MAKING YOUR MEMORIES WITH ROCK & ROLL AND DOO WOP (PART TWO)

MAKING YOUR MEMORIES WITH ROCK & ROLL AND DOO WOP (PART TWO)

Feb 26, 2017

While pure Doo Wop must have a group to gather the unique sounds, Rock & Roll single artists and duos were free to pick and choose the vocal styles with the same characteristics, utilizing no name backup groups to add musical flavor.
This analysis of the Doo Wop sounds featured in Part One (February 2017) showcased the music and lyrics, beat instrumentation and nonsense syllables. This article will address group harmony and vocal range. Songs will also be identified along with the artists that typify each element.

Group Harmony

The best part of Doo Wop and other identified 50’s songs has always been the group harmony. Nothing was ‘electronically altered’. It was pure vocal harmony that recognized the human voice as the instrument of choice. From the street corner to the studio, the wide range of voices, from bass, tenor and falsetto, harmonized just as their earlier musical partners did with the barbershop quartets. With the bass singer taking lead or under the tenor, chiming in, or using a blow harmony (oooooo-ah, ah-ooo), the point was to repeat it sufficiently that it maintained the rhythm and most importantly, give us something to remember. Some of the most memorable songs had the “talking bridge” while still others brought in minimal instrumentation.

Give a listen to:

  • Where or When – Dion and The Belmonts
  • Gloria – The Cadillacs, Passions and Vito & The Salutations
  • Just to Be with You – Jimmy Gallagher and the Passions
  • You Belong to Me – The Duprees
  • So in Love – The Tymes
  • The Ten Commandments of Love _ Harvey Fuqua and the Moonglows
  • Two Kinds of People in the World – Little Anthony and the Imperials. For a  unique style of group harmony, listen to their album, “Pure Acappella” (2003)

Vocal Range

Tied to the group harmony was the incredible range that is displayed in the music of the 50’s. From tenor to bass, double leads, melisma (adding syllables to fit the meter of the song) or operatic falsetto domination, artists found convincing ways to influence their music. Some groups added an alto/soprano female member to round out the sound. The use of range perhaps exemplifies the music as unique and represents the very best of the Doo Wop sound.

The degrees by which this music became embedded in the fabric of our memories stayed long after the groups and artists faded into oblivion.

Listen to these songs to “biopsy” the music:

  • Since I Don’t Have You – Jimmy Beaumont and The Skyliners (Janet Vogel hitting those high notes)
  • You Cheated – The Shields (Jesse Belvin on falsetto background)
  • The Closer You Are – Earl Lewis and the Channels
  • The Magic Touch – Tony Williams and the Platters (You-who-oo-ve Got the Magic Touch…) melisma
  • Florence – The Paragons
  • Thinking of You – The Jaguars
  • Duke of Earl – Gene Chandler

Today’s music is but layer upon layer of the original. Sounds like Motown just gave it more depth and texture as new artists and music over laid their brand to the music of the 1950’s and early 60’s. It was built upon, much as the music of the 50’s and 60’s stood on the shoulders of the giants of the 30’s, 40’s and early 50’s.    

The music of the fifties and early sixties was a reflection on the life and styles of its members. The sounds that emanated from the street corners to the studio blended the best lyrics, music, beat, vocal and harmony of the times. The degrees by which this music became embedded in the fabric of our memories stayed long after the groups and artists faded into oblivion. What is left is the memories of the song, the sound and the melody, complete with melisma. Years later attempts to sing along are still there because the words are the same; they have not changed. We certainly know them when we hear them.


Joe D 1Making Your Memories is a commentary on the music of the 1950’s and early 60’s. “Joe D” is an on-air talent for Orange County based KSBR FM 88.5 and is host of “MAKING YOUR MEMORIES” Sunday nights at 10PM. He is also author of “Making Your Memories With Rock & Roll and  Doo Wop - -The Music and Artists of the 1950’s and early 60’s.” www.making-your-memories.com

Latest News

Segerstrom Center for the Arts Announces 2018 – 2019 International Dance Series

Entertainment Sorbet Mag

Segerstrom Center for the Arts Announces 2018 – 2019  International Dance Series

Segerstrom Center for the Arts has announced its internationally and culturally rich 2018 – 2019 Dance Series, ...

The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel presents its annual summer Festival of Arts exhibit

Education Sorbet Mag

The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel presents its annual summer Festival of Arts exhibit

The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel presents its annual summer Festival of Arts exhibit featuring 13 contemporary a...

