DOO RON RON,
UPTOWN, and the group that launched Phil
Spector's legendary PHILLES RECORDS.
They toured extensively, especially with
Dick Clark. Dee Dee Kenniebrew, an original
member, is still working today as THE
CRYSTALS. LA LA BROOKS, also an original,
still sings and performs. She even appeared
in the original Broadway rock musical HAIR.
Yes, THE CRYSTALS belong in the Rock & Roll
Hall of Fame!

Posted by Randy Russi on Tuesday, 10.31.06 @ 09:23am

This is extremely controversial. Although The Crystals were credited for singing the phenomenal hits "He's A Rebel" and "Da Doo Ron Ron", that's just a fabrication of Phil Spector's ego. The Blossoms (Darlene Love, Fanita James and Gloria Jones) sang all the vocals on "He's A Rebel" and all but the lead vocal on "Da Doo Ron Ron". I don't want to take away from the Crystals; it was the mad genius Phil Spector's decision to use the Blossoms and call them the Crystals. And the rest of the Crystals' hits do feature their own vocals. But on their two biggest hits, the credit should go to the Blossoms, who sang back up on many Phil Spector hits (including all the hits credited to member Darlene Love) as well as songs by Duane Eddy and Elvis Presley, and went on to be the back up singers on the popular Shindig TV series (with Jean King taking Gloria Jones' place). If there was a way to induct the Blossoms, that would be the right thing to do, but I feel strongly to induct the Crystals would continue to perpetuate this confusion that Spector had wrought.

Posted by Charles Crossley Jr on Tuesday, 01.2.07 @ 10:15am


Posted by zzy on Thursday, 12.6.07 @ 10:03am

Induct them already

Posted by Q on Saturday, 09.20.08 @ 15:25pm

Regardless of who was in the studio, they performed the hits over the years. I love Darlene Love and The Blossoms. Yet, it was the actual group that kept the legacy of The Crystals going. I think Darlene Love and The Blossoms should be honored SEPARATELY since they were never actually apart of The Crystals group. Many groups hire studio session singers. The Crystals are still going strong under the direction of original member Dee Dee Kenniebrew. I have seen them live, and they have an amazing show.

Posted by Juanita Wheeler on Thursday, 10.16.08 @ 11:54am

Just wanted to copy & paste my latest entry on Rock Hall Monitors here since it's all about the Crystals.

The Crystals? Not just yet.

