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Various Artists: Rumba DooWop, Vol. 1: 1933-1954

Track List

>I Got Rhythm - The 5 Spirits Of Rhythm
>Tiger Rag - The Mills Brothers
>Jesus Is a Rock in a Weary Land - The Charioteers
>La Cucaracha - The Delta Rhythm Boys
>Packing Up Getting Ready to Go - The Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet
>St Louis Blues - The Jubalaires
>Brother Bill - The Five Blind Boys of Montana
>Choo Choo - Four Vagabonds
>Shadrack - Golden Gate Quartet
>Casey Jones - The Jubalaires
>Dry Bones - The Missionary Quintet
>Jesus Met the Woman At the Well - Pilgrim Travelers
>Swing Down Chariot - The Jubalaires
>Ol' Man River - The Ravens
>Wanda - The Heartbreakers
>Roll Roll Pretty Baby - The Swallows
>Besame Mucho - The Ray-O-Vacs
>Don't You Know I Love You? - The Clovers
>I'm So High - The Five Keys
>My Baby's Gone - The Ray-O-Vacs
>Be Bop Wino - The Lamplighters
>Let Me Come Back - The Checkers
>I Didn't Want to Do It - The Spiders
>Softly and Tenderly - The Prisonaires
>Good Lovin' - The Clovers
>Calypso Song - The Ravens
>Geechie Goomie - The Mello-Tones
>Whop - The Squires
>Baby Doll - Four Dukes
>Bicycle Tillie - The Swallows
>Chee Koo Baby - The Dukes
>It's Too Late Now - The Hawks
>Be Bop Baby - Peacheroos
>Real Gone Mama - The Moonglows
>I've Got My Eyes On You - The Clovers
>Such a Night - The Drifters
>Mambo Shevitz - The Crows
>All Night Mambo - The Cookies
>Shake It Up Mambo - The Platters
>Natural Natural Ditty - The Jewels
>Irene - The Holidays
>Sweet Lulu - The Lovenotes
>Boppin' With the Mambo - The Sultans
>White Cliffs of Dover - The Pelicans
>Drunk, Drunk, Drunk - The Kidds
>Down in Mexico - The Pelicans
>I Want You to Be My Baby - The Royals
>Five Minutes Longer - The Lamplighters
>Mambo Sh-Mambo - The Charms
>Bye Bye - The Dreamers
>Ain't Gonna Do It - The Pelicans
>Trying to Get to You - The Eagles
>Give It Up - The Hawks
>All I Do Is Rock - The Robins
>Sweet Sue - The Starlighters
>Watts - The Chanters
>Ling Ting Tong - The Charms
>I Wanna Love - The Crowns
>You Made Me Cry - The Platters
>White Christmas - The Drifters
>Hey Senorita - The Penguins
>Tempting - The Moonglows
>Ko Ko Mo - The Flamingos

Album Notes

Editor: Mandy Bolster.

In jazz music, the Latin tinge is well-documented, but its influence on pop music has been given far less space; although it's not often hard to connect the dots between Cuban or Brazilian rhythms in early swing, it's far more difficult to see how those rhythms eventually filtered through the rest of popular music, especially R&B and rock & roll. The astonishingly thorough compilation Rumba DooWop, Vol. 1: 1933-1954 provides no less than 64 examples of how vocal groups (nearly all of them black) incorporated Latin rhythms into their recordings, nearly always easily and naturally. The set begins in the mid-'30s, with early vocal groups or gospel combos like the Mills Brothers, Delta Rhythm Boys, Golden Gate Quartet, and the Ravens -- groups that weren't doo wop, but certainly paved the way for all the Coasters and Platters and Robins to come. The rock & roll era is accounted for too, both here on the second disc of the set, as well as on volume two (Rumba DooWop, Vol. 2: 1955-1956), mostly with lesser-known songs and artists. (Only one song on the second disc, "Ling Ting Tong" by the Charms, is well-known.) Aside from containing dozens of great songs by talented groups, listeners shouldn't assume that many of these sides from the '50s are radical departures from standard doo wop; in fact, the fusion of Latin and American was so complete by the late '40s that scads of doo wop sides could use Latin rhythms without even sounding exotic -- which works slightly to the detriment of the compilation, at least as a concept. The best course of action is to treat it simply as a repository for great sides by a variety of doo wop groups, both popular and obscure. ~ John Bush


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