Dolores “ La La” Brooks opened up the show with a rousing set. She was with the Crystals back in the 1960s, the first girl group Phil Spector produced.
Brooks, who also appeared on Broadway in the ‘60s’ musical “Hair” started off her set with the Crystals’ “Then He Kissed Me.”
These days Brooks, a grandmother of six almost 50 years past her heyday, still performs and still has a gorgeous voice, which can be heard on a new album, All or Nothing. We talked to her about her early stardom, what inspired her to record these new songs and what's happened in the decades in between.
When LaLa joined the band, producer Phil Spector used her voice to his full advantage. And what a voice: it was like a wave breaking over the wall of sound he was creating with the band. She sang lead on their biggest hits, Da Doo Ron Ron and Then He Kissed Me, and her tone is one of the most distinctive of all the girl group singers.
The first album released on the Philles label was by The Crystals (The Crystals Twist Uptown), a Brooklyn-based group first brought to Spector’s attention in New York’s famed Brill Building in 1961.
The latest PBS special shot in Pittsburgh, "My Music: Rock, Pop and Doo Wop," is chock full of legendary acts, from the Marcels to Carl Gardner's Coasters, but it's the ladies who ultimately steal the show.
It's been 50 years since a teenage La La Brooks led the Crystals in their Phil Spector-produced hit "Da Doo Ron Ron," but the veteran singer hasn't lost her touch.