In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
Doo-wop: a distinctly American musical form that flourished in the 1950's, emerging from urban centers such as New York and Chicago. It's vital statistics? Groups comprised of four to five members, bass/baritone/tenor (or a first and second tenor) and lead, singing in three or four part harmony; frequent use of falsetto; predominance of "nonsense syllables"; dynamic bass parts; instrumentation subservient to vocals or nonexistent; simple but heavy backbeats and lyrical themes that espouse love and longing for "the one." It's pedigree? The vocal harmony groups of the 1940's, such as the Ink Spots and the Mills Bros., rhythm and blues, which incorporated elements of jazz and swing; country and gospel. Each of these individual cells would develop into the matrix called rock and roll, of which doo-wop is considered a part.
The "Rock 'n Roll Jubilee Ball," presented by legendary dee jay Alan Freed in 1955, featured acts the Clovers, Drifters, Harptones and Moonglows, a spectrum of talent that was representative as any of the musical trends of this dynamic period. A bevy of independent record labels sprung up to support and popularize the new music, including Chess, Vee Jay, King, Jubilee, Atlantic, Gee, Laurie and Dootone, and the personalities behind these often one room operations were practically as notorious as the artists themselves: George Goldner, Herb Abramson, Bess Berman, Syd Nathan.
As for the artists, they started young and often burned out early, and frequently realized meager rewards save the excitement of seeing their names on a theater marquee. With few exceptions, the acts were not adequately financed, and though technology was advancing at an unheard of pace (which provided new outlets and opportunity in the form of radio and television), the recording process was generally primitive, with groups rushed in and out of the studio in assembly line fashion. Indeed, that is why so many of the groups of this period sang "acapella": it was simply cheaper, as the producers didn't need to pay for a band! By the way, "acapella" as a moniker (as distinct from the Italian term "a cappella," which, strictly defined, means "in the church style") evolved after a conversation between Donn Fileti, Leo Rogers (of Bruce Records) and Wayne Stierle, according to Wayne in his liner notes for the Moonglows "Glowing in Acapella." However it's described or whatever it's called, doo-wop in general and acapella doo-wop in particular represents a golden age in American vocal harmony, with a loyal following that remains vital to this day.
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17th Avenue All-Stars : Doo Wop Gold
Review: The four men and one woman of the Colorado-based 17th Avenue Allstars have been singing sweet Pop harmonies together for over a decade since their beginnings in Denver CO, and are no strangers to Harmony Sweepstakes audiences--they have won the Western Regional 3 times, and the whole enchilada, the National Championship, in 1993. Their repertoire includes 5 decades of popular music: 40's Swing, 50's Rock and Roll, 60's and 70's R&B and 80's and 90's Pop. "Doo Wop Gold," their fifth excellent CD, includes 12 classic, beautifully-arranged Doo Wop hits that would certainly rank in our top 20 of all time: "Remember When/I Wonder Why," "Sh-Boom," "I Only Have Eyes For You," "Blue Moon," "Rockin' Robin," "Come Go With Me," "Lonely Teardrops," "In The Still Of The Night," "Morse Code Of Love," "Get A Job" and "Trickle Trickle;" finishing with a tasty "The Lion Sleeps Tonight." Consummate entertainers whether they are performing their award-winning show at a family concert, large scale music festival or corporate party, "Gold" is ample proof that the Allstars are still one of the best Doo Wop groups we've ever had the pleasure to hear.
Songlist: Remember Then - I Wonder Why, Sh-Boom, I Only Have Eyes for You, Blue Moon, Rockin' Robin, Come Go With Me, Lonely Teardrops, In the Still of the Night, Morse Code of Love, Get A Job, Trickle Trickle, The Lion Sleeps Tonight
4 Ever Young : Classic A Cappella Doo Wop
Review: Founded in 1997, all-male Doo Wop quartet 4 Ever Young, from the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex, is the brainchild of Bruce Smith, who set out to assemble an a cappella Doo-Wop group to help keep alive the music he used to sing on the streets of Brooklyn, NY, and perform with the Deacons and the Montclairs in the 50s and 60s. 16 Doo-Wop standards, "Barbara Ann," "So Much In Love, "Sunday Kind of Love," Book of Love," "Blue Moon," "At My Front Door," "409," "In the Still of the Night," "Monster Mash," "Charlie Brown" ...you get the idea. There's also a pretty cool cover of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" as a Doo-Wop song. These guys are smooth as silk, professional, authentic and spot on key-one of the best Doo-Wop CDs we've heard this year!
Songlist: Intro, Barbara Ann, So Much Love, Sunday Kind of Love, Book of Love, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Blue Moon, At My Front Door, When We Got Married, Nag, 409, In The Still Of The Night, Monster Mash, Charlie Brown, Forever Young, Goodnight, Sweetheart
49th St : 49th St
Review: 49th Street is the neighborhood in West Philadelphia where Frank Lafaro and his cousin Bob Croce sang street harmony, and where they formed Frankie and the Fashions in 1963. Frankie and Bob, plus fellow 'Fashions' member Frank DiSantis, who wrote 'I Wonder Where You Are' on this cd, are together again (with 5 others including Frankie's daughter Christin) in 49th Street, and the selections include pop, jazz, R&B, rock & Doo-Wop. Some standouts: 'Sherry,' 'I Wonder Where You Are,' 'Where Are You,' 'Don't Worry Baby,' 'Summertime,' and 'Dream.
Songlist: Moonlight Serenade, Sherry, I Wonder Where Your Are, Carry On, Where Are You, Garden of Love, Don't Worry Baby, The Closer You Are, Where or When, We Go, Summertime, You Don't Understand, For What It's Worth, Home Away From Home, Dream, Philly Bound
5 Boroughs : Heart's Desire
Review: We love these collections of authentic, seldom-heard Doo Wop from Collectables Records, who find original street-corner a cappella groups like The Five Boroughs (actually seven guys), put them in a recording studio and present their sweet harmonies for all of us to enjoy! "Hearts Desire" has 17 soulful cuts, eight that are pure a cappella, the title tune, "I'll Stop Wanting You," "My Girlfriend," "Secret Love," "10 Commandments of Love," "Danny Boy," "Pennies from Heaven" and "Over the Rainbow;" eight accompanied by a band, such as "The Way You Look Tonight," "The Verdict," "Recess in Heaven," "Loraine," "Unchained Melody" and "Darling You," and one instrumental, "Harlem Nocturne." Most of these are standard covers, nicely done, and some we're hearing for the first time. All in all, "Heart's Desire" is a trip back to a simpler time, when you could hear a new, exciting American art form being born, on the radio, in a concert hall or even on a street corner!
Songlist: Heart's Desire, I'll Stop Wanting You, My Girlfriend, Secret Love, Ten Commandments of Love, Danny Boy, Pennies From Heaven, Over The Rainbow, The Way You Look Tonight, Until The Real Thing Comes Along, The Verdict, Recess In Heaven, Loraine, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, Unchained Melody , Darling You, Harlem Nocturne
A Moments Pleasure : A Cappella
Review: A Moment's Pleasure is John Farrington, Herb Johnson, John Jones, Bill Keith and Bob Reilly, all guys with many, many years of a cappella singing experience. Herb Johnson, for instance, was the lead singer of The Cruisers who recorded 'Have You Heard/Guilty' for Len Records in 1962, and Bill Keith is an original member of The Blendtones who recorded 'Lights Please' for Don-El Records in 1957. 24 cuts, some of our favorites are 'Finger Poppin' Time,' 'When I Fall In Love,' 'Diamonds And Pearls,' 'Baby, It's You" ... heck, they're all good. From Starlight Discs.
