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Various Artists: Street Corner Symphonies: The Complete Story of Doo Wop, Vol. 1 (1939-1949) [Digipak]

Track List

>If I Didn't Care - The Ink Spots
>I Miss You So - The Cats & the Fiddle
>Till Then - The Mills Brothers
>I Learned a Lesson, I'll Never Forget - Five Red Caps
>Sentimental Reasons - Deek Watson & His Brown Dots
>Play Jackpot - Dusty Brooks & His Four Tones
>Atom and Evil - Golden Gate Quartet
>Just a-Sittin' and a-Rockin' - The Delta Rhythm Boys
>I Know - The Jubalaires - (featuring Andy Kirk & His Orchestra)
>I Sold My Heart to the Junk Man - Basin Street Boys - (featuring Eddie Beal Fourtet)
>I Cover the Waterfront - Cats 'N Jammer Three
>My Baby - The Melody Masters
>I Wonder, I Wonder, I Wonder, Pt. 2 - The Four Aces
>P.S. I Love You - Four Vagabonds
>Ol' Man River - The Ravens
>Don't You Think I Oughta Know - Bill Johnson & His Musical Notes
>I'm All Dressed Up with a Broken Heart - The Five Bars
>Solitude - The Scamps
>After Awhile - The Big Three Trio
>It's Too Soon to Know - The Orioles
>Recess in Heaven - Deep River Boys
>Loch Lomond - The Rockets
>Go Long - The Dixieaires
>It Takes a Long Tall Brown Skinned Gal - Four Blues
>You're Heartless - The Four Tunes
>Kiss and a Rose, A - The Charioteers
>Wrapped Up in a Dream - The Four Knights
>River Stay Away from My Door - The Syncopators
>If It's So Baby - The Robins
>I've Been a Fool - The Shadows

Album Reviews:

Mojo (Publisher) (p.100) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "This volume provides an immaculately selected 30 tracks that actually pre-date the era of street corner groups."

Album Notes

Liner Note Author: Bill Dahl.

Illustrators: Stefan Wriedt; Charlie Horner; R.A. Andreas; Pamela Horner; Victor Pearlin; Billy Vera.

Photographers: Stefan Wriedt; Charlie Horner; R.A. Andreas; Pamela Horner; Victor Pearlin; Billy Vera.

Bear Family's ambitious multi-volume Street Corner Symphonies: The Complete Story of Doo Wop chronicles a time long before rock & roll. It begins in 1939 with the Ink Spots' "If I Didn't Care," a song that contains the DNA of doo wop within Bill Kenny's lovely, keening tenor counterbalanced by the bass of Orville "Hoppy" Jones. This slight but significant shift within vocal harmony groups can be heard throughout the 30 songs on this first volume. Almost all of these sides, all cut between 1939 and 1949, are rooted in big-band pop, not gospel, so the rhythms sway instead of jump. This begins to change in the late '40s, particularly with the Orioles' "It's Too Soon to Know," which has the swing of R&B and gospel harmonies. A few other singles here also point to nascent doo wop but most of the music on Street Corner Symphonies, Vol. 1 should be viewed as prehistory for the main event -- it is instructive, at times fascinating and entertaining, and always well-annotated by Bill Dahl, but it retains a slight musty air, possibly because the bulk of this music is so dreamy it verges on the sleepy. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine


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