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Doo Wop: The Music, the Times, the Era Paperback – March 2, 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When it comes to doo wop, a pop music style Morrow describes as vocal harmony + rock 'n' roll, the legendary DJ leaves no stone unturned as he traces the music back to its roots in early African-American slave songs. From there, he follows doo wop from its birth and its heyday in the '50s to its decline in the late '60s. As Morrow outlines the specific era of doo wop, he also gives sidebars on the groups—from superstars like the Platters to one-hit wonders like the Chords—that made it big during those years. As would be expected from a man who made his living behind the mike, Morrow displays a comfortable, conversational writing style that works well in this picture-heavy format (e.g., he writes of the romantic appeal of drive-ins: Funny how their popularity coincided with the Baby Boom, huh?). While the music history is the driving force behind this coffee-table tome, it's the cultural asides on topics as diverse as the era's people (Marilyn Monroe, Edward R. Murrow), places (diners, the Automat), sports (Jackie Robinson), politics (the red scare, JFK), kitsch (T-Birds, TV dinners) and entertainment (I Love Lucy, The Wild Ones) that will take readers back to America's golden age. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Bruce Morrow, a.k.a. "Cousin Brucie" has worked in the New York radio industry since the late fifties and had the distinction of introducing the Beatles during their historic Shea Stadium concert. He also appeared in the motion picture Dirty Dancing and his autobiography, Cousin Brucie: My Life in Rock 'N' Roll Radio, was a best seller.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling; Reprint edition (March 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402775113
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402775116
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 7.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,748,585 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Steve Ramm TOP 100 REVIEWER on November 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
With the words "DOO WOP" in huge letters on the front and throughout the book, the publisher leads you to believe that this is a book celebrating what is better known as "Vocal Group Harmony". But it's not! The Beach Boys may harmonize but their records were not "Do Wop". Brenda Lee - Doo wop? `Fraid not.

But what the book IS a celebration of the music and styles and pop culture of the ;ate 1950s to about 1963 when the British Invasion arrived and - as that it succeeds! Bruce Morrow was legendary on New York's WABC but he didn't just play Doo Wop. In fact the only 100% doo wop you would hear when he was on WCBS in the 1990s was on another show on the station: "Don K. Reed's Doo Wop Shop".

But teaming with "promoter" T. J. Lubinski - the guy who started the first PBS beg-a-thon oldies show, "Doo Wop 50" and has produced umpteen more in other pop music genres since then - as "co-author" Morrow has put together great piece of "eye candy", thanks to the color resolution of this book from Sterling. "Cousin Brucie" reminisces throughout, but your be drawn to the great photos and images and bring back your own memories. This is not a $100. coffee table book (but it's heavy enough to use for one!). It's moderately priced and a fun thing to look through. It's approaching Christmas time and I can't think of a neater gift to give to someone who graduated high school between 1958 and 1965. Think of it as one of those PBS oldies shows for your eyes - where the vocal groups - and boy and girl singers still had their hair!

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love Doo Wop music and I try to read everything I can about the music and the people who made it so popular. This book is fantastic-it tells it all! Cousin Brucie Morrow knows of what he speaks and writes! He takes you on a journey of doo wop's roots and lets you see where this beautiful music came from! The photographs are awesome! My particular favorite group is The Crests,and there is a full page photo of them in this book! If you love this music,this book should be in your library!
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Format: Hardcover
BOMB! How did I end up with this turkey? I thought the cover looked pretty cool, the size, number of pages and even the weight suggested a coffee-table book that might be the last word on this musical genre. There were even several five-star reviews. Unfortunately it wasn't to be, because:
* The text really is very superficial. Nothing new here and if you are familiar with the history of doo wop and rock 'n roll you'll probably have read all these clichés before.
* Dozens of groups are mentioned and I would have thought a possible strength of the book like this would have been a useful discography but there isn't one and amazingly not even an index.
* I doubt very much that Cousin Brucie had anything to do with the book other than accepting a fee for his celebrity endorsement. Ace DJ that he was the real author is Rich Maloof.
* The layout of the pages is particularly bland. As a publication designer I could see that, potentially, the book could look visually exciting but the pages are a crude mix of color panels for text and decoration, loads of different headline types and a too big text type, this suggests to me that the text was enlarged to pad out the number of pages. Every photo in the book is the usual boring shot from record company PR departments mixed in with record covers, music graphics and news photos. With all this stock imagery a grid would have given all the pages a coherent look.
* The editorial seems very wide ranging. Chapter one starts on the west coast of Africa and includes Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra and other stars of the Forties. Later chapters include Peter, Paul and Mary, Mamas and the Papas, Bob Dylan and the Beatles.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is full of inaccuracies. The Castelles (black group) are discussed in one section of the book referencing the early 50's groups but a picture of the Castelles (white group) from the 60's is shown. Also many of the groups that had their beginnings in the 50's are accompanied with pictures of their later 60's albums. The book is simplistic and not for the hard core collector or 50's R&B Group Harmony aficianado. Cousin Brucie is using his name to sell a book that he never put any sweat into. Very sloppy.
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Format: Hardcover
In his new book, Cousin Brucie, who has escorted America through so much music history, gives an exciting overview of the American music industry during the Doo Wop period. He is such an important part of that history. Nobody has seen more of Doo Wop nor knows the topic better than he. In this book he helps me to relive the joy and fun of that period of time. It's like one of his "walks down memory lane" that he surely has broadcasted numerous times during all these years as the top Radio personality in the country. These wonderful memories are a gift from the Cousin that I will always cherish.
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"Cousin Brucie" Morrow's book "Doo Wop: The Music, The Times, The Era" is a treasure trove filled with photos and history that truly evoke an extraordinary time in our lives. He had his hand on the musical pulse of that period like no other and he shares it with the reader with extraordinary ease and depth. This is one of those books that can be read and reread, started at the beginning, or just picked up anywhere in the middle because there are fabulous photos, posters, magazine and comic book covers, etc. on every page. Even the graphics and choice of type are spot on! The book is so much more than I expected. I bought it knowing I loved the music and am thrilled that it offers so much more in terms of where it all came from and its place in our world. I love this book!
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