Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Rocks!

The Silhouettes, Goodway (GLP-100) 1968, "The Silhouettes 1958-1968/Get a Job"
In near mint condition could bring in the range of $275-325.

We’ve just returned from a car trip to see our daughter in Montreal. No family trip is ever complete until hubby decides to make a detour that allows us to see areas of a city that no casual tourist would ever get to see (and in many cases would ever WANT to see). This time we meandered into Philadelphia looking for a Target Store that he assured me was “just off the expressway.” This gave me pause as hubby uses the word “just” in a rather elastic way. But as it turned out this was a good detour.

As we passed through an older area of the city filled with old rowhouses–charming in a scruffy sort of way–I gazed out the window and could imagine groups of kids sitting on the stoops harmonizing. It struck me that in this city, the cradle of American democracy, there evolved a healthy strain of the most little-d democratic kind of music. Doo-Wop. No matter if you can’t afford a guitar or a keyboard, the only instrument needed is a voice. And the only prerequisites are a little talent, a love of music and a desire to be a part of something that’s more than the sum of its parts.

Doo-Wop was a type of Rhythm & Blues that arose during the 1940s with heavy influences from gospel, blues and rock and roll. It normally features a rather slow beat and very tight harmonies. Some musicians hate the tag and prefer Vocal Group Harmony, but I think Doo-Wop really SAYS it.

The Philadelphia Doo-Wop scene produced many great groups including:
The Turbans (“When you Dance”)
Lee Andrews and the Hearts (“Long Lonely Nights”)
The Bosstones (“Mopity Mope”)
The Capris (“God Only Knows”)
The Hide-Aways (“Can’t Help Loving That Girl of Mine”)
Anthony and the Sophomores (“Play Those Oldies Mr. DJ)
The Dreamers (“Don’t Cry”)
Little Jimmy Rivers and the Tops (“Puppy Love”)
Danny and the Juniors (“At the Hop”)

And lots, LOTS more, too many to list…The Swans…The Cherokees, The Sensations, The Fabulaires, Patty & the Emblems, The Buccaneers, The Superiors, and, of course, the Silhouettes (featured record), whose big hit was “Get a Job”.

Do you have a favorite Doo-Wop tune? And a memory to go with it?

1 comment:

  1. When I think of this old music, I think of The Platters "The Great Pretender." My older brother (much, MUCH older, I hasten to add) listened to that record over and over. It was just about the first music I learned the words to after Old MacDonald.