New York’s best DOO WOP show featuring the timeless music’s leading singers and legendary groups will be held at Lehman Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of Lehman College/CUNY at 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx, NY on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.
The all-star evening of classic hits will include Fred Parris & The 5 Satins (“In the Still of the Night”), The Belmonts (“Teenager in Love”), Shirley Alston Reeves (“Soldier Boy”), Larry Chance & The Earls (“Life is But a Dream”), Chiffons (“My Boyfriend’s Back”) and Danny & The Juniors (“Rock And Roll Is Here To Stay”). The show is being produced by Lehman Center and Sal Abbatiello of Fever Records.
Doo Wop emerged from the streets of New York City and Philadelphia and rose as a unique African American vocal style in the mid-1950’s. Doo Wop’s smooth harmonies spread to singing groups of other ethnicities, such as the Capris and The Belmonts. The term “doo wop” was taken from the ad-lib syllables sung in harmony in these songs such as the plaintive “doo wop” refrain featured in the bridge of The 5 Satins’ “In the Still of the Night.” “Doo Wop” and a range of “oldies” music are celebrated by musicians and audiences worldwide as distinctive American sounds.
Fred Parris & The 5 Satins had its origin in the band known as the Scarlets, which Parris formed in 1953 while in high school in New Haven, Connecticut. The group had a New York hit in 1954 with “Dear One.” The Scarlets disbanded in 1955 when they were all recruited into the army. At the end of 1955 Parris formed a new band called the 5 Satins, recording “The Jones Girl” in a Church basement, which peaked nationally at #3 on the R&B charts and #24 on the Pop charts. In 2003 the 5 Satins were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.
The Belmonts were formed by Angelo D’Aleo, Fred Milano and Carlo Mastrangelo, high school buddies from the Arthur Avenue section of the Bronx, naming themselves after the avenue Milano lived. Soon after Dion DiMucci, (also from the neighborhood) joined them, they had their first big hit “I Wonder Why” (1958).
Shirley Alston Reeves is the former lead singer of The Shirelles, the vocal group credited as the originators of the “Girl Group Sound.” Hailing from Passaic, New Jersey, the group rose to fame with their 1960 single “Tonight’s the Night.” Their next recording,“Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin, went on to become the first Billboard #1 hit by a girl group. Many more hit singles quickly followed including their cover of “Dedicated to the One I Love,” “Mama Said,” “Baby It’s You” and the incredible classic “Soldier Boy.” The Shirelles were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.
Larry Chance & The Earls were a group from the Bronx with a refined doo wop harmony sound that were literally discovered while singing on a street corner. Their first single, “Life is But a Dream” (1961) was a top 10 hit in New York and led to an appearance on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand.
The Chiffons, one of the fabulous Sixties girl-groups, formed in 1960 when the girls were high school classmates in the Bronx. Their first hit, early 1963’s “He’s So Fine,” with the now famous nonsensical “doo lang, doo lang doo lang” opening, reached #1 on both the R&B and Pop charts. That same year, they released three more hit songs: “One Fine Day,” “A Love So Fine” and “I Have a Boyfriend”. Known for their tight harmonies, “Tonight I Met an Angel” and “What Am I Gonna Do With You” soon followed. Their last big hit was 1966’s “Sweet Talkin’ Guy.”
Danny & The Juniors started singing together with choreographed dance moves as young teenagers in Philadelphia, calling themselves “The Juvenairs.” Discovered by a local record label that changed their name to Danny & The Juniors, their first single “At the Hop” was released on in November 1957, but appeared to be going nowhere. In a lucky break, they appeared in December on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand as a last minute fill-in for an act that couldn’t make it. By early January, “At the Hop” was the number one hit where it stayed for an amazing seven weeks and charted in the Top 100 for five months. The band soon followed up with the hit “Rock and Roll is Here to Stay” and 1960’s “Twistin’ USA.”