Due to the popularity of T.J. Lubinsky's "American Soundtrack" series on PBS there has been renewed interest in the music known as"doo wop". As an avid collector of 45's I became interested in the genre in the late 1980's. Collectables Records had reissued hundreds and hundreds of doo wop records. There was just one problem. There were simply no reference books available to help me distinguish the great stuff from the mediocre or bad. In 1992, the original incarnation of this book entitled "Doo Wop: The Forgotten Third of Rock and Roll" was issued. It was a quite literally a godsend. It was very apparent that the authors loved their subject matter and I referred to this book constantly.
In 2000, Dr. Anthony Gribin and Dr. Matthew Schiff released the updated version of their book. Now entitled "The Complete Book of Doo-Wop", this expanded version includes a complete "songography" of just about every doo-wop 45 rpm record ever made. The list is arranged alphabetically by artist and includes song title (both A & B sides), year of issue and record label and number. All these years later I still find myself referring to this on a regular basis. But the most useful portion of the book for me is the list of the "Best 1000 Doo-Wop Songs". This list is what really helps one seperate the wheat from the chaff. And while one may quibble about individual entries on that list, I have found it to be remarkably accurate over the years. It is what really helped turn me on to the music of artists like The Harptones, The Cardinals and The Ravens to name just to name a few. One of my favorite features in the updated version of the book is a list of "100 Recommended Pre-Doo-Wop Recordings . On this list you will find music by such artists as TheFour Vagabonds, The Deep River Boys and The Boswell Sisters. This is all great stuff and definitely worth a listen. Finally, there are dozens of wonderful photographs, a doo-wop aptitude test, doo-wop crossword puzzles and so much more. For any collector of American popular music this book should be an essential part of your library. Very highly recommended.
What did you think of this review?
Fun to Read
About the reviewer
Paul Tognetti (drifter51)
I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
Consider the Source
Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.
For those who were teen-agers in the 1950s and the early part of the 1960s, doo-wop music conjures up memories of hanging out with friends at the malt shop, dances at the hop, and first romances. This book will transport readers back to those nostalgic times and make them want to scan the radio in hopes of hearing Dion & the Belmonts, the Chiffons or Little Anthony & the Imperials.
The Complete Book of Doo-Wop provides an extensive history of doo-wop from 1950 through the early 1970s and gives definitions and illustrations of the music that falls between rhythm and blues and rock 'n' roll. It also features 150 photos, 64 sheet-music covers and prices for 1,000 top doo-wop records.
Collectors and enthusiasts, vocal harmony fans, music historians and music fans will also discover plenty of fun facts, stories and quizzes on doo-wop songs and groups.
The authors, who also wrote Doo-Wop, the Forgotten Third of Rock 'n' Roll, the only in-depth doo-wop book available, are authorities on the subject.
-Features 150 photos of top doo-wop groups, along with more than 60 sheet-music covers. -Includes a pricing appendix for 1,000 of the most popular songs. -The definitive guide to an increasingly popular realm of music.