Monday, May 23, 2011

The Capris

I heard Tears In My Eyes today, a song by The Capris, on AOL Doo-Wop radio.

It’s fascinating, doo-wop radio, what passes for doo-wop – which of course raises the question: what should pass for doo-wop?

They play Jackie Wilson for example, and early Miracles, and late Platters. Now The Platters, it’s a question. The Great Pretender, for example, or Only You or Smoke Gets In Your Eyes. Doo-wop? I wouldn’t think so, but they live in the same universe, so maybe we can give them that. But With This Ring? Late 60s soul and not even close.

So what are the requirements? Are nonsense syllables necessary? Harmony? Attitude? Get A Job by The Silhouettes – that’s doo-wop. But what about Silhoutttes by The Rays? Come Go With Me by The Del Vikings? What about The Fleetwoods?

And the ultimate question: Does it matter? [Answer: Of course it matters.]

And so The Capris. The song I heard today wasn’t a hit as far as I know. The group actually had four hits on the charts and the Tears song wasn’t one of them. You decide whether they were doo-wop…

The Capris:

There’s A Moon Out Tonight – A weather report? Interesting. If you want to sing about romance, sing about stars, or about the moon, or about the moon and the stars, and you’ve got it. Easy. By the time this song came out in late 1960 the sound was already somewhat antiquated; it was part of what has since been recognized as a doo-wop revival. The song is in ¾ time, the singer is just slightly off key, the attitude is just a bit lethargic, and the words are just a bit silly. But still, with the right partner I’d dance to it in a heartbeat. From the winter of 1961.

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