April 20, 1949

On this day in 1949, Phil Spector’s father Benjamin Spector committed suicide.

A Russian Jew, he was an iron worker who immigrated to America. He was often depressed and when his son was just nine years old, he took his own life by carbon monoxide poisoning.

On the trip back to the Bronx, the junior Spector visited his father’s grave and the inscription on it inspired him to write his first song. “To Know Him Is To Love Him” was lifted directly from the tombstone, and it became Spector’s first hit single in 1959 with the group The Teddy Bears.


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