Doo Wop CDs and Vinyl-Records
Vocal Groups - Doo Wop - Street-Corner Music
Doo-Wop was the term applied to the singing style of American R&B vocal groups of the Fifties, originating from the fact that the harmony support to lead vocals was often de-rived from simple phrases like 'don wop'.
Such groups, generally four or five strong, usually consisted of a tenor or baritone lead singer supported by a second tenor, baritone and bass voices and were thus, basically, musically self-supporting. In fact, many recorded initially with minimal instrumental accompaniment, partly to avoid detracting from intricate vocal harmonies and partly for economics.
The style is also known as 'street-corner music', since some groups actually rehearsed on the street comers of their neighbourhood, singing `acappella' (without instruments; literally 'as in chapel'), though often preferring the acoustic qualities of subways or hallways. Doo-wop music had its roots in the late Thirties when the Inkspots climbed to world fame featuring Bill Kenny's high tenor lead and Hoppy Jones' bass voice.
While the 'jubilee' (multi-voice harmony lead) and 'quartet' (solo lead with harmony support) styles of gospel groups were the inspiration behind the immediate postwar 'race' market success of earliest doo-wop performers the Orioles (Natural Records). Led by the cool and clear tenor of Sonny Til, and the Ravens (National) featuring Jimmy Ricks' bass lead. Coincidentally, these names were precursors of a vast number of 'bird' groups to record during the Fifties — Larks, Crows, Penguins, Flamingos, etc.
The last vestiges of the style are evident circa 1962. Leading into the era of soul vocal groups where the Bluenotes, Four Tops, Isley Brothers, etc. read more...