Street Corner Soul

The story of doo wop, charting the rise, fall and rise again of the music that first came together on the street corners of New York City. The series considers whether doo wop, as the first black street music to go mainstream, was really a precursor to hip hop and rap. It was the DIY music of young America and for people who couldn't afford instruments, as all they needed was a talent for singing in harmony.

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Episodes

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012007101120120722

How doo-wop began with the emergence of vocal harmony groups such as The Ink Spots.

Another chance to hear legendary singer Ronnie Spector explore the rise, fall and enduring influence of doo wop.

Like rap in the 1980s, doo wop was once the DIY music of young America. For people who couldn't afford instruments, all that was needed was a talent for singing in harmony.

With the help of the musicians, the producers and the hustlers who made it happen; this series charts the rise, fall, and rise again, of the music. It also considers whether doo wop, as the first black street music to go mainstream, was a precursor to hip hop and rap.

The first programme, Opening Notes, looks at how the success of gospel groups in the late 1940s inspired a new style of close harmony rhythm and blues. And before long, vocal groups like The Swallows, The Ravens and The Orioles were flying high in the charts.

Contributors include: Leonard Puzey of The Ravens, Heman Denby of The Swallows, Ira Tucker of The Dixie Hummingbirds, Deborah Chessler, composer of It's Too Soon To Know by The Orioles, writers Todd Baptista and Marv Goldberg.

The documentary was first broadcast on Radio 2 in 2007.

012007101120080826
20120722 (R2)

The beginnings of doo wop, with the emergence of vocal harmony groups such as The Ink Spots, The Dixie Hummingbirds and The Mills Brothers, along with the gospel of The Soul Stirrers, The Pilgrim Travellers and The Drinkard Singers.

The beginnings of doo-wop, with the emergence of vocal harmony groups such as The Ink Spots, The Dixie Hummingbirds and The Mills Brothers.

02Flying High2007101820120812

With the success of the Ravens and the Orioles, vocal groups became familiar in the charts

Another chance to hear legendary singer Ronnie Spector explore the rise, fall and enduring influence of doo wop.

In episode two, with the success of The Ravens and The Orioles, vocal groups became familiar names in the charts.

03Sh-Boom!2007102520120819

As doo-wop took root, the mainstream music industry moved in for a slice of the action.

Another chance to hear legendary singer Ronnie Spector take a look at the rise, fall and influence of doo wop.

By the mid-1950s, hundreds of vocal group records were being released each week and acts like The Penguins, The Five Satins, The Cadillacs and The Moonglows became familiar names in the charts.

As doo wop took root in cities like New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and LA; the mainstream music industry moved in for a slice of the action.

Tracks featured in this episode include The Moonglows' Sincerely, The Cadillacs' Speedo, The Penguins' Earth Angel, The Five Satins' In The Still Of The Nite, and The Chords' Sh-Boom!

04 LASTThe Price Of Fame2007110120120826

Another chance to hear legendary singer Ronnie Spector looking at the rise, fall and influence of doo wop.

In the fourth and final episode, Ronnie looks at why some successful acts didn't reap the deserved rewards.

An invasion of British acts was about to change the music business forever.