13 December 2009


Welcome to my blog which features archived posts from deleted Yahoo group Steve's Kewl / Kewl Steve's Doo Wop Shop (KSDW) plus new entries about doo wop and other music. No downloads - only verbiage plus the occasional youtube clip.

The archived posts are mostly between myself - Tony, aka Pismotality - and Clarke Davis, now a DJ on rock-it radio. They first appeared on the KSDW messageboard in September 2000. We compare our first experience of doo wop (1970s Scotland for me; 1950s America for the more fortunate Clarke) and try to work out why the best examples of the genre (inlcuding Golden Teardrops, Gloria and In the Still of the Night) remain so affecting.

To read the basic version of the KSDW archive (original text only), click here.

To read the enhanced version (commentary, pictures and links) click here . They are headed "Doo Wop Dialog[ue]" (US/UK spelling) to emphasise that we are sharing quite different experiences of this music.

Some posts may be missing from the sequence. If readers have access to other messages, please contact me by clicking on profile. One glaring omission is Clarke's detailed description of the Cadillacs' recording of Gloria; I only have the final few lines.

Although new blog entries cover more than doo wop they still take their cue from the Doo Wop Shop posts: one of the topics Clarke and I discussed was how our tastes were formed and this is something I have been exploring further - in fact, if the newer entries on this blog had a strapline, it could be: Rummaging Through the Record Shop of Memory.

It's a voyage of adventure - for me, anyway. If you're a doo wop lover, you may find something to interest you. I'm an enthusiast rather than an expert, although I know where to point you should the need arise, such as Unca Marvy's (Marv Goldberg's) peerless R&B Notebooks, here, or Lex Jansen's online version of Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock and Soul, an inspiration for attempting to write about something as elusive as the experience of listening to a doo wop record. Read on, and all will be revealed (or not) about the true meaning of pismotality. That's a definite vague promise.

A word about Rock-It Radio: its archive features recent shows by Clarke Davis and others including doo wop authority Steve Propes; its deejays play a range of oldies but the emphasis is on doo wop and R&B. Clarke's programme, The Big Show, is currently exploring the forgotten hits of 1963, including lots of pop which never made it to the UK. You can download the most recent eighteen Rock-It programmes as lowish-fi but perfectly listenable MP3s (helps maintain the illusion you're listening on an AM radio). You can also buy merchandise including CDs of broadcasts from the 50s etc at the Launching Pad.

The Doo Wop Shop morphed into The Doowop Cafe, still active today (more detailed history here). They have a chatroom, a messageboard and a radio station plus a store with lots of fun merchandise, not to mention many great links. Click on "stories and articles" on the main page for Billy Vera's doo wop pieces.

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