Songlist: Intro, Lovey Dovey, The Girl I Love, Baby It's You, Nobody Loves Me Like You, Be Sure My Love, Pain In My Heart, Time Makes You Change, Every Beat of My Heart, My Girl Awaits Me, Oh What A Nite, Finger Poppin' Time, Chapel of Dreams, My Dream, Jo Jo, My Plea, When I Fall in Love, Does She Love Me, The Coffee Grind, Can't Do Sixty No More, On Sunday Afternoon, Diamonds and Pearls, Without Love (There is Nothing), Outro
A Moments Pleasure : A New Beginning
Review: Benny (Bird) Primetime Daniels, John Farrington, John Jones, Bill Keith and James (J.P.) Phillips are A Moment's Pleasure, and they sing polished, smooth, deep-bassed, close-harmony a cappella street corner doo-wop. Formed in 1982, all the group members have paid their dues (dues-wop?) big time, and it shows. 15 classic songs, from 'What's Your Name,' 'Farewell My Love,' 'Sitting In the Park' and 'Save the Last Dance for Me,' to 'Come Go with Me,' 'So Fine,' 'Sincerely' and 'Don't Leave Me Baby' - it's all great doo-wop with more of a 60s flavor without losing the vintage R&B 1950's sound!
Songlist: What's Your Name?, Could This Be Magic, Farewell My Love, Sitting in the Park, Talking To My Heart, Save The Last Dance For Me, While Walking, Lost Love, Come Go With Me, So Fine, I Do, Sincerely, Peace Of Mind, Never Let Me Go, Don't Leave Me Baby
Alley Cats : A Christmas Long Ago
Review: Our favorite Doo-Wopping Cats, who cut their a cappella teeth with Disney (like Sweeps winners Toxic Audio) and won the So. Cal. Harmony Sweeps, celebrate their 18th year together by finally saying yes to the many fans who have asked for a Christmas album. The upbeat, nostalgic original "A Christmas Long Ago," a wonderfully Doo-Woppy "Let It Snow," a bluesy "Please Come Home for Christmas" to slow dance to, a finger-snapping, Bing-imitating "White Christmas," some yummy falsetto on the Beach Boys' "Little St. Nick," a silly, manic "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer," a very funny "Blue Christmas" (Yes, Royce "Elvis" Reynolds is back!), a rhythmic, joyous "Feliz Navidad," a sweet baritone lead on "Sleigh Ride" and closing with the bluesy-jazz harmonies of "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve;" it's all good. Yummy deep-bass harmonies, lots of the Cats' trademark humor, great arrangements by the group and in collaboration with original Cat Todd Dixon--"Long Ago," the group's 5th winner, is a stone joy, and you should also check them out live in concert in their hot DVD!
Songlist: Intro, A Christmas Long Ago, Let It Snow, Please Come Home For Christmas, White Christmas, Little St. Nick, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Blue Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Sleigh Ride, What Are You Doing New Year's Eve, Outro
Alley Cats : Cat's Meow
Review: The enthusiasm of the Alley Cats is so infectious and their energy so buoyant that they can make you like any song they sing. It's true! Having gotten their start at Disneyland's 'Magic Kingdom,' they exhibit a merry disposition that bursts through even on CD-they cannot be contained! A host of classic tunes such as 'Book Of Love,' 'Don't Be Cruel' and 'Duke Of Earl,' which could be perfunctory in lesser hands, are pounced on by the Alley Cats, and are the better for it. The arrangements are familiar but with a little added pizazz (we'd encourage more!), the intonation crisp, the rhythms fluid. A highly professional and entertaining recording.
Songlist: Rama Lama Ding Dong, Sh-Boom, Come Go With Me, Sixty Minute Man, At The Hop, The Lion Sleeps Tonight, Book Of Love, Duke Of Earl, Little Darlin', In The Still Of The Night, Don't Be Cruel, Goodnight Sweetheart, Alley Cat Tag
Alley Cats : Cruisin'
Review: The Alley Cats, from Southern California, are your destination for fun! This four piece doo wop group also incoporates classics such as 'Barbara Ann' and 'La Bamba' into their terrific repertoire, which includes can't-miss hits like 'Under the Boardwalk' and 'Why Do Fools Fall in Love.' They mimic psychedelic guitar twanging on 'Love Potion #9' and sizzle with finger- snappin' energy on the arpeggiated chords of 'Rock and Roll is Here to Stay.' 'Runaround Sue' crackles with energy and humor-these guys are clearly veteran performers. A highly professional and entertaining recording. These Alley Cats will win you over!
Songlist: A Cappella, Morse Code Of Love, Never Fall In Love Again, Teenager In Love, Run Around Sue, Tears On My Pillow, Why Do Fools Fall In Love, The Wanderer, My Girl, La Bamba/Twist And Shout, What's Your Name, Barbara Ann, Under the Boardwalk, Love Potion #9, Rock 'N Roll Is Here To Stay
Alley Cats : Greatest Hits
Review: One of our favorite all-male Doo-Wop quartets of all time, The Alley Cats first got together for some streetcorner harmonizing at Fullerton College (CA) in 1987, were the Disney house Doo-Wop band and won the LA Harmony Sweeps Regional. So we had our chance to be blown away by their dynamic and hilarious live act at both the West Coast A Cappella Summit as well as at the Harmony Sweeps National Finals. "Greatest Hits" is of course a "Best Of," featuring winners like "Don't Be Cruel" and "Sh-Boom" from their best-selling CD "The Doo-Wop Drive-In Live;" "Remember Then" from the CD "Strike #!;" "Morse Code of Love" and "Love Potion #9" from "Cruisin';" "Little Darlin'," "Come Go With Me" and "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" (the best we've ever heard it) from "The Cat's Meow;" plus two never released cuts, "The Longest Time" and "Unchained Melody." Also included are 5 stellar cuts from their new live show, "Bandstand Boogie," "Rock Around The Clock," "Sherry," "Higher and Higher" and Tennessee Ernie Ford's deathless top-40 hit "Sixteen Tons." And finally, the Cats' very first, very hot original Doo-Wop song, "You Make Me Weak!" "Greatest Hits" is a Doo-Wop party, Big Fun from first cut to the 17th-don't miss this one!
Songlist: You Make Me Weak, Bandstand Boogie, Rock Around the Clock, Sherry, Higher and Higher, Sixteen Tons, Come Go With Me, Little Darlin', The Lion Sleeps Tonight, Morse Code of Love, A Cappella, Love Potion #9, Remember Then, Don't Be Cruel, Sh' Boom, The Longest Time, Unchained Melody
Alley Cats : Strike 3
Review: If butter melts in your mouth, the Alley Cats arrangement of 'Smoke Gets In Your Eyes' will melt in your mind! It is beautiful, smooth, and just melts away the bands of every day tensions from around the heart. Then you'll just have to swoon to one of the sweetest versions of 'Only You' which you will ever hear. Thank goodness they launch into a upbeat 'Blue Moon' or you would end up in a emotional puddle on the floor! If you ever were touched by the romantic songs of the fifties and sixties (and a sound alike or two from the seventies), this recording is for you. Frankly, we've never heard a better recording of era's music. The voices are beautiful, the slides into falsetto breaks is seamless, and the arrangements keep true to the originals while filling out the instrumental parts with vocals. The Alley Cats have presented all of the greatest songs of an era, 'Silhouettes,' 'Twilight Time,' 'Earth Angel,' 'Stand By Me,' and more, sixteen cuts in all. The tempos and arrangements vary so you never become complacent and let a tune slide by out of predictability, but rather have to pay attention to each sweet riff. We gush, we enthuse, and we have only this to add, 'yip yip yip yip, mum mum mum mum, get a job!' With your first paycheck be sure to get the Alley Cats, 'Strike 32.'
