Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College launches its 2012-2013 American Classics series with The Ultimate Sounds of Doo-Wop and Street Corner Harmony, a concert of chart-topping artists including Fred Parris and The Satins (“In the Still of the Night”), The Legendary Teenagers (“Why Do Fools Fall in Love”), The Chiffons with original lead singer Judy Mann (“One Fine Day”), The Original Tymes (“So Much In Love”), and Barbara Harris and the Toys (“Lovers Concerto”), hosted by WCBS-FM 101.1’s “Broadway” Bill Lee on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 8:00 p.m.
Considered an integral part of the development of rock ‘n’ roll, doo-wop was created in the early 1950s by African American teenagers in urban areas like New York City, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. Unable to afford the musical instruments necessary to form rock ‘n’ roll bands, these teens mimicked the instrumental backing with their voices, incorporating tight harmonies, simple rhythms and nonsense syllables to create doo-wop’s signature sound. The first doo-wop groups were a cappella, which allowed them to rehearse almost anywhere. City street corners were popular places for groups to practice and try to gain notoriety.
Fred Parris and The Satins are best known for their 1956 gold-disc hit single “In the Still of the Night,” reaching the top three on the Billboard R&B charts and the top 25 on the Billboard pop charts. The group was inducted into The Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2003.
The Legendary Teenagers, rock ‘n’ roll’s first all-teenaged music group, are famous for their hits “Why Do Fools Fall in Love,” “I’m Not a Juvenile Delinquent” and “The ABCs of Love.” The group made a guest appearance in the film “Rock, Rock, Rock.”
The Chiffons, featuring original lead singer Judy Mann, are one of the top girl groups of the early 1960s. Their hit “One Fine Day” went gold for selling over one million copies. The Chiffons also recorded “He’s So Fine,” and went on to open for The Beatles’ first U.S. concert and for The Rolling Stones’ first U.S. tour.
The Original Tymes’ hit single “So Much in Love” topped the U.S. music charts in 1963 and was included in the RIAAs top Songs of the 20th Century list in 2001. In 2005, The Tymes were inducted into The Vocal Group Hall of Fame. They also appeared on the PBS Special My Music: Love Songs of the 50s and 60s.
Barbara Harris and the Toys, an all-woman trio, from Jamaica, Queens, had three hits off the Billboard Hot 100 chart: “A Lover’s Concerto,” “Attack!” and “Baby Toys.” The Toys made television appearances on Shindig!, Hullabaloo, and American Bandstand, and a movie cameo role in It’s a Bikini World!
“Broadway” Bill Lee is a 40-year radio veteran and multiple Radio Personality of the Year award winner. He can currently be heard on WCBS-FM 101.1 on Monday through Friday from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. and weekends.
Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College’s presentation of The Ultimate Sounds of Doo-Wop and Street Corner Harmony is made possible, in part, by Con Edison and by Crystal Manor.
Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts is located at the Walt Whitman Theatre at Brooklyn College. Take the 2 train to Brooklyn College/Flatbush Avenue. Online orders: www.BrooklynCenterOnline.org. Box Office: (718) 951-4500, Tuesday – Saturday, 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Groups of 15 or more: (718) 951-4600 x3331.