The Best Doowop song ever

Yeah, that’s right. Lots of people don’t like doowop and I understand, very often it is sappy, but done right it’s a beautiful thing. This one is a little post-doowop in that it was released in 1965, so what. The hit version was by The Students in 1958, not bad but one-dimensional. It was covered several times by the likes of Rosie & the Originals and the Del-Vikings (note metal name, who knew?). For the Beach Boys it was an album track on Beach Boys Today!, never even a B-side as far as I know. The playing by the Wrecking Crew, and the singing by all of them especially the perfect color of Brian’s falsetto, and Brian’s production which is stripped-down Phil Spector which is a helluva concept in itself, and if you don’t care about that stuff it’s just plain gorgeous. If you’re gonna wimp out go all the way and then it’s not wimping out.

9 thoughts on “The Best Doowop song ever

    • Yeah, some people call At the Hop and Teenager in Love doo wop, and even Poison Ivy, all of which cross the line for me because it isn’t just the voices creating the sound.

  1. One of the characteristics of doowop is that very often you can’t tell if the singers are black or white. As a music it was pretty faceless – no teen idols although perhaps Dion was an exception but he was hardly Elvis or even Rickey Nelson. Everybody knows In The Still of the Night with its great sax solo, and usually Earth Angel is mentioned although I never liked it much. I would nominate this one for pure tone and the sense of romantic desperation that calls to mind so much teenage trauma. Without the video I wouldn’t know if these guys were black or white.

  2. i love all these songs. and, yes doo wop can be sappy, but no worse than “tell laura i love her” “spirit in the sky” “mandy” or any other genre/interpretation of pop music, i guess.

    personally, these are two of my faves:

    this song is just great and the montage of photos is too, especially the one of Dion sitting next to a Gibson Hummingbird with a poster of what looks like the fated winter tour of ’59 in the background.

    but this one, by the skyliners, sends me into another time zone…

  3. Runaround Sue is a great song that I have heard too many times. Dion had a lot of minor hits on songs that are a lot better than most of the major hits of that day or any day. The Beatles were big Dion fans and sought him out when they first came to New York. I think this follow-up to Runaround Sue is a little better, maybe because I don’t hear it as much.

  4. One more: JTs cover of Dion’s Born to Cry. This is from a very good album BTW, very different from Johnny’s usual and drenched in New Orleans R&B. All odd covers, from Crawfish to Roy Head’s “Treat Her Right” and The Seeds “Can’t Seem to Make You Mine.”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.