BIRMINGHAM RECORD COLLECTORS
DEDICATED TO THE COLLECTING OF MUSIC, ITS PRESERVATION AND LASTING FRIENDSHIP
THIS MONTH’S MEETING
MEETING THIS SUNDAY, MARCH 14TH @ FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF FULTONDALE 1PM
**********DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME**********
Be sure to set your clock ahead one hour this Sunday, March 14
We plan on using youtube and listening to some clips from Joe & Duke Rumore, legendary DJ’s in Birmingham. I am told there is some good stuff posted. We will also discuss more about the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the inductees and the snubs.
BRC HALL OF FAME MEMBER – SAM FRAZIER
Good to hear that Sam has been feeling better since his recent hospitalization and rehab. At last month’s meeting we took a group picture and sent it to him via his son along with our best wishes. Keep getting better, Sam. We’re praying for you.
THE ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME AND DOO WOP
At our January meeting we were discussing the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and it was asked if any of the Doo Wop groups had been inducted. I am not a fan of everything the HOF does especially who some of the inductees are, the music styles that are included that are not really R&R and those performers who have been overlooked but I thought I would do a little research and find out if Doo Wop has been given its due. I was pleasantly surprised to find that some groups, but not enough were inducted over the years and quite a few songs are on the HOF’s list of 500 greatest songs.
Doo Wop had such an influence on many singers to come and many lead singers would leave a group and go on to have a nice solo career. The one thing that stops some groups from being considered for membership into the HOF is that some of the great songs of the era were one-hit wonders and that’s where the HOF’s list of 500 greatest songs does some justice. First I will list the groups that have been inducted and then the songs.
I will say that while these first two groups were not true Doo Wop they influenced later groups with their sound which laid the foundation for Doo Wop and gave young listeners the desire to form a singing group.
The Ink Spots – Known as a jazz harmony group this group was very popular in the 1930’s and 40’s. They were probably the forerunner to much of the R&B and Doo Wop sound to come. Inducted into the HOF in 1989 and then in 1999 they were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame. Bill Kenny in probably the best known of the group with his high tenor voice. But there was also Charlie Fuqua. For many collectors and music lovers the name Fuqua is well known. Charlie was the uncle of Harvey Fuqua who would form the Moonglows and be very instrumental in the success of Motown Records.
The Orioles – This group would follow the Ink Spots with their popularity coming in the 1940’s and 50’s. Again not a true Doo Wop group but would be part of the making of the pattern of the Doo Wop sound. And many groups would begin using bird names for their group after this. The unmistakable lead of Sonny Til was part of the groups success. The Orioles were inducted into the HOF in 1995 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998.
The Drifters – The first true Doo Wop group inducted into the HOF would be The Drifters. Their induction was in 1988. In my opinion after Clyde McPhatter left the group their true Doo Wop days ended. They recorded strictly R&B without the background Doo Wop sounds. But early on they did some very good Doo Wop. The Drifters were inducted into The Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998.
Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers – The first all-teenaged act in R&R, this group would be inducted into the HOF in 1993 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2000. Many Doo Wop style groups would have teenage lead singers after this. Maybe even the Jackson 5 were formed because of the success the Teenagers had.
Jerry Butler & The Impressions – This groups early recordings had a touch of Doo Wop but the group was basically a soul/R&B group. But who can forget ‘For Your Precious Love’? They were inducted in 1991 and into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2003.
The Moonglows – The Moonglows were inducted into the HOF in 2000. This group was managed by Alan Freed who gave them the name Moonglows after his nickname, Moondog. Harvey Fuqua would be the founder along with Bobby Lester. They were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999.
The Flamingos – Inducted into the HOF in 2001, the Flamingos gave Doo Wop a sophisticated sound. Billboard Magazine wrote that the group was “one of the finest and most influential vocal groups in pop music history”. ‘Lovers Never Say Goodbye’, written by member Terry Johnson has to be one of Doo Wop’s anthems. It was used by Birmingham DJ, Rockin Dave Roddy as his sign-off song. This group is also a member of the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2000.
The Dells – ‘Oh What A Night’, oh what a song. Inducted into the HOF in 2004, The Dells had many hits during the Doo Wop era but they would later become more R&B losing the Doo Wop background vocals. But they were another one of those groups that left us with quite a legacy of music. The group, with a few personnel changes along the way continued to record and perform into the 21s t Century. They were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004.