Songlist: Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, Only You, Blue Moon, So In Love, Rockin' Robin, Silhouettes, Twilight Time, Stand By Me, Get A Job, Earth Angel, I Really Love You, Remember, Little Bitty Pretty One, At the Hop / Jump Jive 'n Wail, I Wonder Why, You Belong To Me
Alley Cats : The Doo Wop Drive-in Live
Review: While entertaining thousands as Disneyland's house band, (and performing a killer "Showcase Concert" at the West Coast Summit), the four-man Alley Cats, "America's Premier Doo-Wop Group," released three great studio recordings and gained many fans in concert. "Drive-In" puts us in the audience of an electric, hilarious live performance, at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center in 2003. 19 songs, like "Sh Boom," The Temptations' "My Girl," Del Shannon's "Runaround Sue," "La Bamba," "Sixteen Candles," "Don't Be Cruel," "Poison Ivy," "Stand By Me" and more. But the big fun of the Alley Cats' stage act is more than just top-drawer Doo-Wop--these guys are stone entertainers whose patter and interactions with the audience (and a great Neil Diamond impersonation) are a scream. "America's Premier Doo-Wop Group?" We'll buy that!
Songlist: Intro - Our Friend Lee Marshall, At the Hop / Jump Jive and Wail, Come Go With Me, I Wonder Why, What's Your Name, Sh Boom, Rockin' Robin, My Girl, Little Bitty Pretty One, Runaround Sue, La Bamba, Sixteen Candles, Don't Be Cruel, Poison Ivy, Stand By Me, Book of Love, Get A Job, Rama Lama Ding Dong, Goodnight Sweetheart
Allures, The : Acappella Starlight Sessions, Volume 1
Review: Each of the 4 members (3 men, 1 woman) of The Allures is a vocal group veteran of the 50s and 60s Doo Wop scene. Formed in 1983 at a United Group Harmony Show, The Allures have become an all-time favorite of the Doo-Wop circuit. Favorites among these 12 songs are "Gloria," "Why Won't You Believe Me," "Chapel of Dreams," "I Believe," "The Shrine of St. Cecilia," "Magic Moon" and "Last Night I Dreamed." We heard some of this material for the first time, and we enjoyed every cut!
Songlist: Gloria, Smoke From Your Cigarette, Why Why Won't You Believe Me, Love No One But You, Chapel Of Dreams, The Sun, I Believe, The Shrine Of Saint Cecila, This I Swear, Magic Moon, Last Night I Dreamed, Lovers Never Say Goodbye
Arrogants : Acappella Starlight Sessions
Review: Originating from the Red Hook section of South Brooklyn, NY, The Arrogants' original five members were Frank Ayala, Sal Giarraffa, Augie Muizzo, Mike Munoz and Marcial Rivera, and they were discovered at a 1961 rehearsal at the neighborhood junior high school by a friend in the recording industry. In the summer of '62 they recorded "Canadian Sunset" and "Mirror Mirror" for Lute Records while on a 7-week tour of the west coast. The following year they recorded a remake of "When I Go to Sleep at Night." Other favorites among these 21 songs include a nice cover of "Sh-Boom," "Here Am I Broken Hearted, "Who's That Knocking, "Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me," a nice juicy "Get A Job," "Church Bells May Ring" and "Zing Went the Strings of my Heart." Nice, authentic stuff, some of which we are hearing for the first time.
Songlist: Walking Along, Sh-Boom (Life Could Be A Dream), Adorable, Life Is But A Dream, Here I Am Broken Hearted, Rags To Riches, Who's That Knocking, Can't We Be Sweethearts, Hold Me Kiss Me Thrill Me, Get A Job, I Promise To Remember, I Wish I Could Believe You, Tonight Could Be The Night, Three Wishes, Come Back My Love, Church Bells May Ring, Oh Baby Don't, I Can Dream Can't I, The Things I Love, Canadian Sunset, Zing Went The Strings In My Heart
Belmonts : Acappella Christmas
Review: The Belmonts, Daniel Elliott, Fred Milano, Warren Gradus and Angelo D'Aleo, are a Doo-Wop group that goes way back-as we can tell from the Sonny Bono outfits they're sporting on the cover. An unusual mix here-'Annual Animal Christmas Ball' will delight the younger set, a folky, inspirational 'Miracle on the Hill,' and a lilting 'The Child Divine.' 'Our First Christmas as Mr. and Mrs.' is pure streetcorner doo-wop. Then we have the rousing minor-keyed Hanukkah carol, 'The 8 Days of Hanukkah.' 'A Lot Like Santa Claus' spills the beans on the bearded one's true identity. Our favorite cut is the traditional 'Mary Had a Baby.' The cd closes, as will the year, with 'Old 365' a sweet song to the year gone by and the 'new kid on the block.' A unique holiday collection by some talented guys!
Songlist: The Annual Animal Christmas Ball, Miracle On The Hill, The Child Divine, Our First Year As Mr and Mrs, The Eight Days Of Hanukkah, A Lot Like Santa Claus, Mary Had A Baby, Old 365 (The New Year's Song)
Belmonts : Cigars, Acappella & Candy
Review: Acappella is the spelling of the classical a cappella when it refers to doo-wop and later to rock 'n roll. It evolved in the late '40s and by the late fifties had emerged into popular culture from the street corners, hallways, alleys and bathrooms where great echoes could be heard. The practitioners usually presented themselves to producers as acappella groups and then were relegated to background singing and stepped on by instrumentation. The Belmonts were named for Belmont Avenue in the Bronx, their hometown. Joining Dion in 1957 to create 'I Wonder Why' which went to #22, they continued as Dion And The Belmonts until 1960 when Dion went solo. In that collaborative period they had two #5 hits, 'Where Or When' and the cloying 'Teenager In Love.' After Dion's departure they had a couple of minor hits in the early '60s but had to wait to create this legacy to doo-wop music until 1972. It is, indubitably, a masterpiece.
Songlist: That's My Desire, Da Doo Ron Ron, Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever, Where On When, My Sweet Lord, Rock And Roll Lullabye, We Belong Together, Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye), Street Corner Symphony
Blue Stars : Rhapsody in Harmony
Review: The Blue Stars recorded and performed from the mid-1970s to their excellent a cappella recordings for the Clifton label in the early 90s. This CD contains the 16 cuts from the United in Group Harmony Association Award-winning 1991 release "Blue Velvet," plus 9 previously unreleased cuts recorded from 1994 to 1996. The group's covers concentrate on legendary groups and classic 50s versions. This is exuberant, street-corner doo-wop and lots of it, heavy on the harmony! There's a list of the 25 songs in the liner notes, followed by the name of the group that recorded it, the label, the year and the member of the Stars who's singing lead. From relatively unknown hits like the Marcels' "Sweet Was The Wine," the Five Keys' "Deep In My Heart" and the 4 Vagabonds' "Rosy the Riveter" to better known hits like the Clovers' "Blue Velvet" and the Chords' "Sh-Boom," this is all authentic, soulful stuff. The Stars shine on "Rhapsody!"
