The Teddy Bears (Los Angeles)
aka The Spectors Three
Annette Kleinbard (Lead)
The Teddy Bears
1958 - To Know him to Love him / Don't you worry my little Pet (Dore 503)
1959 - Wonderful Lovable You / Till You'll Be Mine (Dore 520)
1959 - Oh why / I don't need you anymore (Imperial 5562)
1959 - If You only Knew / You Said Goodbye (Imperial 5581)
1959 - Seven Lonely Days / Don't Go Away (Imperial 5594)
1959 - The Teddy Bears Sing - (LP-9067/LP-12010)
Oh Why / Unchained Melody / My Foolish Heart / You Said Goodbye / True Love / Little Things Mean A Lot / I Don't Need You Anymore / Tammy / Long Ago And Far Away / Don't Go Away / If I Give My Heart To You / Seven Lonely Days
The Spectors Three
1959 - I Really Do / I Know Why (Trey 3001)
1960 - Mr. Robin / My Heart Stood Still (Trey 3005)
After graduating in the Spring of 1958, Phil Spector booked his first session at the Gold Star. Studio time cost 15 dollars an hour, plus an additional six bucks for a reel of blank tape, and Spector figured that 40 dollars out to cover the expenses. He borrowed the money from his mother, Bertha, an ardent supporter of her son's endeavors. Next, Spector turned to Marshall Leib, then a 19-year-old student at Los Angeles City College, majoring in business and law. Leib had some experience in the music business, having previously formed the Moondogs with some of his classmates.
Another student at LACC, Harvey Goldstein, contributed ten dollars after being promised he could sing bass. Annette Kleinbard, who was then a 16-year-old student at Fairfax High, donated the final ten dollars. A native of new Brunswick, NJ, Kleinbard had a strong emotive soprano voice (she had sang in the glee club). She quickly agreed to help pay for the session if she too could be included in the group. Spector agreed and he finally had his 40 dollars.
The first two-hour session at Gold Star was devoted to the recording of Spector's "Don't You Worry My Little Pet." Spector played all the instruments on the single and acted as his own producer. After the mix-down, with his group's demo in hand, Spector approached his neighbor Lew Bedell, co-owner of Era Records (with Herb Newsome).
The two had just started Dore Records, with the intention of recording rock & roll. They liked what they heard and offered Spector a four-record deal with royalties of a cent and one-half per sold copy. In the office they came up with the name the Teddy Bears, after the hit song by Elvis Presley.
At the third recording session, with Goldstein absent, a drummer was added to help with the instrumental backing. The replacement drummer was Sandy Nelson, who would go on to have his own successful career. Near the end of the session, Spector coaxed Kleinbard and Leib to try another song he'd written, called "To Know Him Is to Love Him," a plaintive, repetitive ballad song ("to know, know, know him, is to love, love, love him") which Spector had written after he'd taken a trip back to the Bronx and visited his father's graveside. The title came from an epitaph on his father's gravestone, in fact.
Dore mailed 500 copies of the single to radio stations in early August 1958. With no initial reaction forthcoming, Goldstein and Leib returned to college. In September, a DJ in Fargo, ND, flipped the single over and played "To Know Him Is to Love Him" and soon an order came into Dore offices from a distributor in Minneapolis requesting 18,000 copies. Within a week, the song was on the national music charts. The Teddy Bears were invited to appear on American Bandstand on October 29.
There was a slight problem as there was no invitation for Harvey Goldstein, who had been dropped from the group at Spector's insistence because he couldn't sing the song's bass part. (Goldstein later sued Dore and the Teddy Bears, eventually settling out-of-court for a share of the royalties the group would earn over the next ten years).
"To Know Him Is to Love Him" went on to become the number one pop song in the nation, selling more than a million copies before Christmas of 1958. They appeared on The Perry Como Show on January 3, 1959. By mid-January, the group was leaving Dore after a dispute about royalties and signed to Lew Chudd's Imperial Records, who released the group's next single that month.
However, Spector soon discovered that Chudd would no longer let him be in charge of record production, nor was he allowed to use Gold Star Studios or allowed to "stack" vocals. The Teddy Bears recorded only two more singles and the remaining filler for one album, The Teddy Bears Sing, before they left Imperial.
They then moved over to Trey Records, owned by Lee Hazlewood and Lester Sill. Sill had already formed Spark Records with co-owners Leiber & Stoller. Unfortunately, because of legalities, the group couldn't use the Teddy Bears name, so the two Trey singles were issued as The Spectors Three. Unfortunately, neither sold and Spector dismissed the other two and disbanded the group.
To Know Him Is To Love Him
Oh why Don't you worry my little Pet Unchained Melody
You Said Goodbye Long Ago And Far Away I Don't Need You Anymore
Seven Lonely Days True Love If You Only Knew
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