Frank Kramer (host of TEENAGE MEMORIES) and I talk about music quite a lot. One song we both share a fondness for is “What’s A Matter Baby” by Timi Yuro. Frank has read many times over the years that Phil Spector was involved in the production of this song. Frank has the original 45 and Clyde Otis is listed as the producer. When he asked me, I had no idea, but one of the reasons I’ve always liked the song was that wonderful string arrangement. Together with the help of the Internet, we found the answer from the liner notes of the Box Set called “The Brill Building Sound”.
“Timi Yuro had been recording for Liberty since 1959; she enjoyed a huge hit with ‘Hurt’ in 1961 but had been unable to follow it up. Then, with this song half-finished, Liberty’s East Coast A&R chief Clyde Otis abruptly resigned. At this exact moment, Phil Spector was trying desperately to raise funds to get his Philles label established; somewhat disingenously, he accepted Otis’ job (and a year’s salary in advance), which allowed him to make ‘Uptown,’ the Crystals’ hit Philles needed. Spector did little during his brief tenure at Liberty to justify the cash he’d received, but he did turn this unfinished track into a minor masterpiece (even though the record bears Otis’ production credit).”
You’ll hear lots of Timi Yuro 24/7 at TUNEDEX MEMORIES!