Fairfax, VA. (Top40 Charts/ Time Life Music) - Time Life Music
will celebrate the many facets of doo wop with It All Started With Doo Wop, a nine-CD and one DVD box set, which will be presented in a half hour infomercial hosted by Dion, whose still vital career now spans six decades.
The collection features such chart-topping and memorable tracks as "Yakety Yak" by The Coasters, "There Goes My Baby" "Up on the Roof," and "On Broadway" from The Drifters, "The Great Pretender" by The Platters, "Dedicated to the One I Love," "Soldier Boy," and "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" from The Shirelles, "The ABCs of Love" and "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" by Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, "Goin' Out of my Head" and "Tears on My Pillow" from Little Anthony and the Imperials, "In the Still of the Nite" by The Five Satins, "Long Lonely Nights" by Lee Andrews and The Hearts, "Life Is But a Dream" and "A Sunday Kind of Love" from The Harptones, "Heart and Soul" by The Cleftones, and "Sincerely" byThe Moonglows. Also included are several tracks from Dion, both with the Belmonts and as a solo artist, including "A Teenager in Love," "Where Or When," "The Wanderer," "That's My Desire," "I Wonder Why, and "Runaround Sue."
"What hooked me when Time Life approached me to host this show was that every song on the collection brought back a particular memory for me," said Dion. "Personally, doo wop captures my own youthful restlessness and the energy of a heart searching for meaning, and I know that the timeless music on these CDs has the power to touch audiences of all ages."
Before rap and hip hop, before grunge, even before rock and roll, the music that teenagers in the 1950s and early 1960s called their own came from the street corners and building stoops in neighborhoods like the Bronx, Harlem, Philadelphia, and Passaic, New Jersey. The distinctive sound of doo wop - founded in three and four part harmony and, for the most part, sweetly sentimental - has left an indelible imprint on American pop culture. From the boy bands of the 90s to the Tony Award-winning musical Jersey Boys, doo wop's influence continues to be felt decades after it won its first fans.
In addition to the nine CDs containing 147 songs, the box set includes the DVD, Doo Wop Legends Live, which features more than an hour of classic performances from artists such as The Platters, Gene Chandler, The Dell-Vikings, Johnny Maestro and Brooklyn Bridge, and The Penguins, performing such well known tunes as "Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine,)" "16 Candles," "Duke of Earl," and "Come Go With Me." Liner notes by Billy Vera capture the history of the doo wop era from the perspective of a musician whose own style continues to carry the spirit of the music forward.
Doo wop was a style unhampered by racial or gender bias. As Billy Vera says in his liner notes, the year 1955 was "the year when the great American melting pot came to fruition." There were Harlem-based bands such as The Drifters and the Cadillacs, comprised of teenage boys who figured that the sweet harmonics of their band would help them attract girls. Of course, girl groups such as the Shirelles and the Chiffons were on the charts as well. As doo wop's appeal expanded to reach a wider audience, groups such as Jay and the Americans, the 4 Seasons and Dion and the Belmonts emerged to carry the torch. As the fifties morphed into the sixties, the sound of doo wop also morphed into the sort of R&B and soul that would propel Motown artists such as The Supremes, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and The Temptations to the top of the charts. It All Started With Doo Wop features tracks from all of these artists and more on its nine CDs.
Recorded in 1999 for PBS, the DVD Doo Wop Legends Live is hosted by Jerry Butler and features performances from 13 seminal doo wop artists and groups, including Gene Chandler, The Jive Five, Jimmy Beaumont and the Skyliners, the Dell-Vikings and The Marcels. Also featured are interviews with Gene Chandler and the Dell-Vikings' Norman Wright.
It All Started with Doo Wop is not available in stores. It will be available online at www.timelife.com/doowop or by calling 800-846-3543.