In my previous entry, I laid out some guidelines for what I try to do with this blog. And now I’m going to break one of those guidelines. Despite my aversion to spotlighting individual artists, I’m going to focus on a single act. That act is the Crystals. I do so because they are something of an interesting intersection at this point, with an extra hazard thrown in. Simply put, the Crystals are simultaneously between a rock and a hard place and yet also in a decent place to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.
The first road that crosses is that of the ‘60s girl group. Along with the Ronettes, the Crystals are something of the quintessential girl group, partially because of their affiliation with Phil Spector, who supposedly had a penchant for female acts at the time. Seemingly naïve young girls, lighting the world on fire with their songs, their youth, their sound. The tale of rock ‘n’ roll in the early ‘60s isn’t even close to accurate without girl groups. Which brings us to the Crystals. As one such poster-children group, they make seemingly good candidates. They sang young and had songs that were very much about the teen scene of the early ‘60s.
Which brings us to the darker side of that road: the professional respect factor. Steadier and steadier, the trend of the NomCom, critics and people who follow the Hall Of Fame, and even among the laity; skews towards those who did more than just sing. You have a much better chance if you wrote the vast majority your own songs, played a guitar (or keys or drums failing that), produced your own albums, distributed your work on your own label, created your own choreography, or even handled your stage persona and your own publicity. And if you did all of that, you’re pretty much an eventual shoo-in. Those who only sang, be it solo or in groups, do get in with some regularity, but lately, it’s often despite much murmuring.
Add to that, early ‘60s rock ‘n’ roll, among those same groups of people, tends to be unusually reviled. It was inoffensive, usually about love or heartbreak (sometimes both), joyful, apolitical, supposedly drug-free, and created by larger groups of people each specializing in one aspect and few trying to be jacks of all trades… in short, everything that has been sacrilegious to the music industry from the late-‘60s on. This plays out in reality with the Hall Of Fame. Those affiliated with that time period generally have a hard time getting acknowledged, let alone inducted. Despite being an able songwriter, Gene Pitney needed eight nominations before getting in. From that same class, Brenda Lee went eleven years between her first and second nominations before getting in on her third. Even writing his own songs and slinging an axe didn’t get Del Shannon inducted after any fewer than seven nominations. And how about songwriting teams of Ellie Greenwich & Jeff Barry and Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil not being honored until 2010, and may not have happened were Greenwich still alive? And that doesn’t even mention the fact that other than the first-round Ronettes, every girl group from the ‘60s has needed three nominations to get inducted—even the Supremes.
Which brings us to the last bump in this road, what about other girl groups? The Crystals are in a better place right now than others because not only have they been considered before, but also the recent push has been for those that were under Phil Spector’s control. So which other girl groups are deserving? The (50's girl group) Chantels have two past nominations, but still aren’t in. There’s also the Marvelettes, one of Motown’s first power groups, and one of the few such groups from the classic era of that label still not in. With Aerosmith having covered their “Remember (Walking In The Sand)” and “Leader Of The Pack” being considered a classic, as well as a handful of other great songs, you could also make an argument for the Shangri-La’s. Let’s not forget the Chiffons either, whose track record keeps pretty steady with most of the other aforementioned. The least of the possibly deserving girl groups though would be the Angels, and that would be a pretty difficult induction to accept. Not that it’s ever gonna happen though. Even right now, getting the Crystals in as a representative girl group will prove difficult. (Had they had more commercial success, the Greenwich-Barry nom-de-plume group of the Raindrops would be an excellent candidate, since most of the stuff from their albums is fantastic.)
Part of that difficulty comes with the other position we find them in: the house of Spector. In the past, Phil Spector argued that with his wall of sound being so distinctly his signature, especially on the girl group records, he was the true artist, not the ones on the label. And there’s been a lot of support for that sentiment, too. But over time, acts he famously produced (even if only for a couple records) and musicians who played for him have been getting in. It began in 1991 with Ike And Tina Turner, and went on to include John Lennon, Hal Blaine, the Ramones, the Righteous Brothers, and George Harrison. But it was the 2007 induction of the Ronettes that really saw Spector’s power crumbling, particularly because Spector himself blocked their nomination in the past as a member of the NomCom. It continued in 2011 with the inductions of artist Darlene Love and session player Leon Russell. The session players still have a few big names in the queue, but as far as the artists go, the Crystals are perhaps the last major name to aim for. The Blossoms never broke big; Bob B. Soxx And The Blue Jeans were too minor and were pretty much the Blossoms with a male lead singer. Any other big names that were ever associated with Spector (like Ben E. King) had oone or two records produced by him, but not the same level of control he wielded with his other acts. So the Crystals are perhaps the last act in the house to try and induct, now that Darlene Love is in.
But ironically, Darlene Love’s induction this past year may be the very reason getting the Crystals in has become much harder, and pretty much impossible for the next couple of years. While championing the cause, both before her induction and at the actual induction ceremony, supporters for Love were very quick to remind everyone that it was Darlene’s voice on records credited to the Crystals, including two biggies: “He’s A Rebel” and “Da Doo Ron Ron.” Without those two, the Crystals’ biggest weapons become “Then He Kissed Me” and “Uptown” which feature two different lead singers. Getting Darlene Love inducted apparently was so important, that it didn’t matter if the merits of the Crystals were besmirched in the process. The kicker to this is that those who supported Darlene Love’s induction could also well become the biggest proponents for the Crystals. In their own zeal for Darlene, they shot the cause for the Crystals squarely in the foot. To rally support for Darlene Love with Crystals’ records, and then try to use those same records to argue in favor of the Crystals comes off as pure flip-flopping, trying to have the argument both ways and win twice. It just doesn’t work because it looks bad when people try to do it. And without a proper passage of time, any attempts to use those same records for the Crystals that were used for Love is only going to hurt the cause of the Crystals. Even worse, this reflects back into the first road of girl group power. This makes the Crystals look even less deserving of Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction than the Angels... the L.A. baseball team, that is.
In summation, maybe the Crystals are deserving of induction. I personally wouldn’t object to it. But if any of the NomCom are out there, don’t try for them on the ballot for the Class of 2012. It just isn’t a smart idea. For now, your best bet for girl groups is once again the Chantels. Three’s been the lucky number for girl groups, after all. Or the Marvelettes, who hold some important distinctions for Motown. And if you want to continue to induct pieces in the house of Spector, maybe Ben E. King, even though it was only a major record or two. Or Sonny And Cher, who first worked for Phil. Or focus on the session men: Tommy Tedesco is a pretty big omission for the Side-Man category. Or even go for arranger Jack “Specs” Nitzche as an Ahmet Ertegun Award recipient. Now just isn’t the time to push for the Crystals.

