FACTBOX: Key facts about music producer Phil Spector

Fri May 29, 2009 3:50pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Music producer Phil Spector was sentenced to 19 years to life prison on Friday for the 2003 murder of actress Lana Clarkson at his mock castle home outside Los Angeles.

Following are some key facts about Spector:

* Spector, 69, worked with some of the biggest names of the 1960s and 1970s, among them the Righteous Brothers, the Ronettes, Ike and Tina Turner, the Ramones and The Beatles, including John Lennon and George Harrison individually.

* Spector created his "Wall of Sound" production style by employing large groups of musicians, sometimes using double and triple instrumentation, to create a dense sound. He once described his technique as "a Wagnerian approach to rock'n'roll: little symphonies for the kids."

* The inscription on his father's tombstone provided the inspiration for Spector's first hit, "To Know Him Is to Love Him," recorded by his group the Teddy Bears in 1958. Spector's father committed suicide.

* Spector's early success with groups like the Teddy Bears and Ronettes made him wealthy as a young man, and he has continued to earn money on royalties from records he produced.

* He has been married four times, including to Veronica "Ronnie" Bennett of the Ronettes, and he is currently married to singer Rachelle Short, whom he wed in 2006.

* Stories about Spector and gunplay are common. According to the biography "Wall of Pain," he sometimes kept a gun on the studio recording console, fired a shot during an acrimonious recording session with John Lennon and pressed a pistol barrel to singer Leonard Cohen's neck.

* Spector played a cocaine dealer in the hippie-era movie "Easy Rider." He also appeared on the 1960s sitcom "I Dream of Jeannie."

(Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Eric Walsh)