Friday, December 12, 2008

An Intro To DooWop

As kids, back in the early 60's, we were serious doowop singers. I mean, if you get together four or five times a week to practice anything, you must be serious. The only thing I devoted more time to was (no, not education) playing pool.

Occasionally, you would hear about a group who had written their own song, but most doowoppers contented themselves by singing the classics, like Johnny Maestro and The Crests’ version of My Juanita or The Eldorados’ Crazy Little Mama (At My Front Door). We weren’t much interested in the writers of the songs, just the groups who had sung them. Of course, that was pretty stupid, really, because there really isn’t a big demand for people who sing other people’s songs. Remember this was long before American Idol.

Anyway, I have a new respect for songwriters. It’s not easy to write a hit song and, if you do, you deserve to reap the rewards for having done so for a lifetime and beyond. Who knows, music might evolve and, as in the case of Carole King and Gerry Goffin, leave your brand of songwriting as marketable as dayglow hula hoops. In a recent post where I made available for your listening pleasure an arrangement of Some Kind of Wonderful that my friends and I had recorded back in the early 80’s, I apparently infringed on the copyrights of Ms. King and Sir Goffin, the writers of said tune. They, through the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), informed of my infringement and the blog cops dutifully removed the post that referenced the file and then emailed me explaining the move.

Funny, isn’t it, that my request for permission from EMI to upload the song to my myspace or reverbnation accounts was completely ignored, but my adding the file to my blog was dealt with in less than a week. It’s like my request put me on some kind of watch list.

Anyway, fuck’em all. The only tape I have of our group The Dreambeats contains the very protected Some Kind of Wonderful, as well as a medley of three other songs, Stormy Weather, Trickle Trickle, and Blue Moon. I probably don’t have the right to make the medley available either, so I won’t. I did, however, write an intro to the medley which probably won't make the earth move yet might just give you a hint of what we were like. As always, our recently deceased lead singer, Tommy Gross can be heard above the fray with his falsettos in the harmony, and his solo with the line “we met again the other day, an now we’re coming back.” You can access the clip here. If it doesn’t play automatically, plug the url into your media player. And you can still here us singing a couple country songs I wrote on ReverbNation.

One last thing, I ran across the Johnny Maestro version of My Juanita on youtube. Take a listen.


Anonymous said...

Johnny Maestro wrote "My Juanita", and The Crests' version is the original version of the song.

Ace Toscano said...

Thanks for the info, Topaz, I didn't know that. Do you remember who wrote and recorded another doowop standard that we all used to sing, This is My Love? It started out "Sweeter Than," then the background sang "Lahng, lahng, lahng." "The Honey Dew." "Lahng, lahng, lahng." "Sweeter than Sugar..." I was going to mention it in my post but I couldn't find anything about it on google.