Doo-Wop and Street Corner Harmony Does it at BC
By Bruce Crane
There was a 5 chart topping artists of Doo-Wop and Street Corner Harmony Concert at Brooklyn College’s art deco Whitman Theater Saturday November 17th. The concert had chart-topping artists from the ‘50s and ‘60s. Their listed from finale to opening. Fred Parris and The Satins sang In the Still of the Night released in 1956 which was voted in to the WCBS radio station’s fans as number 1 for 16 straight years. The last word of the song was sung by a new member. The backup singers wore red and white shoes. The lead wore a white suit with a lot of sparkle. The say they have a fan at all their shows since 1956. It was a pun and the song Jones Girl.
The Original Tymes sang So Much in Love, Somewhere, disco’s You little Trustmaker, Love Train and You’re Going To Miss My Loving. They wore powder blue tops that looked like an expensive pajama. Many sang the lead for songs. They are from Philadelphia and mentioned a group in the audience from Philly. 55 of them came by bus and go around the country to see various oldie groups. At the break WCBS’s DJ Bill Lee said to the almost full house of about 1300 seniors to “Take a load off your prostate”.
The Legendary Teenagers are in their 70’s and sang maybe the best song of the night with Why Do Fools Fall in Love. Some of their hits of note where Goody Goody and ABC’s of Love. They wore white suits and white shoes. They said hello graciously to those in the inexpensive seats. They were rocks first all teenaged act. There known for their harmony and choreography. Some members have been there for 56 years.
The Chiffons had the original lead singer Judy Mann and they started in 1963. The backup singers were her daughter and niece. Their hits were One Fine Day, He’s So Fine, and Sweet Talking Guy. There are a lot of non-words which was popular style at the time like “do lang and shoobie do wop”. They have trademark tight harmonies. They formed in Monroe High School in the Bronx in 1960.
Barbara Harris and the Toys sang Lovers Concerto. They hail from Jamaica Queens. They sang the Supremes’ Stop in the Name of Love, Martha Vandella and the Ronnettes songs. The Common Man Band played for all the groups and works the tri-state area. The name doo-wop is given to a style of vocal-based rhythm and blues music that developed in African American communities in the 1940’s and achieved mainstream popularity in the 1950’s and early 1960’s. It had vocal harmony and pop orientated R and B styles of the time. It uses non-sense syllables, a simple beat and rhythm, little or no instrumentation and simple music and lyrics. It was developed by teenagers in NY, Philly and Baltimore. Many groups were unable to afford rock ‘n’ roll instruments. The first groups were acapella singing so they could rehearse everywhere and namely street corners.