Discussion:
The Number Ones: The Teddy Bears’ “To Know Him Is To Love Him”
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Bob Roman
2018-11-06 02:33:13 UTC
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A writer named Tom Breihan has been reviewing, in order, every song to hit #1 in the Billboard Hot 100.

The Teddy Bears – “To Know Him Is To Love Him”
HIT #1: December 1, 1958
STAYED AT #1: 3 weeks

We are going to meet some monsters over the course of this column’s lifespan, and we are going to have to grapple with the idea that some of these monsters made some great music. None were more monstrous than Phil Spector, the erratic control freak, abusive husband, and, eventually, actual convicted murderer. And none made better music.

Harvey Phillip Spector was a Los Angeles high school student when he wrote “To Know Him Is To Love Him” for his vocal group the Teddy Bears, and he was 18 when he scraped together the money to have the song recorded. Spector later said that he got the song’s title from his father’s gravestone. You can’t hear anything like the symphonic majesty of Spector’s early-’60s productions on “To Know Him Is To Love Him.” Instead, it’s a simple, lovely song, recorded with a hymnlike reverence.

Lead singer Annette Kleinbard sings about a simple unrequited crush, her poise and precision underlining the sadness at the heart of the song: “Why can’t he see? / How blind can he be? / Someday, he’ll see / That he was meant for me.” All the while, Spector and Marshall Leib encircle and console, their voices orbiting Kleinbard slowly. Together, their voices rise and flutter, wrapping delicately around each other, supporting each other. It’s just gorgeous.

The Teddy Bears would only last another year, and they wouldn’t make any more hits. But during that time, Spector would figure out the way a studio worked, and he’d use that knowledge to change the course of popular music a few years later. We’ll hear from him again, of course. More surprisingly, we’ll also hear from Annette Kleinbard, who changed her name to Carol Connors and, many years later, co-wrote Bill Conti’s “Gonna Fly Now,” the Rocky theme that hit #1 in 1975.

GRADE: 8/10
Mark Dintenfass
2018-11-06 02:55:05 UTC
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Post by Bob Roman
A writer named Tom Breihan has been reviewing, in order, every song to hit #1
in the Billboard Hot 100.
The Teddy Bears ­ ³To Know Him Is To Love Him²
HIT #1: December 1, 1958
STAYED AT #1: 3 weeks
We are going to meet some monsters over the course of this column¹s lifespan,
and we are going to have to grapple with the idea that some of these monsters
made some great music. None were more monstrous than Phil Spector, the
erratic control freak, abusive husband, and, eventually, actual convicted
murderer. And none made better music.
³To Know Him Is To Love Him² for his vocal group the Teddy Bears, and he was
18 when he scraped together the money to have the song recorded. Spector
later said that he got the song¹s title from his father¹s gravestone. You
can¹t hear anything like the symphonic majesty of Spector¹s early-¹60s
productions on ³To Know Him Is To Love Him.² Instead, it¹s a simple, lovely
song, recorded with a hymnlike reverence.
Lead singer Annette Kleinbard sings about a simple unrequited crush, her
poise and precision underlining the sadness at the heart of the song: ³Why
can¹t he see? / How blind can he be? / Someday, he¹ll see / That he was meant
for me.² All the while, Spector and Marshall Leib encircle and console, their
voices orbiting Kleinbard slowly. Together, their voices rise and flutter,
wrapping delicately around each other, supporting each other. It¹s just
gorgeous.
The Teddy Bears would only last another year, and they wouldn¹t make any more
hits. But during that time, Spector would figure out the way a studio worked,
and he¹d use that knowledge to change the course of popular music a few years
later. We¹ll hear from him again, of course. More surprisingly, we¹ll also
hear from Annette Kleinbard, who changed her name to Carol Connors and, many
years later, co-wrote Bill Conti¹s ³Gonna Fly Now,² the Rocky theme that hit #1 in 1975.
GRADE: 8/10
Pacino was great as Spector in the HBO movie.
--
--md
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Roger Ford
2018-11-06 08:11:54 UTC
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On Mon, 5 Nov 2018 18:33:13 -0800 (PST), Bob Roman
A writer named Tom Breihan has been reviewing, in order, every song to hit =
#1 in the Billboard Hot 100.
The Teddy Bears =E2=80=93 =E2=80=9CTo Know Him Is To Love Him=E2=80=9D
HIT #1: December 1, 1958
STAYED AT #1: 3 weeks
We are going to meet some monsters over the course of this column=E2=80=99s=
lifespan, and we are going to have to grapple with the idea that some of t=
hese monsters made some great music. None were more monstrous than Phil Spe=
ctor, the erratic control freak, abusive husband, and, eventually, actual c=
onvicted murderer. And none made better music.
Harvey Phillip Spector was a Los Angeles high school student when he wrote =
=E2=80=9CTo Know Him Is To Love Him=E2=80=9D for his vocal group the Teddy =
Bears, and he was 18 when he scraped together the money to have the song re=
corded. Spector later said that he got the song=E2=80=99s title from his fa=
ther=E2=80=99s gravestone. You can=E2=80=99t hear anything like the symphon=
ic majesty of Spector=E2=80=99s early-=E2=80=9960s productions on =E2=80=9C=
To Know Him Is To Love Him.=E2=80=9D Instead, it=E2=80=99s a simple, lovely=
song, recorded with a hymnlike reverence.
Lead singer Annette Kleinbard sings about a simple unrequited crush, her po=
ise and precision underlining the sadness at the heart of the song: =E2=80=
=9CWhy can=E2=80=99t he see? / How blind can he be? / Someday, he=E2=80=99l=
l see / That he was meant for me.=E2=80=9D All the while, Spector and Marsh=
all Leib encircle and console, their voices orbiting Kleinbard slowly. Toge=
ther, their voices rise and flutter, wrapping delicately around each other,=
supporting each other. It=E2=80=99s just gorgeous.
The Teddy Bears would only last another year, and they wouldn=E2=80=99t mak=
e any more hits. But during that time, Spector would figure out the way a s=
tudio worked, and he=E2=80=99d use that knowledge to change the course of p=
opular music a few years later. We=E2=80=99ll hear from him again, of cours=
e. More surprisingly, we=E2=80=99ll also hear from Annette Kleinbard, who c=
hanged her name to Carol Connors and, many years later, co-wrote Bill Conti=
=E2=80=99s =E2=80=9CGonna Fly Now,=E2=80=9D the Rocky theme that hit #1 in =
1975.
The Teddy Bears hit did almost as well here in the UK as it did at
home getting to #2 on the NME chart in January 1959 (and kept off the
top only by Elvis and "One Night") .

"To Know Him Is To Love Him" was a great favorite of mine at the time
and its still pleasant to hear today. And in one of the rare cases
when lyrics do get through I STILL mishear Annette's line in it as
"there'll come a day when I'll buckle on sight of him"

And of course one of my most abiding TV memories of the era is seeing
the group and their song when they appeared on "The Perry Como Show"



ROGER FORD
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