Posted by Philip on Wednesday, 08.24.11 @ 06:53am

Good read, Philip. I too wouldn't complain if the Crystals got inducted, but I highly doubt they ever will. As you said a big case for Darlene's induction was discrediting the Crystals. By letting her in, it kind of acknowledges that they think they already have the Crystals/Spector covered.

As for girl groups in general, I only have 3 that could potentially make it (and deserve) to be in Cleveland:

1. The Chantels have been nominated twice before so there's clearly some support being the first goes a big way for them.

2. The Shangri-Las are second most likely imo, and may probably go in on their first try a la The Ronettes. Like the Ronettes they're probably the most respected of the girl groups in the general rock community (The Ronettes had the immortal "Be My Baby" and they have "Leader of the Pack"). They've also influenced a lot of punk bands. Also like the Ronettes,they were also heavily featured in the Women Who Rock.

3. The Marvelettes should've been up there years ago along with early Motown greats Mary Wells and the Miracles. They scores Motown's first number I and Motown is still a powerful pull in terms of name recognition. They may have to wait in line after the above two girl groups and/or Wells and the Miracles though. But I hope they are evntually enshrined.

Posted by rockstar23 on Wednesday, 08.24.11 @ 09:35am

The Crystals

Darlene Love
Barbara Alston
Dee Dee Kenniebrew
La la Brooks
Patricia Wright
Mary Thomas
Frances Collins
Merna Girard

The Blossoms

Darlene Love
Fanita James
Gloria Jones
Jean King
Nanette Williams
Annette Williams

Bob B. Soxx & The Blue Jeans

Darlene Love
Fanita James
Gloria Jones
Bobby Sheen
Carolyn Willis

Posted by Roy on Saturday, 02.25.12 @ 08:11am

There is sure alot of nonsense listed above. Darlene Love did not sing on the Da Doo Ron Ron as evidence by her own admission that she did not. The Blossoms DID NOT sing background on any Crystal hit. Cher, Fanita James and Gracia Nitzche sang background on the DDRR. The Crystals were signed by Spector in New York before he moved to LA. Without their success (The Crystals), there would be no Darlene Love, The Ronettes, The Righteous Brothers and The Ramones. It is highly embarrassing to the R&R world that Darlene Love was inducted. What about the other members of The Blossoms? Darlene had one hit, He's A Rebel, and that is it. It is a shame that no one does their research. They repeat unsubstantiated facts without researching them.

Posted by Roger L. Chemel on Thursday, 10.9.14 @ 15:38pm

Talking about a lot of nonsense. . .

Darlene Love admitted she did not sing on "Da Doo Ron Ron"? What's your source?

The Crystals did not sing background on any Crystal hit? What's your source?

The story as has been repeatedly told on every resource on the web is that Phil Spector wanted to release "He's A Rebel" before Vicki Carr did. The Crystals were unavailable, the Blossoms were, so he recorded the Blossoms. Spector then erased Darlene Love's vocals and added in the singer who would become the lead singer for the Crystals, La La Brooks, instead. Love is still singing background vocals with the other Blossoms, though.

You can peruse my resources for the Blossoms by going here:

Again, what are your resources?

I'll give you this - you knew Cher also sang background vocals on "Da Doo Ron Ron". However, unless you can produce an authoritative resource that says neither Darlene Love nor any other Blossom sang on any of the Crystals' recordings, you can't be taken seriously.

Posted by Charles Crossley Jr on Monday, 10.26.15 @ 06:28am

Correction - in my rush to post the above, I conflated two stories. The Blossoms sang "He's A Rebel." They sang "Da Doo Ron Ron," too, but La La Brooks vocal was substituted for Darlene Love's lead vocal.

I need to take a little more time and read my posts before clicking "submit". . .

Posted by Charles Crossley Jr on Monday, 10.26.15 @ 06:31am

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