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Deb#1

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I was struck by the Streetlight Harmonies documentary released last fall and premiered as part of the Doc NYC festival.  It shines a long overdue spotlight on the artists and celebrates the music that defined the musical generation of doo-wop.  Doo-wop developed in African-American communities along the East Coast of the United States in the late 1930s, achieving mainstream popularity in the 1950s and early 1960s. Built upon vocal harmony, doo-wop was one of the most mainstream, pop-oriented styles of the time.

I was even more intrigued by since finding that although doo-wop has disappeared from the mainstream, it really hasn’t been forgotten. At various times in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, the genre has seen revivals.  Although not well known there are groups still devoted to the doo-wop styles and still presenting original work.  So this week, instead of presenting any of the numerous doo-wop hits such as In the Still of the Night or Who Put the Bomp, I’ve picked a few more recent doo-wop groups and songs to showcase.  They may not be well known but they are worth a listen none the less.  To represent the Beach Boys, I went back to Kenny and the Cadets.  I felt the early recording was a closer tie to these lesser known doo-wop songs than the Beach Boys hits with Why Do Fools Fall In Love or Hushabye.

So here they are:

Kenny & The Cadets (Beach Boys) - What Is a Young Girl Made Of
"Barbie" and "What Is a Young Girl Made Of" were both Bruce Morgan compositions and were issued as a single in early 1962 under the name of Kenny & the Cadets. In early 1962, during the Beach Boys' brief stay at Candix Records, producer Bruce Morgan had some of the Beach Boys members add vocals to a couple of instrumental tracks that he had recorded with other musicians.  On "Barbie," Brian sang lead and Carl, Al, and the Wilsons' mother Audree, sang backup.  On "What Is a Young Girl Made Of?" Brian Wilson took the lead vocal, though none of the other Beach Boys participated.

The Crystalairs - Gotta Get Back To You
Gotta Get Back To You is from the album “Strange World” first issued in 1996 by Crystal Ball Records. The Crystalairs are a German doo wop quartet from Bielefeld, Germany who began their recording career in the late 1980s. Members are Ralf zur Linde, Jens Franke, Daniel Franke and Claus-Peter Niem.

Joel Katz & The Wizards - Here In My Heart (Doo Wop Revival)
As a teenager, Joel Katz played New Jersey's Palisades Park and appeared on legendary disc jockey Murray the K's rock 'n' roll shows. He's since had a recording career that includes performances with some of the most celebrated names in doo-wop. The Wizards were formed in 1981 for a Joel Katz studio project, one of several such groups the singer has fronted over the years. The Wizards per se remained a recording group with Katz on lead vocals until roughly 1985. Here in My Heart is from the album Doo Wop Magic released June 27, 2006.

The BrillianTears - Club of Broken Hearts
The BrillianTears are a European group composed of the lead singers of The Roomates, The Earth Angels & The Crystalairs plus Frank Buttgereit and Anja Bien, lead singer of the German group The Jive-O-Matics This song is the title song from album “Club of Broken Hearts (18 New Doo Wop Recordings)” and was released April 7, 2014, on Teensville Records, Australia.

I doo hope you like my doo-wop week.  Doo comment and vote, please!

For cut and paste:
Kenny & The Cadets (Beach Boys) - What Is a Young Girl Made Of
The Crystalairs - Gotta Get Back To You
Joel Katz & The Wizards - Here In My Heart (Doo Wop Revival)
The BrillianTears - Club Of Broken Hearts


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Al Forsyth

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Reply with quote  #2 
Likin' this one already, Deb.  I'll try and vote early. 

We had tornadoes last week and still no Internet (Cat 1).  Power finally restored.  

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paul g adsett

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Reply with quote  #3 
there are days when i'd happily sit back and listen to doo wop for a few hours on end
(and other days when could run a mile away...).
it's a captivating style that envelops and embraces you.
very human and intimate.
no doubt we'll get lots of fab examples of the genre,
the very ones you've neatly avoided entering into competition.

may i offer a divergent take,
examples both far from what you'd expect,
not a bunch of males harmonising on a street corner,
but the first solo single by this woman,
appropriating and taking the style somewhere else
(into r&b / hip hop...),
from her groundbreaking album 'the miseducation of lauryn hill'

and, here's the fab amy winehouse pinching the song
to add onto one of her numbers:
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paul g adsett

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and, again, going a little off-piste,
from that paul simon derek walcott musical
(with rubén blades and marc anthony)
'the capeman'

that failed to set the world ablaze
but an album that has some very beautiful moments on it.
some of which is distinctly founded in doo wop:
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Larry Franz

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Reply with quote  #5 
Excellent theme (sure it sounds old-fashioned, but it often sounds great).

