Doo-Wop

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Doo-Wop

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photo by Sofia Brickner

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

photo by Sofia Brickner

photo by Sofia Brickner

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Sofia Brickner, Staff Writer

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The crackle and pop of the record begins as it slowly turns and comes to life.The room is suddenly filled with rich, upbeat music from simpler times, a blast from the past.

Doo-wop, a style of rhythm and blues and rock-and-roll vocal music most popular in the 1950s and 60s, is now slowly starting to make a comeback in our generation. Not only is it soulful and romantic, but it is nostalgic in the sense that it brings back memories of popping into a diner or going to a local drive-in movie. Whether it be through a movie, the weekly recommended Spotify playlist, a TV show, or a catchy audio on Tik Tok, doo-wop is resurfacing for our generation to enjoy.

Oddly enough, the term “doo-wop” came from the sounds made by the harmony singers who backed up the lead vocalist singing the melody of the song. The harmonies, which were meant to imitate musical instruments, were as important of the song as the main melody itself.

The style won over the hearts of many, as the lyrics were simple and usually about love. The popularity of doo-wop among young singers in urban American communities of the 1950s grew due to the fact that the music could be performed effectively a capella. Since many performers had no access to instruments, the vocal ensemble was the most popular musical performing group. Often, groups would rehearse where their harmonies would best be heard — anywhere that could provide an echo. From high school bathrooms to street corners/stoops and under bridges, doo-wop was performed almost anywhere during the American mid-century.

Today, teens are constantly listening to new music that have just been released, but many are unaware of the unique, bright style of music of the past. Arranged below is a list of “hidden gems”, doo-wop songs that are as easy to cherish as they are timeless. The more our generation is exposed to music such as doo-wop, the more we can enjoy contrasting genres. Although it may not be for everyone, the heart and soul of doo-wop is sure to captivate almost anyone listening.

  1. Sh-Boom – The Chords (1954)
  2. Blue Moon – The Marcels (1934)
  3. Can’t We Be Sweethearts – The Cleftones (1956)
  4. Teenager in Love – Dion & The Belmonts (1959)
  5. We Belong Together – Ritchie Valens (1958)
  6. A Teenager’s Romance – Ricky Nelson (1957)
  7. Pretty Little Angel Eyes – Curtis Lee (1961)
  8. Why Do Fools Fall in Love – Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers (1956)
  9. Life is But A Dream – The Harptones (1955)
  10. Earth Angel – The Penguins (1954)