Songlist: Sweet Was the Wine, Deep In my Heart, That's the Way it Goes, Hold me, Chill me, Thrill me, My Heart is Yours, Stormy Weather, Moonlight in Vermont, Blue Velvet, The Clock, Life is but A Dream, I Won't Be the Fool, Rosy the Riviter, Six Nights A Week, Sh-Boom, I'm Just a Fool, Dream A While, Blue Lover, Lovers Never say Goodbye, Gee, After New Year's Eve, Walking My baby Back home, A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening, Count Every Star, Crazy Over You, Tenderly
Boomerz : Doo Wop
Review: Jack, Ed, Jack and Bobby, the Boomerz, are Barbershoppers returning to their Doo-Wop roots! They were raised on Doo-Wop, singing and lip-synching when they were as young as six. After that it was at least ten years (with Ed putting in an amazing 31 years) singing in Barbershop groups. Their love of Doo-Wop brought them together, and the Boomerz have the sweet, soulful sound (some of the best falsetto we've heard on a Doo-Wop CD) that made everyone who heard it on the radio in the 50s and 60s fall in love. 12 songs, "I Wonder Why," "That's My Desire," the excellent "Streets Of The Bronx" (a new one to us), "Come Go With Me," "One Summer Night," "Sometimes (When I'm All Alone)," "Tonight, Could Be The Night," the classic "Western Movies," "All I Have To Do Is Dream," "Barbara Ann," "Little Star" and "Gloria." Great B-shop harmonies, Doo-Wop tunes-who could ask for more?
Songlist: I Wonder Why, That's My Desire, Streets of the Bronx, Come Go With Me, One Summer Night, Sometimes (When I'm All Alone), Tonight, Could Be the Night, Western Movies, All I Have To Do Is Dream, Barabara Ann, Little Star, Gloria
Boomerz : Street Corner Harmony
Review: The five men of Tampa, FL, the Boomerz have a rich, deep-bassed Doo Wop sound and are blessed with good arrangements and song selection on these 16 authentic tunes. Listen to "Looking For an Echo," an amazing autobiographical song that also tells the story of Doo Wop. "In the Still of the Night," a Doo Wop "Over the Rainbow," the accompanied finger-snapping cover of the Earls╣ "Remember Then," the classic "Da Do Ron Ron," a sweet Boomerz original, "Sunday Kind of Love," "Rama Lama Ding Dong," a nicely done "Blue Moon," "Lonely Way," an interestingly up-speed arrangement of "Unchained Melody," "Tell Me Why," "Loving You," "Who╣s That Knocking," and finishing with a lovely "When I Fall In Love," these have the kind of harmonies that once attracted singers to streetcorners like moths to a flame!
Songlist: Just Over The Brooklyn Bridge, Looking For An Echo, Remember Then, Somewhere Over The Rainbow, In The Still Of The Night, My Own True Love, Da Doo Ron Ron, A Sunday Kind of Love, Rama Lama Ding Dong, Blue Moon, Lonely Way, Unchained Melody, Tell Me Why, Loving You, Who's That Knocking, When I Fall In Love
Boulevards : Down The Acappella Road
Review: Every member of all male quintet The Boulevards has paid some serious dues. Gary, Brian and Tony, for instance, were raised in the Bronx and started harmonizing at ages 17, 16 and 12 respectively, forming and singing with numerous original Doo-Wop groups. Not surprisingly, their 18-song selection for "Road" concentrates mainly on legendary 1950's NYC area group recordings: the Skyliners' "Lonely Way," the Embers' "Please Mr. Sun," the Belmonts' "Where or When," the Moonglows' "Over and Over Again," the 5 Satins' romantic "To The Aisle," the Students' "I'm So Young," the Harptones' "That's the Way It Goes," the Five Discs' "I Remember," the Dominoes' "Stardust," the Drifters' "What'Cha Gonna Do" and the Teenagers' "Out In The Cold Again." We're hearing a number of these songs for the first time, and there's a lot of good stuff here, sung by the sweet-harmonizing, authentic Boulevards!
Songlist: Lonely Way, Please Mr. Sun, Why Do You Like Me Like You Do, Where Or When, Zu Zu, See Saw, To The Aisle, I'm So Young, Oh Gee, Oh Gosh, This I Swear, That's The Way It Goes, I Remember, Chapel Of Dreams, Over And Over Again, Stardust, What'Cha Gonna Do, My Own True Love, Out In The Cold Again
BQE : Acappella Starlight Sessions
Review: "BQE, originated in the early 1980's as a NYC quintet with 3 members from Brooklyn, and two from Queens. The named initials BQE actually stood for The Brooklyn Queens Express and not the notorious Expressway, as most believed. The Group recorded on eight compilation CD's for Bob Kretzschmar's "Starlight Serenade" Label, A Best Of BQE CD for Collectables and The Clifton Music Compilation CD "Christmas In Harmony" for Ronnie Italiano's "Clifton Music" label. It was the BQE cut of "Count Down To Love" that was picked by "Rhino" records to go on the A cappella Disc of the 4 CD "DooWop Vol 3" Box╩Set. The group was a premier vocal group of its time, as stated in The Jay Warner "Billboard's Book Of American Singing groups, the 1940's through the 1990's". Pictured above from Left to Right: Jerry Pilgrim, Dennis Kestenbaum, Jason Levine, Les Levine (seated)
Songlist: Be Sure My Love, Pretty Little Angel Eyes, Sherry, The Wanderer, I Love You, My Prayer, Will You Love Me Tomorrow, Countdown To Love, What Time Is It, Tonight I Fell In Love, Chain Gang / Cupid, Tonight Could Be The Night, Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart, I Count The Tears, Teardrops, Have You Heard, Naturally, Please Be My Girlfriend, The Way You Do The Things You Do, The Lion Sleeps Tonight
Brylcream : Rockin' The Neighborhood
Review: Naples, Florida's own Brylcream, 'A Little Dab of Doo-Wop,' is John 'Wopp' Mina, Richie Beattie, Tom 'Cool-T' Welter, Gary 'G Man' Groneman and Ray 'Wolfman' Conklin. 'Rockin'' has 16 tight, sweet Doo-Wop standards: 'Barbara Ann,' 'Lion Sleeps Tonight,' 'Book of Love,' 'River of Dreams,' 'Teardrops,' 'Run Around Sue,' 'Mr. Blue,' 'Teenager In Love,' our personal favorite, 'Rockin' The Neighborhood,' and 'Rock and Roll Is Here To Stay'-and if anyone needs proof of that, just listen to Brylcream, some of the best Doo-Woppers we've heard. All A Cappella.
Songlist: Barbara Ann, The Lion Sleeps Tonight, Book Of Love, Rockin' The Neighborhood, Rock & Roll Is Here To Stay, River Of Dreams, Teardrops, That Dream Song, Ready To Go, Run Around Sue, Blue Moon, Come Go With Me, Teenager In Love, I Wonder Why, Remember
Brylcream : Street Corner Bop
Review: Pull up a street corner and enjoy the tight, sweet harmonies of Brylcream, from Naples, Florida, which is John 'Wopp' Mina, Richie Beattie, Tom 'Cool-T' Welter, 'Billy D' Louth, and Randy 'Rep' Porter. All covers, several nicely arranged by John Mina. Some favorites: 'Trickle, Trickle,' 'Duke of Earl,' 'Bring It On Home,' 'Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,' 'Silhouettes,' 'All Shook Up,' 'In The Still of the Night,' and 'Gloria.' The obligatory warning for purists: about half of the songs are accompanied by the 'Lords of Cool.' But make no mistake, Brylcream sings them slick, smooth & creamy, and a 'Little Dab' didn't do us - we want more!
