Doo Wop Gold: Doo Wop 50, Vol. 2
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Join Jerry Butler and some of history's greatest doo wop performers from the 50s and 60s as they celebrate five decades of vocal magic. Perfor4med at the Benedun Center downtown Pittsburg. : The Cadillacs, Golden Group Memories, The Chantels, Arlene Smith with the Chantels, Harvey and the Moonglows, Jerry Butler, The Flamingos, The Harptones and more.
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I first saw some excerpts of this concert on PBS during a fund drive, and was delighted to find it available on DVD now. I was unprepared for the fantastic sound and visual quality of the DVD compared to what I'd seen on PBS. It truly leaps out of your stereo speakers! Whatever these well-seasoned performers may have lost in vocal youth over the years is well-compensated by the improved sound quality over those old scratchy 45's!
Unlike your typical rock concerts of today, this is a concert where the performers are accessible and immediate. And, of course, most of the audience was around for these songs when they were issued, so they are well-mannered and allow us to hear the performers.
There is an overwhelming feeling of love and good vibrations coming from the audience and performers alike. This is not the wild orgasmic devotion of kids at a modern rock concert, but a mellow and enthusiastic appreciation. The audience often joins the performers when prompted in clapping, singing, etc.
Jerry Butler is an excellent MC for the performers, all of who gave their best for these performances. Naturally, with the passage of so many years, some of the original singers aren't here. I found it most noticeable with the Platters, where Herb Reed did an excellent job, but he ain't Tony Williams. Gene Chandler's 'Duke of Earl' performance is awesome. So many moments were touching here, but my favorite Harvey Fuqua's performance with the Moonglows of the 'Ten Commandments of Love'. Mr. Fuqua's voice belies the fact that he's in his seventies, and his weather-worn face and strong voice combined with the beautiful backup of the Moonglows takes this performance into the sublime. It was obvious the audience felt the same.
So many young people have no idea of this fairly brief period in the fifties and early sixties. I showed this DVD to my thirteen year old niece and she was wiped out by the music. It's good-time music in a way that doesn't exist any more, maybe never will again.
So, ignore the expanded waistlines and gray hair, and be transported back to a time that seems so recent, yet so far, far away from today's music. This DVD is a keeper, and a great demo for the medium.