Liner Note Author: Bill Dahl.
Illustrators: Stefan Wriedt; Charlie Horner; R.A. Andreas; Pamela Horner; Victor Pearlin; Billy Vera.
For the seventh volume of their doo wop history Street Corner Symphonies, Bear Family recaps the year 1955, which is when the sound really started to take off. Much of this is due to the groups getting wilder, looser, funnier, embracing sharply swinging rhythms and nonsense words, turning into a code of its own. Surely, there was still a lot of soft, dreamy harmonizing -- doo wop never would lose that -- but many of the breakneck classics of the genre came out this year: Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers' "Why Do Fools Fall in Love," the Cadillacs' "Speedoo," the El Dorados' "At My Front Door," the Robins' "Smokey Joe's Café." Among these are plenty of groups well renowned by genre aficionados -- the Diablos, the Wrens, the Spiders, the Jacks -- and gorgeous slow-dance standards like the Platters' "Only You," all of which highlight just how splendid this year was. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine