Why The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” And Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers In The Night” Have The Same Beat

Frank Sinatra’s music became massively popular again in the mid-1960s, and one of his most famous songs from that era was “Strangers in the Night.” Notably, “Strangers in the Night” reuses the famous drumbeat from The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby”. During an interview, a notable musician explained why this is the case.

Ronnie Spector, Estelle Bennett and Nedra Talley-Ross of the Ronettes | ATM/Redferns Archives

A Drummer Who Played On The Ronettes’ ‘Be My Baby’ Discusses What Happened During Phil Spector’s Sessions

Hal Blaine was the drummer who worked on “Be My Baby”. During an interview with The Guardian, he discussed his working relationship with Phil Spector. “I was Phil’s regular drummer,” Blaine said. “He was very superstitious. He always wanted the same studio, same mics, same night – Friday.

Blaine revealed what happened during the Spector sessions. “For a normal session, you would have piano, drums, bass and guitar,” Blaine revealed. “But Phil would have at least three bassists and four pianists playing at the same time, with seven or eight guitarists strumming.”

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Hal Blaine repurposed a drumbeat on Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night”

Blaine revealed that the drums for “Be My Baby” were an accident. “I was like a racehorse straining at the door,” he recalls. “Corn [Spector] wouldn’t let me play until we started recording, because he wanted it fresh. That famous drum intro was an accident. I was supposed to play snare drum on beat two as well as beat four, but I dropped a stick.

Blaine left the mistake and reused it on Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night.” “Being the fake that I was then, I left the mistake and it became: ‘Bum-ba-bum-BOOM!’ And pretty soon everyone wanted that beat. If you listen to me in Frank Sinatra’s ‘Strangers in the Night’, I’m playing the beat ‘Be My Baby’, just very softly.

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How the World Reacted to The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” and Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night”

“Be My Baby” and “Strangers in the Night” became huge hits; however one was more popular. “Be My Baby” peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. It remained on the chart for 13 weeks. The song’s parent album, Introducing The Fabulous Ronettes With Veronica, reached No. 96 on the Billboard 200 and lasted eight weeks on the chart.

“Strangers in the Night” became even more popular in the United States. The song reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for a week and stayed on the chart for a total of 15 weeks. “Strangers in the Night” appeared on Sinatra’s album of the same name. The Scrapbook spent a week at the top of the Billboard 200 and 73 weeks in total on the chart. “Strangers in the Night” reused the beat from “Be My Baby”, but it became more popular than the song that inspired it.

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