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Encyclopedia of Rhythm and Blues and Doo-Wop Vocal Groups Paperback – December 10, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Scarecrow Press (December 10, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081084592X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810845923
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #977,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

After defining his parameters for inclusion in a five-page introduction, devotee Rosalsky (long a member of United in Group Harmony Association) gets down to business in this big, bountiful book--an obvious paean to the subject matter. He notes that his goal "was to gather historical data addressing rhythm and blues and doo-wop vocal groups from every resource available." Proceeding alphabetically, Rosalsky covers not only the groups but also individual members' stints with other groups. He also cites each group's geographical roots, provides brief background information, and lists available discographical information (in chronological order of output). Since R&B and doo wop have played such a pivotal role in the development of American rock and pop music, the research here goes a long way toward establishing the "genealogy" of the genres. No group is too obscure for inclusion, with well-knowns like the Five Satins and the Crests competing for space with the Altairs and the Goldentones. There's likely more information than the average "oldies"-radio listener will want, although disk jockeys and collectors of such music will find this painstaking research extremely worthwhile. This is not essential for most public libraries, but academic libraries should weigh its purchase seriously, and music libraries whose scope includes popular music should consider it essential.
-David M. Turkalo, Suffolk Univ. Law Sch., Lib., Boston
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

More than 1,000 vocal groups are documented here, from the Academics to the Zodiacs. Entries provide names of group members, a brief history, and a discography. An appendix lists performers and their groups.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Paul Tognetti TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 9, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As someone who has been collecting records for over thirty years, I have compiled a number of other outstanding reference books on this subject over the years. As such, I found this book to be a bit disappointing in that I did not find as much new information that I had hoped for. However, if you do not have such titles as "Big Al Pavlows R & B Book" or Griblin/Schiffs "Complete Book of Doo-Wop" then this would be a very worthwhile investment. Would have liked to have seen more information on what these folks are doing today. This was a huge undertaking to say the least. The format was disappointing to me at first but the more I delved into this volume, the more I enjoyed it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Carl Tancredi on August 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
I believe the reviews of Paul Tognetti, Mangologist, and the Library Journal missed the primary purpose of the book and its intrinsic value. As Rosalsky stated, "...to provide R & B vocal group collectors, collectors of music reference material, disc jockeys, and other music enthusiasts with information concerning the performers in R & B vocal groups,..."

It is Rosalsky's 78 page Appendix (p. 623 - 701) that is the book's major strength. As the back of the book stated, "One of the first books to approach this subject from a 'personnel standpoint,'..." To date, no other source attempts to catalog a veritable who's who of R & B vocal group personnel in alphabetical order and the groups they sang with. That's why I bought the book.

Thumbing through the first 621 pages shows the depth of the subject. As Rosalsky stated, ",...this book...presents, in one volume, the group's place of origin, brief biography, and...their discography (when available)." Actually, I would describe the "biographies" as mere thumbnail sketches. I gave this book 3 stars. Why not more? Because I discovered errors in some discographies and biographies. The bottom line. I applaud Rosalsky for his research and dedication to the music. His book is a welcome addition to my library. I use Rosalsky's book for scholarly, academic reference and research.

It is not a book that I would recommend for first timers. To the generalist, the beginner, the first timer "testing the waters" into the world of rhythm 'n' blues vocal groups' literature, may I recommend Jay Warner's Da Capo American Singing Groups: A History 1940 - 1990. Why? Warner separates vocal groups by decade making it easier for the first timer to transition. His biographies are somewhat longer and more detailed. Both authors use similar formats - biography accompanied with the group's discography. Rosalsky's book is for the serious collectors and professionals.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mangologist on July 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
A lot of excellent information, but too many little known, obscure groups not listed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By donbodadonbo on March 16, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like the style in which this book is written. It's easy to read, has lots of entries, & the writing is clear. All of the entries follow the same format: personnel, notes, & discography. Citations are listed with every entry, to let the reader know the sources for the information, an admirable feature. I like the fact that Mr. Rosalsky occasionally wanders off the beaten path, for example, on p. 396, he has a listing for the Miller Sisters. Not a whole lot of info is included, but this group is not covered, nor even mentioned, in 99% of the R&B books out there. He lists 20 records by the Millers, a high percentage of their output (he missed two on Tri-Boro, & two on GMC). He indicates that the Millers were on Hull 736 (true, but it was issued as by "Leo Price"). He misses a whole bunch of other back-up work, some credited on the label (like on J.A. DeCanio, Q, & Miller High Figh [not the two he mentions on this label]), some not credited (like Bobby Hendricks & also the Avons). Other factual errors include (p. 69) his discussion of "Arlene & Her Girlfriends" (on Old Town), who he claims "were not Arlene Smith & the Chantels but imitators." Firstly, it was not "Arlene & Her Girlfriends", it was "Erlene & Her Girlfriends", a big difference when making that particular comparison. And when I listen to Erlene's four songs, I can't hear any attempt to sound like the Chantels, so I wouldn't think of calling them "imitators." Overall a good, informative book, but it has errors.
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