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Doo Wop - Vocal With A Doowop Of Rhythm And Blues - Articles Surfing
Originated in the streets of American north-eastern cities, Doo-Wop was an African American Vocal style based in smooth harmonies. It was the closest rock genre to pop music in the 1950's. Drawing its inspiration from the rhythm and blues cultures it became a music style of its own and was widely popular in the 50's and 60's.
Thinking about Doo Wop at the time, one had to think also about street corner youngsters, who formed into groups of 5 or 6 individual and who would harmonize to the sounds of doo-wop for the fun of it. These youngsters owed much of their music background to the teaching and music of the local black churches and as such were particularly adept at adapting to this new vocal genre. They brought fun and a carefree philosophy to music.
Because of that, they were also inexperienced in their relationship with the business world and often times overly trusted their contacts to the record companies. It was not uncommon for label owners to convince them that in order to gain name recognition, it was his own name that should appear as the music composer as his name was already recognized by the deejays.
In addition, these inexperienced youngsters were lead to believe that they would be paid by session, rather than by number of records sold. They were made to sign contracts that permitted studio and promotional costs to be paid directly from the artist's own royalties.
And just as this wasn't enough, original rights to the songs had to be passed on to the record companies who also insisted that the musician perform for free on major promotional shows. Finally, agents took a 50 pc cut from all of the musicians' income.
The tragedy in this is that in all likelihood, the groups would have been able to survive and might have gone on to produce more music had they not been so cheated by their own record companies. These companies for the most part were startups themselves, and hence would have been more likely to have benefited from relationships and practices that did not alienated the artists they were representing.
Popular groups from the doo wop era include
The Dubs and their most endearing ballad records "Could this be magic" released in 1957. Even though it was not an overwhelming hit at the time, it is still counted as one of doo wop classics.
1962 saw the re-release of "you belong to me" by the Duprees, a most gifted Italian Doo Wop music group. "you belong to me" had previously been recorded by Patty Page, Jo Stafford, Dean Martin and Joni James.
The Elegants, a New York doo wop music group that became famous for the most gorgeous "Little Star" released in 1958. This title topped both R&B and Pop charts. They were a White ensemble led by Vito Picone
"In the Still of the Night" is another doo wop gem, released in 1954 by The Five Satins. Known as a true classic of this music genre, "In the Still of the Night" was created in the basement of a local church. Fred Harris was the leader of the group and actually had already been drafted by the army and was stationed in Japan when his song hit the charts.
Doo Wop was surpassed and its popularity at the time destroyed by the British Invasion, this very civilized and pacific take over of our popular culture of the time by British Rock and Roll groups. In spite of that, doo wop has endured into the hearts and souls many!
To this day Doo wop music is still a favorite for a large and international audience. Music lovers from as far as Japan, Germany, France and many more countries contribute in maintaining its popularity. Concerts and shows are held on a regular basis and continue to charm and enthrall their audience.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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