With all the obsession the media makes of the rock era (i.e. the 60s onwards) it's all to easy to forget about the early days of rock and roll. The casual listener may think of Elvis, Chuck, Buddy or Little Richard – important parts of rock and roll history, obviously, but what's often forgotten about are the great vocal harmony groups. Groups like The Ravens, The Flamingos, The Orioles, The Dells, as well as the iconic Drifters and The Platters need to be revered as much as any of the greats in rock and roll history. Without them, the history of rock music would not only be poorer, but much of what came after the fifties (like Motown) would either not exist or at least be very different.
Welcome to episode 80 of See Hear.
Brent Wilson has directed a wonderful new documentary on the history of Doo Wop music, how it changed social history in the US, and how it influenced the singers over the decades after its heyday. The film is called Streetlight Harmonies, and he took the time to talk about the film as well as why doo wop was so important to teenagers of the 50s some of whom grew into social activists in the 60s.
Sadly, neither Tim nor Bernie were available for this discussion, but I was very excited to welcome Peter Merret, host of the PBS-FM doo wop show, The Malt Shop Hop, to help bring some musical context and ask some great questions of Brent. My gratitude to both of these gentlemen for their time and expertise. I loved doing this episode and I hope you'll enjoy listening.
You can find the film at https://vimeo.com/ondemand/streetlightharmonies or iTunes.
If you're in Melbourne, you can tune into The Malt Shop Hop every Wednesday at 11am on 106.7 PBS-FM. Outside of Melbourne, you can tune in via pbsfm.org.au or the PBS app.
This episode marks the 7 year mark of doing See Hear Podcast. We never imagined there'd be enough music related films to discuss when we started in January 2014. Turns out we can't keep up with the new releases. It's great that we have this forum for a monthly discussion about two important parts of our lives – music and movies. On behalf of Tim, Bernie and myself, thanks to everyone who continues to tune in.
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