Songlist: Dr. Doo Wop Album Intro, Trickle, Trickle, Duke of Earl, Lords of Cool Intro, Morse Code of Love, Little Darlin, The Wanderer, Bring it on Home, Another Saturday Night, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, Who Put the Bomp, Silouettes Intro (group), Silhouettes, All Shook Up, Ready to Go Intro, So In Love, Happy Days, In the Still of the Night, Gloria - Rich Beattie, Little Star, Mary's Boy Child
Cadillacs : Best Of Cadillacs
Review: The Cadillacs were a hard act to follow in their heyday of the mid-fifites. Their use of choreography and flashy threads garnered them a hip reputation and audience raves. Their hits 'Gloria,' 'Speedoo,' 'No Chance'and 'Zoom,' (all included here) established their chart presence. Unfortunately, to capitalize on their newfound fame, a second 'Cadillacs' group was drafted to meet demand and sent out on the road. Various incarnations then recorded under the same name and ultimately undermined the group's credibility. Though the later tracks are lacking by comparison, the early singles capture the Cadillacs energy and verve, whether on uptempo rockers or smoky ballads. Fiery sax work and understated piano distinguish the accompaniment.
Songlist: Gloria, No Chance, Down The Road, Speedoo, Zoom , You Are, Woe Is Me, The Girl I Love, Sugar-Sugar, My Girl Friend, Speedoo Is Back, Peek-A-Boo, Please, Mr. Johnson, Romeo, Window Lady, Betty My Love, Zoom-Boom-Zing, Tell Me Today
Cat's Pajamas Vocal Band : One Stop Doo Wop
Review: All male a cappella quintet Cat's Pajamas of Branson, MO first got together in 2005 to sing live in an Oreo cookie jingle contest, placed in the top 10 and never looked back. They've been touring extensively and recording, sharpening their vocal chops and live show, which we get a nice taste of on "One Stop Doo-Wop"-ten of the 12 cuts were recorded live in the Majestic Theater in Madison, WI, and "I Feel Good" was recorded in group member Nate Mendl's dining room! Favorites are "OREO/Rockin' Robin," when we get to hear the famous Oreo song that brought the group together, "Duke of Earl," CCR's "Proud Mary," the bubblegum hit "Hooked on a Feelin'," the Drifters' "Under the Boardwalk," "Up On The Roof," The Righteous Bros.' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" and "Only You." The live audience went nuts over this one, and if you love Doo-Wop, we bet you will too!
Songlist: Duke of Earl, Under the Boardwalk, OREO / Rockin' Robin, Stand By Me, Hooked on a Feelin, Love Potion No 9, You've Lost That Loving Feeling, Pretty Women, Up On The Roof, I Feel Good, Only You
Cat's Pajamas Vocal Band : Purr-Fect For The Holidays
Review: Brian, Nate, Brad, Nathaniel, Mike and Nate are five-man a cappella band from Branson, MO who entered the national spotlight in 2005 when they placed in the top 10 while performing their Oreo Cookie Jingle for Randy Jackson. Since then they have been touring the world, and now perform over 200 shows per year in Branson and throughout the U.S. They have been seen on multiple TV shows, cruise ships and performing arts centers around the world, and were recently picked to compete on NBC's The Sing-Off! "Purrfect..." is the group's first Christmas CD of 12 tunes. Favorites are a crazed, manic, very fun "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," a very silly "The Chipmunk Song" with perfect imitations of Alvin, Simon and Theodore; a jazzy, chord-bending, very Motown arrangement of "Silver Bells;" a mellow "White Christmas, Part 1 and jazzy, finger-popping, doo-woppy "White Christmas, Part 2; a powerful, sweet take on "Mary Did You Know," "Mustang Santa" is a big fun, soulful romp, and, after that, the incongruous but hauntingly lovely "In the Bleak Mid Winter" features guest tenor George Dyer. We love a cappella groups who become great entertainers, and Cat's Pajamas is one of the best. Don't miss this one!
Songlist: Sleigh Ride, Winter Wonderland, O Holy Night, You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch, The Chipmunk Song, Silver Bells, White Christmas, Part 1, White Christmas, Part 2, Mary Did You Know, Mustang Santa, In The Bleak Mid Winter, Silent Night
Cat's Pajamas Vocal Band : Two Words - Me-Ow
Review: "Two Words: Me-Ow" is a live, "best-of" album by 5-man Branson, MO a cappella quintet Cat's Pajamas, recorded at the Majestic Theater in Madison, WI. The Cats have been singing and touring extensively together since 2005, and they know a lot about blowing away an audience with great stuff, wonderful arrangements, sweet leads and harmonies! There are 13 winners here, "Some Kind of Wonderful," "Drift Away/Drops of Jupiter" medley, the Motown hit "Ain't Too Proud to Beg," the country/pop hit "Walking in Memphis," the Steve Miller Band's "The Joker" (which segues into "Angel of the Morning" and some Reggae samples), "Radio/Video Medley," "Galileo," "Meet Virginia," "Classic Rock Medley" and "Mustang Sally." For pure entertainment, we can tell you from our almost 30 years of loving it at the Harmony Sweeps Regionals and Finals, that nothing beats live a cappella, and we offer Cat's Pajamas and their excited audience in Madison as living proof!
Songlist: Some Kind of Wonderful, I Can Live With That, Drift Away / Drops of Jupiter, Ain't To Proud to Beg, Walking in Memphis, The Joker, Galilieo, Sun Goes Down, Radio / Video Medley, Meet Virginia, Drum Solo, Classic Rock Medley, Mustang Sally
Champagne : Acapella Toast
Review: Long Island-based, mixed-voice Doo-Wop quintet (3 men, 2 women) Champagne, formed in 1995. Leader, founder and music arranger Chuck Chuck Arcuri sings baritone and lead; Joe Bell sings lead, baritone and second tenor; Christina Corallo, known as "the Pipes" of Champagne, sings lead, first and second tenor; Jennifer Mikell sings lead and first tenor and Don Rafael is the bass man of the group. There are 18 finely-crafted tunes here, some favorites would be "The ABCs of Love," "Please Mr. Disc Jockey," "I'm So Happy," "Higher and Higher" and "Smoke From Your Cigarette" featuring Christine singing lead; "The Sun's Message," "Little Girl of Mine," "Zoom" and "When We Get Married" with Joe on lead; and "Angel Baby" and "You," with Jennifer singing lead. Champagne has a lot of vocal talent, a nice clean sound and excellent arrangements-all of which makes "An Acappella Toast" a very tasty Doo-Wop treat!
Songlist: Little Boy and Girl, The Shrine of St. Cecilia, The ABC's of Love, Please Mr. Disc Jockey, Traveling Stranger, Angel Baby, I'm So Happy, The Sun's Message, The Morse Code of Love, I'm So Young, Zoom, Smoke from Your Cigarette, Little Girl of Mine, You, Higher and Higher, When We Get Married, Tonight Could Be The Night, I Will Always Love You
Chantels : Best of Chantels
Review: The Chantels were one of the first black all-girl groups to hit the national Billboard charts ('He's Gone,' 1957) and they inarguably set a new standard of quality that reflects well on their Catholic school musical training! Fronted by Arlene Smith, who was a classical pianist and songwriter, the young ladies were protogees of George Goldner's staff producer/writer/arranger Richard Barrett; they recorded for Goldner's End label in its early inception. This 'Best of' collection has the best of their recorded efforts, including their last hits, 'Look In My Eyes' and 'Well, I Told You,' that were made with replacement lead Annette Smith (no relation to Arlene). The group then disintegrated, but are still considered one of the best female harmony groups of all time.
