Often times the originators of a wave get forgotten about and lost in the shuffle. In this piece, we take a moment to acknowledge The Ronettes. Without these Black and Puerto Rican females from the Washington Heights neighborhood in New York City, there would be no Punk Rock. The Ronettes kicked down the door for the simplistic chord progressions and rule-breaking nature of New York’s Punk Rock music scene.
Black artists pioneered the sound and the freedom of rock and roll at the height of American segregation. Despite the blind allocation of credit given to white male artists like Elvis, Buddy Holly, and The Beatles, none of them would have existed without Chuck Berry, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, or Little Richard. The Ronettes' bad girl look, with piled hair (the Bouffant hairstyle) and heavy eyeliner, pushed aside the modestness of their uniform outfits and synchronized movements and pushed back against these gendered expectations, blurring genre lines and signaling a certain kind of refusal to submit.
Note: The Ronettes were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.
Below is a list of some artists influenced by The Ronettes.
The Sex Pistols
New York Dolls
The Beach Boys
Yeah Yeah Yeahs