Gold -- The Crystalairs - Gotta Get Back To You -- Quite catchy. Also gets points for this lyric: "Since I left you, My eyelids hurt my mind" (which I'm probably mishearing).

Silver -- Joel Katz & the Wizards - Here In My Heart -- A worthy competitor. I initially had it as gold, probably because it's more familiar.

Bronze -- The BrillianTears - Club Of Broken Hearts -- This one's kind of forgettable.

Tin -- Kenny & the Cadets - What Is a Young Girl Made Of -- This one's kind of painful.


Brian's own composition, "Judy" (in honor of sweetheart Judy Bowles?), is something Kenny & the Cadets can rightly be proud of. Has a Judy or two appreciated its strange power?

youtube.com/watch?v=P6zRu4BoWNI


PS: That Wand record label shows Mike as the sole author of "Surfin'". Brian should have sued.

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Larry Franz

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Since nobody else is doing doo wop:


The Cleftones  "Can't We Be Sweethearts?"  (1956)
youtube.com/watch?v=5nHQ_6W3fmc

The Chantels  "Look In My Eyes" (1961)
youtube.com/watch?v=7L63c2DTpag

The Matadors  "Listen" (1962)
youtube.com/watch?v=zw6DxPBT14o


MC6 A Cappella  "I Go To Pieces" (2015)  [semi-available video]
youtube.com/watch?v=9C0EnuQbb58

The Doo Wop Project  "That's My Desire" (2016 live)
youtube.com/watch?v=O3uQMo-UnoY

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Deb#1

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Quote:
Excellent theme (sure it sounds old-fashioned, but it often sounds great).

I certainly appreciate Larry’s sentiments (thanks Larry), but, a point of order.  There is no “theme” this week [nono].. There is a “topic”.  (I read there is always a topic.) 

Al, an F1 tornado has a powerful wind. It'll knock you right over just like Marcella's eyes. I hope you didn’t get too battered.  

Thanks for the Paul, paul.  I don’t think it’s a secret - I always like some Paul Simon.  “Adios Hermanos” did not disappoint.  The music from “The Capeman” sounds quite good, but it seems the production was beset with problems including some of Paul’s own making, attributed to what he called “inexperience”.
I didn’t get into Amy Winehouse much, but I worked with a guy who had her living in his head rent free, as the expression goes.  He would rant on and on about her while we would wonder about him, as nobody really cared that much.  He let up after she had passed.  Since then I’ve heard more of her music and think it’s fine. 
I’ll see your Amy Winehouse and raise you an Eva Eastwood (Published 2012 by Darrow Records):

Larry, thanks for voting so quick! I couldn’t vote that fast myself. I think I might have made it harder on myself by picking songs that caught my own ear somehow.  I think The Crystalairs’ “Gotta Get Back to You” is quite catchy, too, but I see merit in the others as well.  I may end up in my own three way tie.
I hope “What is a Young Girl Made of” wasn’t too torturous for you. I’m starting to think I should have picked “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” even if it is a cover.

I’m not so sure about The Chantels, but I like The Matadors and MC6 (that video may not play everywhere), and the Doo Wop Project rates special mention.

Thanks, all, let’s see what tomorrow brings.


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See what's become of me
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For my possibilities
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bonnie bella

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Reply with quote  #8 
Hi, Deb.

nice optic-tay.  No eme-thay in ight=say.[wink]

I was going to post the Betty Everett version, but after listening to both, I think Cher does a pretty good job of this.

youtube.com/watch?v=ARZDfcVOwno

And I think this is doo-woppy (or topical)  "Miss You Baby", The Chicks.