Songlist: He's Gone, The Plea, Maybe, I've Lied (Willie Wilson & The Tunemasters), So Real , Every Night (I Pray), Whoever You Are, I Love You So, How Could You Call It Off?, Prayee, Sure Of Love, Memories, If You Try, I Can't Take It (There's Our Song Again), Goodbye To Love, Summer's Love (Richards Barrett With The Chantels), Look In My Eyes, Well, I Told You
Choice : Great Jumpin' Catfish
Review: Early on in the flourishing of doo-wop music there was the beginning of an evolutionary division into the tributaries which led to popular music and that which led to R&B. Choice is a group of five students and practitioners of this second tributary which has so enriched American culture. They pick tunes which might not be as well known as the often covered standards, but after all they are keeping a heritage alive. You'll hear 'If I May' as they learned it from Nat King Cole & The Four Knights' 1955 recording for Capitol. Or how about listening closely to 'Chicken Blues' which they heard the Domino's sing on the 1950 recording; catch that vocal horn break! As for the group itself, there are three tenors, a baritone and a bass. This is one fabulous recording! Jersey City, one of the centers of vocal harmony in the U.S. has another set of favorite sons to proclaim to the world!
Songlist: Stand & Clap Your Hands, Great Jumpin' Catfish, One More River, Old McDonald, If I May, A Little To Long, In My Lonely Room, Roaches, I Should Have Done Right, Everyone's Laughing, Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind, Chicken Blues, Peace Of Mind, Shadrach, Meshach & Abednigo, Touch The Hem Of His Garment, That's Your Mistake, Two Loves Have I, I Like It Like That, I Live True To You, No Man Is An Island, Lucy Brown
Cliftonaires : How Sentimental Can We Be
Review: Producer Ronnie Italiano, Clifton Music's "Ronnie I," presents some authentic New Jersey Doo Wop by his Cliftonaires, who consist of two of the finest female singers on today's scene and 4 outstanding veteran male singers. The song selection on the 21 songs pays tribute to the legendary era of classic 1950s R&B Group recordings with bass Jack Scandura's fine arrangements. Some favorites: "How Sentimental Can I Be," "Angel and A Rose," "Blue Moon," "P.S. I Love You," "To Be Loved," "Dream," "Chapel of Dreams," "Skylark," "When I Fall In Love," "Night and Day," "I Found A New Baby," "Wedding Bells" and "I'll Be Seeing You." This is the good stuff!
Songlist: How Sentimental Can I Be?, Angel And A Rose, Blue Moon, Don't Say You're Sorry, P.S. I Love You, To Be Loved, Strange Love, Dream, Chapel Of Dreams, Here's That Rainy Day, Skylark, Zoom, You're Everything To Me, When I Fall In Love, Night And Day, I Found A New Baby, This I Swear, Wedding Bells, Every Time We Say Goodbye, I'll Be Seeing You
Coasters : Very Best Of Coasters
Songlist: Riot In Cell Block, Smokey Joe's Cafe, Down In Mexico, Searchin' , Idol With The Golden Head, Young Blood, Yakety Yak, Charlie Brown, Along Came Jones, Poison Ivy, Little Egypt (Ying-Yang), Shoppin' For Clothes, That Is Rock & Roll, I'm A Hog For You, What About Us, Run Red Run
Cornerstone : I Bow To You
Review: Cornerstone, five guys with deep roots in the original Philly doo-wop scene, sings classic urban harmony, the sound of the city. Lead singer Harry Schmidt, a local Philadelphia legend, was dubbed "The Golden Voice," and he's not on the streets anymore, but he and the boys are still movin', groovin', teasin', pleasin' and cooking up a storm. The group's selections for this CD concentrate on the classic vocal groups of the 50s and 60s, 18 songs, many we haven't heard before. Some favorites: the title tune, The Drifters' "Your Promise To Be Mine," The Solitaires' "Magic Rose," The Chariots' "Gloria My Love," The Fabulaires' "While Walking," The Dominoes' "Stardust," The Tymes' "So In Love," The Five Keys' "Let There Be You," The Rob Roys' "Tell Me Why" and The Skyliners' "Warm." A look at some of the not-as-well-known Doo-Wop titles from the 50s and 60s, and some of them are gems!
Songlist: I Bow To You, While We Were Dancing, Your Promise To Be Mine, Magic Rose, Why Do I?, My Love For You, Gloria My Love, Light A Candle In the Chapel, While Walking, Stardust, Let There Be You, So In Love, Lost Love, Mio Amore, Tell Me Why, Nite Owl, If I Should Lose You, Warm
Creations : Acappella Memories - Bronx Style
Review: The Creations are formed of five veterans of the early Doo-Wop scene in the Bronx, singing for groups like the Chords, Eternals, Eons, Shalamors, Cashmeres, Delmonicos and the early Creations. Now, on these 18 tunes, originally recorded from 1952 to 1962, many of them new to our ears, we get to hear authentic early Bronx Doo Wop right from the source. Some sweet high leads and deep bass harmonies from this talented quintet!
Songlist: No One, Don't Laugh At Me, These Three Little Words, Moonglow You Know, You Left Me, Teardrops Are Falling, Chapel Of Dreams, Why Don't You Write Me, Stranger Paradise, One Summer Night, Never Let Me Go, Gloria, Stormy Weather, Could This Be Magic, If I Only Had Magic, Solitaire, Teenagers DreamI'll Never Smile Again
Dachays : Vintage
Review: The male quintet The Dachays (pronounced Da-shays) have Doo-Wop roots going back to the 1960s. Their love of the music and of harmonizing together led them into the studio, and some very fine buttery-harmonied doo-wop was the result. "Lonely Way," "So Fine," "Teardrops," "Our Day Will Come," the classic Brian Wilson anthem "In My Room," "My Girl Friend," "United In Group Harmony," "Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart," "Tonight Medley," "What Time Is It?," and an original by Mike Binder of the group, "The Girl In The Light (Reminds Me Of You). There is some light accompaniment on "Our Day Will Come" and "Girl In The Light," percussion and 12-string guitar by Mike. It's clear these guys have big fun on streetcorners, and we're invited to hang out!
Songlist: Lonely Way, So Fine, Teardrops, Our Day Will Come, In My Room, My Girl Friend, United in Group Harmony, Zing! Went the Strings of My New Heart, Tonight Medley, What Time is It?, The Girl in the Light (Reminds Me of You)
DC Finest aka Doo Wop Cops : Arresting Sounds
Review: Five active and retired law enforcement officers from Washington D.C. are the Doo Wop Cops. They are one of those groups who have serious careers and have had to put aside the early musical training each member had while growing up. They found one another in 1985 and the music just wouldn't be denied. They've performed with the Persuasions, Chuck Berry, The Drifters, Stevie Wonder and many more. We'll not pay attention to the numerous Presidential performances but will mentioned that they were picked by Gen. Colin Powell out of the hundreds of offers to perform at his retirement. They are great singers. There is a joyous over the top feeling to the music of these men who generally use their performances to inspire young people in their schools and neighborhoods. Let us tell you, if they weren't such devoted public servants we'd advise them to quit their day jobs in a second!
