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Doo Wop

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I was watching PBS and saw a concert of doo wop musicians from the 50s and 60s. I have listened to this type of music my whole life, but I didn't appreciate how much I really loved it until that concert.

The almighty Wikipedia gives this definition for doo wop: "Doo-wop is a style of vocal-based rhythm and blues music popular in the mid-1950s to the early 1960s in the United States." Here is the link to the article. Here is a list of musicians and here is a list of songs.

Some of my favorites...

A Sunday Kind Of Love - The Harptones

Blue Moon - The Marcels

Book of Love - The Monotones

Duke of Earl - Gene Chandler

Earth Angel - The Penguins

For Sentimental Reasons - The Cleftones

Great Pretender - The Platters

He's So Fine - The Chiffons

I Only Have Eyes for You - The Flamingos

In the Still of the Night - The Five Satins

Let it be me- The Isley Brothers

Mr. Lee - The Bobbettes

Mr. Sandman - Chordettes

Only You - The Platters

Since I Don't Have You - The Skyliners

Stay - Maurice and the Zodiacs

Save the Last Dance for Me - Drifters

Why Do Fools Fall in Love - Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers

Master Sir bazooka's nomination for the Top Ten, Eighteen With A Bullet by Pete Wingfield, is also included on the list.

Of course as we saw with the new wave topic, some of the songs might not be considered authentic doo wop, but I love them anyway.

Discuss. :grin:

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This is a topic close to my heart and as soon as I return home I will weigh in on the subject.

I have well over 1,000 songs in my doo wop collection not counting my .45's. Yes Ten Pea, that's a great list representing several top doo wop hits and artists. I promise to share many more with you.

I'll be home Sunday night.

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I agree, Zooks. There are some awesome doo wop/acapela groups performing today. The Persuasions are one of the best. They do a wide variety of music types and IMO especially excel at doing soul (Temptations for example). The Persuasions are difficult to find these days as they have curtailed touring.

Similarly hard to find is the group Reunion. Again, a wide variety of music turned into doo wop gems. You've got to hear them do Little River Band's, "Cool Change" or Clapton's,

"Wonderful Tonight". They don't tour much anymore but can occasionally be seen in the New York/Philadelphia/New Jersey region.

Perhaps the most accomplished of all of the current doo wop/acapela groups currently performing nationally and producing new CD's are Rockapella. Catch this group whenever they're in your area. Yes, they do the doo wop classics like Sh Boom, Poppa Oom Mow Mow, For The Longest Time, etc., but they also perfect such popular songs as Brown Eyed Girl, Hey Jude, Na Na Hey Hey Goodbye, Tempted By The Fruit Of Another, etc.

You've probably heard of The Manhattan Transfer. While mostly considered a jazz vocal group they are masters of Doo Wop (which is how they started). They tour all over the world and are worth the price of admission no matter what genre of music they're singing. They always include a few doo wop songs in their repertoirre.

There are several other groups worth seeing/listening to like Kenny Vance and The Planetones, Pure Gold, Stormy Weather, Street Heart (great girl group), The Showvinistics, The Crystalaires, DaVinci's Kitchen, Cop Shoo Bop and a few more.

Meanwhile, several of the original 50's/60's doo wop groups are still performing and many sound as great as ever. For example, if you have the chance to see Johnny Maestro (with either The Crests or Brooklyn Bridge) do so. He sounds just as great as ever. Amazing. Another is Jimmy Beaumont and The Skyliners. His voice has held up over the decades and the group sounds great. Earl "Speedo" Campbell and his Cadillacs put on a great show and sound good, too.

There are many more...of course the groups have been decimated by age/health problems but so many can be seen on the PBS specials, like the one Ten Pea mentioned.

Some of the songs listed by Peaches may not be true doo wop classics. They may fall under the R&B headding (like Duke Of Earl by Gene Chandler) It's got that doo wop sound but it's by a solo performer. But that's a mere technicality. The current doo wop groups that I mentioned above all perform that song.

If you're into collecting classic doo wop besides the groups listed above or by Peaches you must include The Moonglows, The Chantels, the original Drifters (with Clyde McPhatter), The Avalons,

The Rivieras, The Classics, The Earls, The Paragons and so many more, too numerous to mention.

If you're just discovering doo wop you're in for a real treat and you won't be able to get enough of it. E-mail me and I'll be happy to burn some CD's for you sampling what I consider to be the best. My collection is massive and I'm happy to share.

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It certainly was. (He popped up for a second or two longer at the end of the clip...)

Rita Ray was "the black chick": she was fabulous, wasn't she?

They were a terrific band; real performers, as these clips demonstrated. They had a string of top hits, mostly covers of traditional rock'n'doowop numbers. They continued for quite a while after the departure of "Big" Den Hegarty. (From these clips, you can guess which one he was, right?). But without Den, the magic was gone (for me). :(

Rob Davies, former guitarist of ham-glam rock'n'rollers Mud,("Tiger Feet", "The Cat Crept In", etc.) also joined Darts for some of their later chart hits, but this coincided with a decline in the band's fortunes.

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Not as good as Darts, but also part of a UK doo-wop revival in the mid/late 70s: "Rocky Sharpe & The Replays" - Rama Lama Ding-Dong

Personally, I preferred their follow-up "Imagination", but can't find a clip of that one. :(

Apologies if any of these old clips suffer from terrible sound: I can't listen to them before posting when I'm at work. (It's tricky enough getting to see them....)

Can't understand Darts being branded as "rockabilly". :confused: They were essentially an old style rock'n'roll band with strong doo-wop influences. "Rock'n'doo-wop", if you like, but definitely not rockabilly, which is a different tub of brylcreem entirely. ;)

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Some thoughts on "Fifties phrases":

1) With up to six dissimilar voices melding, it's a way of keeping synchronization through the song.

2) When you're trying to impress the girls passing by, a nonsense word/refrain gets their attention.

3) Exuberance of the moment.

4) It's a phrase that ticks off the older generation.

5) It's updated Scat singing.

6) They can't Rap, so they sing instead.

7) It's Larrikin code for "let's play house."

8) If ya need an explanation... :beatnik:

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Why do most of the doo wop music have all those weird sounds like: I don't know something like "doo bee doo wa wa da da nana na" you know those weird voices


Those weird sounds (like doo wop shoo bop) are what make doo wop, well...doo wop!

The phrase is based upon the doo wop (street corner harmony) practice of substituting voices for musical instruments to provide background to the lead.

In parting I offer this: Ramma lamma ding dong.

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The phrase is based upon the doo wop (street corner harmony) practice of substituting voices for musical instruments to provide background to the lead.

Joe this is almost word for word the phrase I used after reading the question. Not really knowing anything that I could intelligently relate about the subject, I kept silent. Thanks for helping me realize that I knew more than I thought I did !! :)

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Even tho many of the songs in your list were recorded during the doo wop era, I do not consider them "doo wop". "I only have eyes for you" and "the great pretender" seem more like classic contemporary 1950s music. While doo wop, to me, seems more like songs that had those crazy/cute vocal runs in them( "Do bop see boop, boom-ba-boom boom boom", "Sha na na na na na na na na ahh, yip yip yip yip yip yip mum mum mum mum mum mum", Yip, yip yip yip, bome bo bo bo oompappacowow ringadingadingding", etc.) I would consider "zoom zoom zoom" by the collegiates "doo wop" But maybe the era or the people who classify/name music genres just lump everything in the 50s into one name, like doo wop.


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