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Doo-Wop Music of the 1950s and 60s

Updated on April 12, 2017

Doo-Wop Music

Many remember listening to their parents' old "Dick Clark" type of albums that featured the greatest hits of the 1950s. These albums had all of the original artists recording their top hits of that decade. For some reason, I just couldn't get enough of that style of music, especially that old "Doo-wop" sound. On this page, I have attempted to conglomerate at least a snippet of videos and background information from the Doo-wop sound of the 1950s and early 1960s.

Public domain clip art courtesy Clker/OCAL

Quick Doo-wop Query

Are you a Doo-wop music fan?

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Background of Doo-wop Music

Doo-wop is a form of rhythm & blues music that formed in large U.S. cities (mostly in the Midwest and Northeast) back in the 1940s. The tag "doo-wop" is taken from the sounds made by the group (usually three, four, or five members) as they supplied the harmonic background for the group's lead singer.

These group harmonic sounds of doo-wop music became prominent in the U.S. in the mid 1950s, and continued to be popular until the English invasion of the 1960s. The doo-wop sound dominated the pop music charts during that time period, but when bands such as the Beatles burst on to the music scene in 1964, doo-wop was quickly overshadowed by the "British Invasion".

The doo-wop style of music has made it's influence felt throughout the decades, with various bands sampling the genre. Artists such as The Beach Boys, The Ramones, Billy Joel, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers have all used doo-wop style harmonies in their recordings. So-called "revival" concerts and reunion tours have kept doo-wop in the public eye, and has exposed the musical harmonies to a whole new group of adoring fans.

'At The Hop' by Danny & The Juniors - Reached #1 on the U.S. charts in 1958

'Chantilly Lace' by The Big Bopper - Reached #6 on the U.S. charts in 1958

'Duke of Earl' by Gene Chandler - Reached #1 on the U.S. charts in 1962

'Get A Job' by The Silhouettes - Reached #1 on the U.S. charts in 1958

'The Great Pretender' by The Platters - Reached #1 on the U.S. charts in 1956

'In the Still of the Night' by The Five Satins - Reached #3 on the U.S. charts in 1956

'Little Darlin' by The Diamonds - Reached #2 on the U.S. charts in 1957

'Runaround Sue' by Dion and the Belmonts - Reached #1 on the U.S. charts in 1961

'Sixteen Candles' by The Crests - Reached #2 on the U.S. charts in 1958

'The Wanderer' by Dion and the Belmonts - Reached #2 on the U.S. charts in 1962

Doo-wop Vids Poll

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Thoughts on this Page? - Feel free to comment here. Thanks for visiting!

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    • profile image

      Steve Flowers 3 years ago

      The purity of this music makes it. The lyrics are simple but tell a story. You actually hear four part harmony! You want to sing along because you understand.

    • Facleu profile image

      Facundo 3 years ago

      Great lens!

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 4 years ago from UK

      I still love the music although I have added different genres to my list of music I listen to. I did have difficulty picking a favourite from the examples that you posted, I did pick one but it could equally have been several of them.

    • profile image

      Lynn Klobuchar 4 years ago

      Great music--had a beat--you could dance to it!! :-)

    • happy-birthday profile image

      Birthday Wishes 4 years ago from Here

      So many beautiful songs... Thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful lens!!!

    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 4 years ago from Diamondhead

      I had almost forgotten about a few of those old songs. Thanks for sharing. all this information.

    • profile image

      BarbsSpot 4 years ago

      @Lensmaster...An all-Doo-Wopper all the time! These are all in my collection. Great fun Lens!

    • Eric Mayo profile image

      Eric Mayo 4 years ago

      I love Doo-wop...real voices, not studio magic.

    • katrinakaifg profile image

      katrinakaifg 5 years ago

      good lens!

    • kabbalah lm profile image

      kabbalah lm 5 years ago

      These guys could sing, unlike the synthesized garbage today

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I love the nostalgia of the 50s and 60s. Thank you for this lens! And thank you for stopping by my lens.

    • ShariBerry profile image

      Sharon Berry 5 years ago from Michigan

      I grew up dancing to these songs at the sock hops we use to have in the gym. Ahh, the good ole days.

    • profile image

      myspace9 5 years ago

      I love old songs rather than new ones. Nice lens. have a nice day.

    • bofirebear profile image

      bofirebear 5 years ago

      I grew up listening to this music.

    • LionElectric profile image

      LionElectric 5 years ago

      I like "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?"