Songlist: Sh-Boom, Oh What A Night, Run Red Run, Heart & Soul, Stormy Weather, Can I, Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go, For Your Precious Love, Duke Of Earl, Buffalo Soldier, False Alarm, I'm On The Outside (Looking In), Never Let Me Go, Little Darlin, Island Of Love, At My Front Door
Dell Vikings : Golden Classics
Review: The Del-Vikings went through more personnel changes than there are months in the year, so many that it's a labor in and of itself keeping track. A racially integrated group, they formed in 1955 from enlistees at a Pittsburgh Air Force Base. Their first hit, on Fee Bee, was called 'Come Go With Me.' Subsequent hits, such as 'Don't Be A Fool,' are every bit as melliflous and agreeable now as then: an easy tempo, the five voices balancing each other tunefully, the arrangement and orchestration in perfect compliment. This recording comprises most of their recording career, at least up to 1960, when they were dropped by Mercury (though the group continued to exist and enjoyed a modicum of success throughout the 1980's, appearing on television, recording and touring on the oldies circuit). The Del-Vikings epitomize the sound of the '50's.
Songlist: Come Go With Me, Don't Be A Fool, What Made Maggie Run, Over The Rainbow, Willette, Down In Bermuda, You Say You Love Me, Whispering Bells, How Can I Find True Love, I'm Spinning, Girl, Girl, I Want To Marry You, When I Come Home, Watching The Moon
Dells : 1954-1960
Review: This recording of Chicago's Dells, featuring Johnny Funches, showcases their early years (1953-1959); the group continued to perform through the 1990's with lead singer Johnny Carter, ex of the Flamingos). Longer on enthusiasm than polish for their first release, on Chess, 'Christine,' the group would accumulate an expertise that resulted in hits such as 'Oh What A Night,' 'Why Do You Have To Go' and 'Pain In My Heart.,' issued on Vee Jay. Furthermore, upon exploring more complex harmonies and getting tighter, they became in-demand session singers, providing backup on over sixty recordings! Their sound is carefree, smooth and fundamental (suggesting a Spaniels/Moonglows influence). Nine of the cuts were previously unreleased.
Songlist: Darling I Know, Christine, Tell The World, Dreams Of Contentment, Zing Zing Zing, She's Just An Angel, Oh What A Night, Jo Jo, Now I Pray, I Wanna Go Home, Why Do You Have To Go, A Distant Love, Pain In My Heart, Time Makes You Change, Jeepers Creepers, I'm Calling, Wedding Day, My Best Girl, Dry Your Eyes, Baby Open Up Your Heart, Someone To Call Me Darling, RestlessDays/ Sleepless Nights, Cherry Bee, I Can't Help Myself, You're Still In My Heart, My Dreams, Time Makes You Change, Oh What A Night
Delneros : Dreams Of Doo Wop
Review: From "The New Voices of Acappella" series from Collectibles Records, and features the sweet falsetto lead of Dennis Pettit, and includes 8 covers and 7 songs written by Frank Lafaro, of Frankie and the Fashions. Some favorites: "Till Then," "Gonna Find A Love," "Linda," "Bayou Boutte," the sweet "A Night To Remember," "Baby Blue Eyes," "You Belong To Me," "Baby, Baby Please," and "The Diary." New voices and new music, but the sound, the harmonies and the street corners remain the same.
Songlist: Tonight I Fell in Love, Till Then, Gonna Find A Love, If I Should Lose You, Linda, Merry-Go-Round, Bayou Boutte, A Night To Remember, Baby Blue Eyes, First Smile, You Belong To Me, Baby Baby Please, They Say, Working Man's Blues, The Diary
Dino and The Heartspinners : Lost Tapes
Review: The Heartspinners' sound started with Dino in 1952. As the R&B vocal group sound emerged in the 50s, Dino embraced the music and became part of it. Many members came and went from the group, and Dino penned hundreds of songs about love, heartbreak and rock n' roll. He sang with an unmistakable style, joined by Rich, his bass man through all the ups and downs. "Lost Tapes" are from the Heartspinners' heyday, and the tunes, most of which are new to us, are wonderful: the a cappella "Rock N' Roll Just For You Intro" and "The Bells of Love," "You Broke My Heart," "Merry Go Round," "Gee," "Over and Over Again," "Troubles," "Doll Baby," a nice Doo Wop version of "White Cliffs of Dover," "Pure Rock N' Roll" and "The Heartspinners Sing the Blues." Dino's stuff sounds great!
Songlist: Rock N' Roll Just For You Intro, If Teardrops Were Golden, You Broke My Heart, Merry-Go-Round, Ooo-Wee Baby, Gee, Over &Over Again, Troubles, Doll Baby, White Cliffs Of Dover, The Bells of Love, Maybe I'm Wrong, Pure Rock N' Roll, Reflections, The Heartspinners Sing The Blues, Wedding Bells Won't Ring, The Promise
Duprees : Christmas with the Duprees
Review: Christmas with the Duprees is an excellent showcase for the group's trademark doo-wop harmonies, with lush renditions of "The Christmas Song," "O Holy Night" and "Auld Lang Syne." The Duprees are Richie Rosato, Phil Granito, James Spinelli, Tony Testa, Michael J. Arnone.
Songlist: Going Home Medley, Give Me Your Love For Christmas, Secret Of Christmas, Little Christmas Tree, It's Christmas Once Again, Marshmallow World, Merry Christmas, Darling, The Christmas Song, O Holy Night, Christmas Time All Year, It's Going To Be A Merry Christmas, Auld Lang Syne
El Dorados : Rock'n Roll's For Me
Review: Twenty-eight tracks from Chicago's El Dorados, who won a record contract with Vee-Jay after winning a competition against Vee-Jay's own Spaniels. As the CD's title implies, their vocal approach and instrumentation is the primordial sound of rock: 'At My Front Door' is a staple. The title track is in like vein, with jangly guitar and uncultured 2 and 4 snare whacking. 'She Don't Run Around' straddles the parameters vocally, with a falsetto overlay and 'ling-a-ling' back-ups. The CD leaves off at the El Dorados' 1957 recording sessions, after which they continued to appear sporadically with a retinue of replacement members. Novelty track: 'Annie's Answer,' the El Dorado's response to the 'Annie' phenomenon, where various groups would issue singles around a certain theme; singer Hazel McCollum takes the lead.
Songlist: Bim Bam Boom, At My Front Door, Rock 'N' Roll's For Me, She Don't Run Around, Trouble Trouble, Boom Diddie Boom , Chop Ling Soon, Little Miss Love, I'll Be Forever Loving You, Oh What A Girl, Baby I Need You, Annie's Answer, Tears On My Pillow, A Fallen Tear, Language Of Love, My Loving Baby, A Love Of My Own, Lord Knows I Tried, Now That You've Gone, One More Chance, Lights Are Low, I Began To Realise, Rose For My Darling, It's No Wonder Why, Always My Love, There In The Night, Why Must I, Three Reasons Why I Love You
Encounters : Ambassadors of A Cappella
Review: The Encounters have been together as a singing group for nearly 40 years. (Favorites with audiences and critics, their latest Collectables release 'Don't Stop' was nominated as 'Album of the Year' and 'Song of the Year' by the Contemporary Acappella Society). On this disc, acappella gems such as 'Would You Still Be My Girl', 'House Where Lovers Dream', and 'What Did Daddy Do' get the street corner touch The Encounters are famous for.