A few other groups that weren’t true Doo Wop have also been inducted into the HOF. I’ll list them and you can decide.
The Coasters – Inducted into the HOF in 1987. Hit after hit, the group is remembered more for novelty songs but also did a little Doo Wop early on. Vocal Group Hall of Fame members in 1999.
The Platters – What a smooth sound this group had. They were inducted into the HOF in 1990. From the early 50’s until the mid 60’s you couldn’t listen to the radio without hearing a Platters song. Their background vocals weren’t exactly Doo Wop but they were close.
Hank Ballard & The Midnighters – More R&B/R&R but with Doo Wop sounds, Hank and the guys gave us many great hits. Hank would be inducted into the HOF in 1990 but it would be 2012 before the Midnighters would get their due. The Vocal Group Hall of Fame inducted Hank and the group in 1999.
Little Anthony & The Imperials – Inducted into the HOF in 2009. This group falls into the R&B/Soul genre but did a little Doo Wop as well. Vocal Group Hall of Fame members in 1999.
The Shirelles – I added them to the list for one song – ‘I Met Him On A Sunday’. The girls were inducted into the HOF in 1996 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2002. Is there a girl Doo Wop group? I say the recording of ‘I Met Him On Sunday’ is about as close as you can get without a bass singer.
That is all the groups that are Doo Wop or close to it that the HOF have inducted. Groups that are not there that should be considered include The Clovers, Billy Ward & The Dominoes and The Mills Brothers. As mentioned earlier some of the great Doo Wop songs were by groups that never had another hit so these groups haven’t been considered for the HOF but thank goodness the HOF has a section called the ‘500 Greatest Songs of all Time’. Here one can find some classic Doo Wop songs that deserve mention. They include some of the songs by groups mentioned above but many more. I’ll start with songs from HOF inductees.
‘Oh What A Night’ – The Dells
‘Money Honey’ – The Drifters
‘Sincerely’ – The Moonglows
‘Crying In The Chapel’ – The Orioles
‘Great Pretender’ – The Platters
‘Work With Me Annie’ – The Midnighters
‘I Only Have Eyes For You’ – The Flamingos
‘If I Didn’t Care – The Ink Spots
‘Why Do Fools Fall In Love’ – Frankie Lymon & The The Teenagers
‘I’m Not A Juvenile Delinquent’ – Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers
‘For Your Precious Love’ – The Impressions
‘Dedicated To The One I Love’ – The Shirelles
‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow’ – The Shirelles
And now for songs by groups not in the HOF:
‘Love Potion #9’ – The Clovers
‘Gee’ – The Crows
‘At The Hop’ – Danny & The Juniors
‘Come Go With Me’ – The Del-Vikings
‘Sixty Minute Man’ – The Dominoes
‘In The Still Of The Nite’ – The Five Satins
‘Blue Moon’ – The Marcels
‘Book Of Love’ – The Monotones
‘Earth Angel’ – The Penguins
‘Sh-Boom’ – The Chords
‘Maybe’ – The Chantels (another girl group that is awfully close to Doo Wop but as with the Shirelles there are more Oooo’s and Ahhh’s than Rama Lama or Sh-Boom or Doo Wah Doo Wah’s)
Well maybe this helps see where Doo Wop stands in the eyes of the HOF. One thing you notice is how many of the true Doo Wop groups were inducted after the year 2000. Much too late. I am glad they have included a list of songs from many of the missing Doo Wop groups that make the genre so important. I am not a music historian but I do have opinions as you do. The HOF has many performers not included as of this date so when they come out with a new class I usually look it over and agree and disagree. Maybe one day soon I’ll make a list of who has been overlooked and see what you think.
‘HEY! HAVE YOU HEARD THESE’?
‘Oh What A Night For Love‘
Roy Tyson (1963 #106 Pop chart- age 13)
‘I’ve Got A Feeling‘
The Time Tones (1961 ATCO label)
‘Oh My Love‘
Lil’ June & The Januarys (1959 – Profile label)
Don’t forget to listen to BRC Radio on the birminghamrecord.com website. Click on ‘RADIO” and you’ll have 100’s of different shows and 1000’s of different songs to listen to.