    • Phillyfreeze profile image

      Ronald Tucker 5 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

      "Because i'm the Duke of Earl"!...Gene Chandler's song was a hit then and now!...very nostalgic lens.

    • PennyHowe profile image

      PennyHowe 5 years ago

      Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Great idea for a lens. Thanks.

    • Warren Whitlock profile image

      Warren Whitlock 6 years ago from Vegas

      it's never been the same since the night the music died

    • nyclittleitaly profile image

      nyclittleitaly 6 years ago

      Fantastic lens. I have a lens that I published to get Johnny Maestro is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It is hard to believe that he has not been elected yet.

    • Hrsshoe profile image

      Hrsshoe 6 years ago

      Nice lens

    • hughgrissettsr lm profile image

      hughgrissettsr lm 6 years ago

      great lens! lots of great song choices! one of my favorite genres!

    • profile image

      PhillipConte 6 years ago

      Great lens. I remember watching the big bopper on American Bandstand. I don't know if it was the same one because so many artist did repeat visits.

    • Jerryjg62 LM profile image

      Jerryjg62 LM 6 years ago

      Back in the 70's WCBS FM in New York would have a "Top 500 Countdown" on Thanksgiving weekend where people would send in their votes for the top all time songs and every single year that I can remember "In the Still of the Night" by the Five Satins would finish #!. "Earth Angel" by the Penguins would finish #2.

      Oldies from the 50's and 60's are definitely my music even though I was born in 62. ;-)

    • jvsper63 profile image

      jvsper63 6 years ago

      Good music ,thanks for sharing the doo wop music!!! Nice lens!!

    • GetFactsnotHype profile image

      GetFactsnotHype 6 years ago

      I like Doo Wop, but then again I like lots of genres of music. Glad to see this page, because you don't see too many people writing about this kind of stuff - let's keep it alive. If you like blues I just published a page on blues-music-and-musicians

    • Greenwickpress profile image

      Greenwickpress 7 years ago

      Fabulous music, thanks for making this. I love doo-wop because it is energetic without going overboard (unlike modern rock and roll.)

    • Fox Music profile image

      Fox Music 7 years ago

      Thanks for this Great Lens on Doo Wop - enjoyed the videos!!

    • Sami4u LM profile image

      Sami4u LM 7 years ago


      A sprinkling of Angel Dust for Christmas :)

    • profile image

      charity7 7 years ago

      That had the be the best era of music. I was too young to remember the 50s, but I do remember the early 60s with Dion and the Belmonts. I still listen to that music from time to time. One thing I can say, it always puts me in a happy mood.

    • profile image

      Joan4 7 years ago

      I will forever be thankful that my teen years were filled with Doo-Wop! We still listen to it every day!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I love Doo-Wop Music so I thoroughly enjoyed this visit especially hearing Duke of Earl which is one of my favorites. Lensrolled to my lens about Little Anthony and the Imperials

    • Linda Pogue profile image

      Linda Pogue 7 years ago from Missouri

      Great lens! I loved the Platters, and still enjoy their music.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Thanks for a great lens! I love some of the doo-wop and can't stand some of it... LOL... it's a love-hate relationship. Love In the Still of the Night though... classic

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Great memories, my aunt would often dance with me to these songs. She taught me to love them.

    • profile image

      scar4 7 years ago

      old music and great lens. It brought me back to the old times:)

    • CherylK profile image

      Cheryl Kohan 7 years ago from Minnesota

      It was great listening to all of these songs but there's absolutely no question in my mind...The Great Pretender is my favorite. I LOVE this page!

    • eccles1 profile image

      eccles1 7 years ago

      ..And when I find myself fallin' for some girl I hop right into that car of mine and ride around the world Yeah 'cause I'm a wanderer yeah a wanderer I roam around around around...Dion

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Well chosen videos ~ now I'll be doo-wopping all night long!

    • CCGAL profile image

      CCGAL 7 years ago

      This is a great collection and some wonderful memories. Great lens!

    • oldiesmusicnut profile image

      oldiesmusicnut 7 years ago

      Wow, this brings back so many memories. I was just a kid in the 50s, 8 years old when Rock Around The Clock by Bill Haley and His Comets hit the charts. The late 50s and early 60s were a fabulous time for music. You did a great job on this lens!

    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 7 years ago from London's another world. As a child of the Beatles, I missed this. My parents were jazz fans so I didn't have any of this stuff at home. I have always loved the Beach Boys, and can see where that fits in, but the other stuff I have found as an adult, like Sam and Dave, must come from another route? The music is so redolent of something I can't quite put my finger on it's quite wonderful. Great lens, and thanks for the vids.