There are some voices which simply cannot be imitated. In the world of rock and roll, one of those voices clearly belongs to Ronnie Spector, who was back at B.B. Kings Sunday night to perform her annual Christmas show. Spector's wildly swinging vibrato lent itself to a string of hits in the early 60s ("Be My Baby", "Baby I Love You," etc.,) back when she sang with The Ronnettes and was produced by her ex-husband (and current convict), Phil Spector.
Ronnie, 66, doesn't quite have the penetrating voice she once had, but she can still work a room as well as anyone I've ever seen. She told stories, cracked jokes, and delivered her hits with grace and poise. She even sang some covers, including John Lennon's "Imagine" and Amy Winehouse's "You Know I'm No Good," which felt like the master had suddenly switched seats with the pupil.
For her encore, Ronnie came out in an ostrich-lined Santa outfit and launched right into her hit version of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus." (She opened her show with "Sleigh Ride," also a hit for the Ronnettes.) There might have been snow outside, but down there in the basement of B.B. Kings, it was all Comfy Cozy. ( More pics below.)