Doo-wop facts for kids
|Stylistic origins||Rhythm and blues, gospel, swing|
|Cultural origins||1940s–early 1960s, United States|
|Typical instruments||Double bass - Electric guitar - Saxophone - Drums - Piano - Harmony vocals|
|Mainstream popularity||Significant from 1950s to early 1960s|
|Derivative forms||Beach music, beat, soul, rock and roll|
|New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Cincinnati|
|50s chord progression|
Doo-wop is a genre of music that was developed in African-American communities in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Baltimore, Newark, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Detroit, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles. It started in the 1940s. Doo-wop achieved mainstream popularity in the 1950s and early 1960s. Built upon vocal harmony, doo-wop was one of the most mainstream, pop-oriented R&B styles of the time. Singer Bill Kenny (1914–1978) is often called the "Godfather of Doo-wop". He introduced the "top and bottom" format which featured a high tenor singing the lead and a bass singer reciting the lyrics in the middle of the song. Doo-wop features vocal group harmony, nonsense syllables, a simple beat, sometimes little or no instrumentation, and simple music and lyrics.
The first record to use the syllables "doo-wop" was the 1955 hit "When You Dance" by the Turbans. The term "doo-wop" first appeared in print in 1961. During the late 1950s many Italian-American groups added to the doo-wop scene. The peak of doo-wop was in 1961. Doo-wop's influence continued in soul, pop, and rock groups of the 1960s. At various times in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, the genre has seen revivals. Doo-wop was a precursor to many of the afro-American musical styles seen today. An evolution of jazz and blues, doo-wop also influenced many of the major Rock and Roll groups that defined the later decades of the 20th century. Doo-wop is iconic for it’s swing-like beats and using the off-beat to keep time. Doo-wop laid the foundation for many musical innovations, for example, R&B.
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