Liner Note Author: Bill Dahl.
Illustrators: Stefan Wriedt; Charlie Horner; R.A. Andreas; Pamela Horner; Victor Pearlin; Billy Vera.
Often, 1956 is seen as rock & roll's ground zero -- it is the year Elvis Presley turned into a superstar, after all -- and it is also a cracking year for doo wop, as evidenced by the eighth volume of Bear Family's doo wop history Street Corner Symphonies. Many of the genre's all-time classics came out this year: the Five Satins' gossamer "In the Still of the Nite," the Cadets' loopy "Stranded in the Jungle," the Drifters' hard-grooving "Ruby Baby," Frankie Lymon's joyous "I Want You to Be My Girl," the Coasters' riotous "Down in Mexico," the Clovers' sweet "Devil or Angel," the sheer lunacy of the Chips' "Rubber Biscuit." Elsewhere, the style can be heard maturing and moving on out, particularly on James Brown's doo wop-informed "Please Please Please" and Andre Williams' greasy "Bacon Fat," and there are still quite a few pretty, dreamy ballads so commonly associated with the genre, but this volume alone provides a useful debunking to the myth that all doo wop sounds the same. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine