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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Wednesday Word: Ronette

The girl's name Ronette \r(o)-nette, ron(et)-te\ is a variant of Ronni (Old English), and the meaning of Ronette is "strong counsel".

Back in the last century when teenagers were listening to 45 rpms and AM radio, there was a Carole King song by the Ronettes, “Is This What I Get For Loving You.” Released in 1965 it embodied everything that was Brill Building, Phil Spector and what is sometimes known as The Girl Group Sound, all of which was a strong influence on the likes of butch rockers like Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel and “Miami” Steve Van Zandt. Since this is a set up for an anecdote. I’ll uncharacteristically revert to first person singular. The song wasn’t a huge hit, yet it was among my musical obsessions of the era. The vocal is rife with all the hormonal angst that I and, no doubt, my fellow teenagers had in an era that was on the threshold of sexual liberation. During one of the many gatherings I had at my house, one of my best female friends was sitting on my lap and actually fascinated by the idea that males also had sensitive nipples when the next 45 to drop onto the stack was Ronnie, Estelle and Nedra’s “Is This What I Get For Loving You.” I was singing along when she remarked, “How can you like this? It’s a girl’s song.” I don’t remember how I responded, but I am sure it wasn’t nearly as articulate as it could have been. Now in my senior years, I have the opportunity to express my inner Ronette. Come out to The Stonewall on Thursday. I promise not to wear a mandarin dress with a slit up the side. 7-9pm 53 Christopher St April 28, 2011

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