Resale Done Right at Revel Consignment

Education Jody Robinson

Resale Done Right at Revel Consignment

I love the concept of consignment - finding a true treasure for which someone else paid full retail and I get t...

THE ORANGE CATHOLIC FOUNDATION OFFERS AN OPPORTUNITY TO LEAVE A LASTING LEGACY

Education Sorbet Mag

THE ORANGE CATHOLIC FOUNDATION OFFERS AN OPPORTUNITY TO LEAVE A LASTING LEGACY

Since its first Wills and Trusts Week in the fall of 2011, the Orange Catholic Foundation has had as one of its...

Abundant Luxury at Omni La Costa

Travel Jody Robinson

Abundant Luxury at Omni La Costa

The word ‘omni’ is the root of a great many words in the English language. From Latin, it means ‘all, every, th...

Year ‘round Family Fun on Lake Tahoe’s South Shore

Travel Jody Robinson

Year ‘round  Family Fun  on Lake Tahoe’s  South Shore

All the stars were in alignment in early April. Our kids and our family friends’ children (who live in Napa) en...

DEDICATIONS AND BANNED SONGS

Entertainment Joe D

DEDICATIONS AND BANNED SONGS

Why did this music resonate with the teenagers that were a product of the 50’s? The music was theirs. DJ’s of t...

Residential Redefinition. Assisted Living Reimagined at Ivy Glenn

Business Showcase Jody Robinson

Residential  Redefinition. Assisted Living Reimagined  at Ivy Glenn

Assisted Living facilities have struggled with their reputation for a great many years. The emotional understan...

Pilates Day 2018!

Health & Wellness Align Pilates Team

Pilates Day 2018!

Sunday May 5th is International Pilates Day. Pilates Day is an annual, international community event, celebrate...

Skin Cancer + Cosmetics. Kristy Fleming, MD, FAAD

Health & Wellness Jody Robinson

Skin Cancer + Cosmetics. Kristy Fleming, MD, FAAD

It takes a trained eye to note the subtle shading needed to contour a surfboard. To taper the rails just so. To...

Beacon Carpet Cleaning. Lighting the Way to a Cleaner Space

Business Showcase Sorbet Mag

Beacon Carpet Cleaning. Lighting the Way to a Cleaner Space

When I was a child, I remember my parents moving our family into a new house, with pristine, white carpets. Bea...

Alliance Eldercare Senior Placement Service

Business Showcase Jody Robinson

Alliance Eldercare Senior Placement Service

Committed to Helping You Make Educated Choices for Your Loved One’s Care My grandmother and I used to joke wit...

The Law Firm of Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie: Bringing Justice Home

Business Showcase Sorbet Mag

The Law Firm  of Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie: Bringing Justice Home

My sister was hit by a snowboarder when she was sixteen. On skis, just a couple of turns from the bottom of the...

Ryan Furlet: South County’s K-9 Guru

Business Showcase Jody Robinson

Ryan Furlet: South County’s K-9 Guru

There is something powerful about true, deep calm. The spread of quiet. Perhaps the draw of it is why so many s...

Capital Bank Brings Innovative Financial Solutions to Orange County

Finance Sorbet Mag

Capital Bank Brings Innovative Financial Solutions to Orange County

At Capital Bank, we are dedicated to collaborating with clients to provide financial solutions tailor...

Taking a Vow to Save

Finance Ann Laurence

Taking a Vow to Save

My father does not like debt. My father does not like debt in the way that most people don’t like spiders, or b...

Explore Live Music. Enjoy Life.

Entertainment Sorbet Mag

Explore Live Music. Enjoy Life.

Sean Jones: Inspired by Miles Davis’s Jazz Friday, April 6, 2018, 8 PM Music and spirituality have always int...

Destination Dining. RAYA at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel

Dining Out Jody Robinson

Destination Dining. RAYA  at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel

Dining at the Ritz-Carlton is itself a worthy reason to pay a visit any day of the week and enjoy a different e...

Urinary Tract Infections and Absorbent Pads… Is There a Link?

Health & Wellness Robert G. Pugach

Urinary Tract Infections and Absorbent Pads… Is There a Link?

Did you know that more than 8 million doctor’s office visits per year in the US are for Urinary Tract Infection...

Pets of the Month

Home Life Jody Robinson

Pets of the Month

Yum Yum is an eight year old kitty who is ready for a new start. Calm and mild-mannered, she enjoys sunbathin...

Prev Next