youtube.com/watch?v=9jBa8vWKy0M



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paul g adsett

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bonnie
- i thought i was extrapolating more than a little,
but your poppy ,boppy number trundles down yet another branch.
never heard it, but it suited me fine this morning
(it sounds like it was aimed at the eurovision song contest
at the time from the other end of the world).
the jolly girly singing serves the similar purpose not unakin to
the wopping doos of the street corner boy groups.
and it reassured me i wasn't barking up too many wrong trees
by sidestepping obvious doowoppitiness.
all the better to acknowledge overlapping influences
and widen the scope.
i'd already planned to add this track before seeing your pick
and it fits right in.
so, here's a number by, yes, the magic numbers
- first seen live in eastbourne and here in brighton,
as support on a bw tour 13 years back,
just as they were taking off (*)
where they were so excited to be aboard and happy to chat to everyone.
and they've kept that open rapport with audiences before and after shows.
we've just caught them 3 times this year ,
at a small warm up club date in eastbourne,
a roots festival the other side of london and a brighton tour date.
great new album and splendid people.
a two brother + sister sibling combo!
this is an early hit, still in the repertoire,
that features the girly vocals.
deb's eva westwood number immediately reminded me of this one
'love me like you'
- here's two versions,
the first, a bit ragged but exhuberant, speedy, from a glastonbury set
(y'll not quite see me'n'ashley down in the mosh...).
the second, a completely raw instore performance
(go to 8 minutes in for this song, but the whole thing is gently worthwhile)
where the street corner vocals are yet more to the fore than in the full electric.
(quotes from an old guardian newspaper article:
'Can they cope, you wonder, with this brutal industry and the insanity minefield ahead?
"We're back to Brian Wilson's sand-box," chortles Michele. "Move over."
Romeo: "We're coming in.")




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John B

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Reply with quote  #10 
Hey, I like the Paul Simon one!  and love the Chantels one.

okay, not hard, the others, generally, points to the ones that aren't obviously derived from other songs (e.g. 'Book of Love' 'Alone' etc.).

1. The Chrstalaires, 'Gotta Get Back to You.'  

It's different enough.

2. 'What is a Young Girl Made of'

lessor song, and Brian's vocals trended straight upward from there, but I like it okay.  Nice guitar sound.

3. 'Here in My Heart' by Joel Katz and the wizards doo wop song stealing I mean revival

4. 'Club of Broken Hearts' the brillion tears. 

not very original, is it?
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Al Forsyth

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Reply with quote  #11 

Gold:  Gotta go with authenticity, so Kenny and the Cadets get the nod and the Gold this week, even though not all Beach Boys.  I knew that it was a Morgan project but never knew how much.  I always liked the Brian vocal.

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/kenny-the-cadets-mn0000070397

Silver:  The BrillianTears are “New-wop”.  From 2014?  But have the oldie sound.

soundcloud.com/teensville/tracy-the-brilliantears-club-of-broken-hearts-cd-on-teensville

https://www.allmusic.com/album/club-of-broken-hearts-mw0002633280

Bronze:  Crystalairs.  They sound good.  Also new.

Leaving Tin for: Joel Katz and the Wizards.   The song is a rip of The Bristol Stomp.  They are a revivalist group also, no? 

All happy music Deb!  Thanks for the education.


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D.A.N

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Reply with quote  #12 
GOLD Kenny and the Cadets

SILVER Crystalairs.  Very good.  I might have to check out more from these guys.  
Bit of "Don't Worry Baby' about it.
   
There's a gap now to

BRONZE BrillianTears

TIN Joel Katz
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Darren J. Ray

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Reply with quote  #13 
Deb, you have mail. [comp]
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bonnie bella

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Reply with quote  #14 
mr. adsett, good squire.  Upon retrospect, my contributions last night were about as doo-woppy as roadkill. This displays my ignorance in the matter.

Apparently, after a short research period, I found that this was the first song considered do-wop.  The Turbans "When You Dance".

youtube.com/watch?v=WWB9ZXMsMDY

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stkilda4ever

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Reply with quote  #15 

Gold: The Crystalairs - Gotta Get Back To You.  Still prefer the Crystals.
Silver: The BrillianTears - Club Of Broken Hearts. Not really the best of band names is it?
Bronze: Kenny & The Cadets (Beach Boys) - What Is a Young Girl Made Of.  Never knew there were any Kenny & Cadets recordings. 
Tin: Joel Katz & The Wizards - Here In My Heart (Doo Wop Revival)  Reminds me of the 'Happy Days' theme. 

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