Doo-wop facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
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
Regional scenes
New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Cincinnati
Other topics
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.

It has had a revival recently as Meghan Trainor usually makes songs with in the genre.

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Doo-wop Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.