Jack Specor was one of the original “Good Guys” on WMCA, the New York City top 40 radio station widely recognized for introducing Beatlemania into America.
He produced The Crystals, who made their early hits featuring chaotic production that gave them their signature sound. Jack Nitzsche was his preferred arranger, responsible for creating that famous Wall of Sound.
Early Life and Education
Spector began his radio career in 1955 at WMCA, the Top 40 station credited with first broadcasting Beatlemania (though many believe that its debut actually occurred earlier at WWDC). He quickly rose through the ranks as an original Good Guy.
At first he continued working at WMCA and WQCD before switching over to WHLI to play an Adult Standards format. For some time he owned his own eyeglass business.
Domestically, his relationships were frequently tenuous. His first marriage, to Annette Merar, ended after six years and she later wrote that he threatened her with a gun while keeping a gold coffin in his basement. Rachelle Short was only 26-years-old singer/actress; their second union only lasted over one year.
Jack began his radio career by becoming one of the original Good Guys on WMCA in 1955 and remaining until its format change to talk in 1971. Following this transition he moved on to WHN, a vocal-based easy listening station where he hosted both an occasional Saturday Night Sock Hop as well as regular weekend shifts.
Jack was also a producer. His talent lay in connecting with talented artists; once advised the Brooklyn Bridge to record “The Worst That Could Happen”, which became their greatest hit song.
Spector was also instrumental in helping New York female trio The Crystals score two quick hits with their Mann-Weil song Uptown. Spector had an ability to win over smart music-makers such as Sill and Jerry Leiber.
Achievement and Honors
Following his graduation from Fairfax High School at seventeen, Spector began taking courses to become a court reporter but quickly abandoned this goal in favor of music business. Following some minor projects with Philles Records and its partner label Philles Records (where his first step toward millionaires was purchased out), Spector became sole owner and developed his signature “wall of sound”, an instantly recognizable production style that left an indelible mark on popular music history.
Phil Spector was at his peak during the early and mid ’60s, producing hits by such Philles acts as Darlene Love, the Crystals, and Ronettes that were played on radio and jukeboxes alike. Additionally, Spector collaborated closely with Yoko Ono in producing her mournful Seasons of Glass album as well as concerts like Concert for Bangladesh.
Jack Spector was the founder of RCC Realty Capital Company and RCC Asset Management Company. As such, he was responsible for acquiring, capitalizing and overseeing real estate investments within both firms. Additionally, Jack also operates his own practice in Milwaukee specializing in internal medicine.
Spector began his radio career at WMCA before it morphed into a talk format, before moving on to WHN and later WCBS-FM in New York where he hosted Saturday Night Sock Hop and regularly held weekend shifts for nine years – as well as running his own eyeglass business.
Spector was known for producing hits with the Four Seasons during the early ’60s, including their number-one single “Sherry”, named for his eldest daughter. However, after Lana Clarkson of B-movies such as “Barbarian Queen” committed suicide in 1973, Spector was charged with her murder and eventually left the music business altogether.
Throughout the 1960s he was one of the founding “Good Guys” on WMCA radio in New York City, holding down its 1-4 slot. This manic yet creative form of radio long since vanished from city airwaves; WMCA was popular with hipper kids caught between WABC (which offered all-American programming) and WINS (whose saving grace was “Cousin Brucie” Morrow).
Howard Stern would frequently speak of him, considering him one of his few fellow disc jockeys he could trust.
Jack leaves behind his loving wife of 71 years Beverly, daughters Jill Bederman and Lori Saffitz as well as sons David Bederman and Nathan Spector – and six delightful grandchildren! He is resting peacefully at Beth Moses Cemetery in Farmingdale NY.