Recently, my friends, husbands and I were transformed back to a time and place familiar and comfortable to most Baby Boomers. We sat transfixed and deep in thought as we swayed to the rhythm of the music of a bygone era.
The Doo Wop Concert at the Tilles Center of Performing Arts was packed. The Drifters, Shirelles, Duprees, and Bobby Brooks Wilson, son of the renowned Jackie Wilson, captivated the audience who faithfully paid homage to the songs of their youth.
Doo Wop Concerts have a special appeal and popularity to the Baby Boomer generation. The attraction is simple. The 50’s and 60’s are reminiscent of a time when children played outside until the street lights came on, doors were unlocked and a knock signaled a chorus of “come ins” with no one ever bothering to rise from the sofa. Neighbors knew neighbors, cousins lived around the block, friends were family and the “biddies” on the bench stood guard carefully surveying everyone who gained entry to the apartment buildings.
As the Drifters sang and danced their way back into the recesses of our minds, my own thoughts drifted back to a street corner in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, where my brother Greg and his friends Ronnie and Willie harmonized and sang A cappella to the songs of the Temptations, Whispers and of course Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. More than 50 years later, many if not most of these acts, although several iterations later, are still performing today.
Doo Wop Groups will forever find a home in the hearts and minds of most Baby Boomers. Playing to sold out crowds, performers such as Franki Valli, Carole King, who penned several of Motown’s hits as well as her own, the Temptations, Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, and the Four Tops are just some of the talent whose songs can be recalled in an instant by many of my generation. The joy and exuberance of these performers many who are singing and dancing through their 7th and 8th decades of life is palpable. The only emotions more palpable than theirs were that of the audience who could hardly be contained by this genre of music that catapulted them back to their days of yore.
If you have a favorite group or memory you’d like to share, please comment in the reply section below, I’d love to hear all about it.