Songlist: Hello, You Can Come If You Want To, House Where Lovers Dream, I'll Never Know, Ankle Braclet, The Beat Of My Heart, Thank You Pretty Lady, Please Let Me Move You, Would You Still Be My Girl, When I Woke Up This Morning, Dee I, Possibility, What Did Daddy Do, Oh Baby Don't
Encounters : Don't Stop
Review: The Encounters started singing together on street corners in Brooklyn in 1963, releasing 'Don't Stop' on the Swan Label in 1964. Pete Milazzo and Charlie DiComo have been in the group from the start, and Mike Levy came aboard in 1966. Roy Hutchings and Pete DeBenedetto joined in 1991. These guys sing 'deep' doo-wop with a style that is all their own. 17 tracks in all, including 'Lorraine,' 'Because of You,' 'Crazy Bells,' and of course the title tune. Roots Brooklyn Doo-Wop!
Songlist: Lorraine, Love Potion #9, Need Your Love, Because of You, Darling Little Angel, So You Will Know, Oh Rosemarie, My Imagination, Don't Stop, Gloria, Crazy Bells, No More , Dorothy, Young at Heart , Deep In My Heart, I Only Want You, Before I Go
Encounters : Please Say You Want Me
Review: If you're a fan of authentic a cappella Doo-Wop, give the 5-man Encounters, brought to us by Collectables Records, a listen. First formed in Brooklyn, NY about 45 years ago, the group has gone through a number of permutations and personnel changes, singing a cappella from 1963 through 1969; adding a four-piece band and performing in clubs and at private affairs until 1979. In 1990, with the additions of Roy "Hutch" Hutchings on lead and Pete "Bolo" DeBenedetto on bass, they happily returned to pure a cappella. The rich bass tones of Bolo and the extraordinary falsetto leads of Hutch on these 10 cuts will show you why the Encounters are considered one of the elite Doo-Wop groups performing today. Some of our favorites are "Zoom, Zoom, Zoom," "When You Dance," "This Is My Love," "Get A Job," the title tune, "Spanish Harlem," "Life Is But A Dream," and "That's My Desire." Straight from a Brooklyn streetcorner to us, the Encounters have the good stuff, sweet, pure and authentic!
Songlist: Zoom Zoom Zoom, Deserie, When You Dance, This Is My Love, Get A Job, I'll String Along With You, Please Say You Want Me, Spanish Harlem, Life is But a Dream, That's My Desire
Encounters : Romantic Encounters
Review: Formed in Bushwick, Brooklyn in 1963. Pete Milazzo and Charlie DiComo have been members from the beginning. Mike Levy joined in 1964, and Pete DeBenedetto and Roy Hutchings joined in 1991. The group, recorded and mixed here by Ronnie I, has the full, rich, deep-bass harmonic sound and sweet leads that we always look for in the best Doo-Wop recordings. 16 songs, some favorites are "Oh Starlight," "If I (Could Be With You Tonight)," "The Twelfth of Never," "Too Young," "My Vow to You," "Darling Can't You Tell," "Kissin'," "Oh Baby Please" and "Queen of Hearts." There's several songs we haven't heard before here; hearing new stuff is always a pleasure. Authentic, tasty Doo-Wop from one of the originals!
Songlist: Oh Starlight, Give Me A Girl, If I Could Be With You One Night, Moonglow You Know, The Twelfth of Never, My Baby Loves Me, Too Young, Up On The Mountain, Let This Night Last, My Vow To You, Darling Can't You Tell, Lonesome, Kissin', Right By Her Side, Oh Baby Please, Queen Of Hearts
Encounters, Balladeers, Frankie & The Fashions : The Sound of Acappella Vol 1
Review: This recent release, on the Collectables label, features three currently performing a cappella groups: Frankie and the Fashions, The Encounters, and the Balladeers, with their versions of renowned hits. The Five Satins' 'In the Still Of The Night,' considered one of the great R & B influenced doo-wop songs of all time (though it never broke the top twenty of the national charts when it was released) is covered by Frankie & the Fashions. The Balladeers' take on the Drifters' 'Fools Fall In Love' is one of the best cuts overall, with the group making the most of the simple but effective arrangement.
Songlist: Zu Zu, I Remember, This To Me Is Love, Please Don't Cheat On Me, In The Still Of The Night, Three Wishes, Now That You're Gone, Come Back To Me, Teenage Vows Of Love, Fools Fall In Love, Two People In The World, Goodnight Baby, My Hearts Desire, School Boy Romance, I Really Love You
Essentials : Oh What a Night
Review: From that hotbed of a cappella music to the north, Canada, comes a young, high energy quintet who are devoting their harmonious labors on this album to the art of the doo-wop, particularly the early 60's style. 'Sixteen Candles,' 'Runaround Sue,' 'So Much In Love,' 'Come Go With Me,' and 'The Way You Do The Things You Do' are a partial list of the tunes, 14 in all. You can thoroughly enjoy a moment of nostalgia or enjoy those oldies anew as the harmonies are tight and rich, the bass is solid and the tunes are all from an era of great schmaltz and great vocalization, a virtual golden age of acappella. (For spelling information see the Belmont's review)
Songlist: I Wonder Why, Sixteen Candles, Runaround Sue, Up On The Roof, Denise, So Much In Love, Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, Earth Angel, Come Go With Me, Lean On Me, The Way You Do The Things You Do, Blue Moon, In The Still Of The Night
Essentials : Remember December
Review: Here's a group that shows that the uniquely American style of doo wop can be sung from over the border as this Canadian group's latest Christmas CD is a gem. More like doo-wop tinged there is both great singing (what a bass!) and arrangements that are a standout from the usual Christmas fair. It has been quite awhile since their previous release and time has seasoned them well as they have been performing steadily for years. There is the occasional very light accompaniment but vocals are very much front and center on this holiday treat.
Songlist: White Christmas, Winter Wonderland, Remember December, What Child Is This?, The First Noel, Little Drummer Boy, The Christmas Song, O Holy Night, Jingle Bell Rock, Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree, Happy Christmas
Fabulous Delacardos : Flat Top, Sock Hop, Doo Wop
Review: 'Hotter than a drive-in on a July night, smoother than a pocketful of jello... Here are The Fabulous Delacardos' That's what it says right here on the notes!We've never had a pocket full of jello, ourselves. In 1981 for a 20th class reunion of one of the members, the five men and one woman decided to recreate the music they loved as they grew up. They sing a New York style with a distinctly southern twist for they are from Tennessee. As an aside, the fine woman's voice you will hear belongs to Christy Little who ran for a Juvenile Court Judge in 1998.The 28 tunes are those that any one who went to high school in the late fifties or early sixties will have to remember fondly, or else turn in your Baby Boomer ID.
Songlist: One Fine Day, Sixteen Candles, I Go To Pieces, Stagger Lee, Love Potion #9, All I Have To Do Is Dream, Silhouettes, Dedicated To The One I Love, Sh-Boom, The Lion Sleeps Tonight, So In Love, Come Go With Me, Be My Baby, Blue Moon, Cab Driver, Runaround Sue, Rockin' Robin, The Wanderer, Goodnight Sweetheart, In The Still Of The Night, Hearbreak Hotel, What's Your Name, Sincerely, Sixteen Tons, Da Doo Ron Ron, Under the Boardwalk, Sea Of Love, Rock & Roll Is Here To Stay