MUSC 2150 Lecture 5: Listening Quiz 02

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Unit 04
Tom Dooley The Kingston Trio
Page 122
Form: Simple verse-chorus (more info in text)
Time Signature: 12/8, a gently rolling four-beat feel
Instrumentation: Acoustic guitar, banjo, acoustic bass, lead vocal, and two backup vocals
Style: Folk
In 1957 the Kingston Trio emerged from San Francisco's North Beach club scene to reignite the American folk music movement
and bring it successfully into the popular mainstream. Bob Shane, Nick Reynold, and Dave Guard were young musicians just out
of college and were thus not burdened with the left-wing political associations that created problems with older folk singers. In
the 1930s labor unions, aid societies, and populist movements embraced folk music to publicize the plight of farmers displaced
by the Dust Bowl, the iniquities suffered by southern blacks, and the despair of millions of Americans. Folk musicians were
generally supportive and often performed for social organizations. When Senator Joseph McCarthy convened the House
Committee on Un-American Activities in 1954, folk singers were among the groups accused of being communists or having
communist sympathies; many were listed in the infamous "Red Channels," a pamphlet of suspected communist entertainers.
Though none were charged with a crime (save for Pete Seeger, who was charged with contempt because he refused to testify),
folk music, which was just beginning to enjoy popular success, was stopped dead in its tracks. The Kingston Trio avoided
political statements, favoring instead old ballads that they infused with pop music levity; they also carefully crafted a professional
image, taking lessons in singing and professional comportment and choosing a name that would capitalize on the current fad for
calypso music. Additionally, their sound was timely; it was fresh and spontaneous, and provided an alterative to rock and roll and
slick pop hits. The group had a number of hit records, but they faded from the charts as topical singers like Joan Baez and Bob
Dylan emerged to address the social issues of the early 1960s.
Even though "Tom Dooley" is credited to "Frank Warner, John Lomax, and Alan Lomax," none of them wrote either the lyrics or
the melody. The song was a traditional ballad about the 1866 murder of Laura Foster by her ex-lover Tom Dula and his new lover
Annie Melton. Song collector Frank Warner learned it from farmer Frank Proffitt, and later recorded it. He gave Alan Lomax
permission to transcribe his version for an upcoming book, Folk Music U.S.A., which credited Frank Proffitt as the arranger and
original source. When the Kingston Trio recorded the song their record company listed the song as "traditional" and credited the
arrangement to the trio. Alan Lomax sued; the book, he argued, gave him, Warner, and Proffitt a valid copyright on the song. The
courts decided in their favor, as the Kingston Trio had clearly learned the song from Frank Warner's record.
Also see: Traditional Hawaiian music, Harry Belafonte, the Weavers, the Almanac Singers
Must Haves:
"Sloop John B."
"Hard, Ain't It Hard"
"Three Jolly Coachmen"
"Lei Pakalana"
Performers Influenced By This Artist:
The Smothers Brothers
the Limeliters
Peter, Paul and Mary
the New Christy Minstrels
the Folksmen (actors Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer, and Michael McKean)
Down in Mexico The Coasters
Page 129
Form: AABA form (more info in text)
Time signature: 4/4 (more info in text)
Instrumentation: Piano, bass, electric guitar, nylon-string guitar, percussion, lead and backup vocals.Mike Stoller plays piano.
Barney Kessel plays guitar.
The Coasters, also known as "The Clown Princes of Rock and Roll" and "Those Hoodlum Friends," were not the first successful
doo-wop group, but more than any other they helped bring vocal harmonization into the mainstream. The Coasters began their
existence as an a capella sextet called the Robins (1949-1955). They were "discovered" while performing at the Barrelhouse Club
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in Watts, a night spot owned by R&B bandleader Johnny Otis. Otiswho was of Greek descent but culturally identified himself
as African Americanestablished himself with the hit song "Harlem Nocturne" and used his fame to provide exposure to up-
and-coming artists. He made the Ravens a featured act in his touring Johnny Otis Rhythm and Blues Caravan; in the studio they
provided vocal backing for Little Esther Phillips and other Otis-affiliated acts. As a collective the Caravan recorded several R&B
hits, including "Double Crossing Blues" (later recorded by John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers) and "Mistrustin' Blues."
After racking up several Top Ten hits the songwriting and production team Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller decided to found their
own label, Spark. They developed several song ideas for a crack doo-wop type group; they immediately thought of the Robins.
Though the whole group was not interested, Bobby Nunn and Carl Gardener decided to throw in with Lieber and Stoller. They
were paired with two hand-picked musicians, Billy Guy and Leon Hughes, and formed the Coasters in 1955. Over the next three
years the group made several Top Ten records; the group was known for witty, well-crafted songs that were nonetheless skillfully
executed and drenched in the blues. The Coasters fractured again when Lieber and Stoller proposed a move to New York. Guy
and Gardener remained The Coasters (Gardener copyrighted the name after their first hit, assuring that he would maintain control
over its use), while Nunn and Hughes remained in Los Angeles and formed the Coasters Mach II. The "classic" Coasters
continued to make doo-wop novelty hits into the early 1960s and became the first vocal group inducted into Rock and Roll Hall
of Fame in 1987.
Also see: The Platters, the Clovers, the Treniers, the Orioles
Must Haves:
"Poison Ivy"
"Yakety Yak"
"Charlie Brown"
"Young Blood"
Performers Influenced By This Artist:
A number of one or two hit wonders, including the Edsels (Rama-Lama-Ding-Dong), the Rivingtons (The Bird Is the
Word), the Pentagons (To Be Loved)
Little Anthony and the Imperials
the Hollies
Southside Johnny and the Amboy Dukes
There Goes My Baby The Drifters
Page: 137
Form: Simple verse-chorus (much more info in text)
Time Signature: 12/8
Instrumentation: Acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, tympani, orchestral strings, lead and backup vocals
Style: Sweet Soul (doo wop + classical music)
Notes: doo wop intro, non-sense syllables, call and response,
The Drifters arose from the ashes of another vocal group, the Dominoes. Clyde McPhatter and his band mates all studied with the
respected vocal coach Billy Ward at the Juilliard School of Music; when Ward realized there was money to be made in rhythm
and blues he recruited a number of his former students and created a doo-wop group. The group was enjoying tremendous
success, but the members found Ward too controlling (and suspected he was shortchanging them financially), and one by one
they quit. McPhatter was unquestionably the star of the group, and as soon as he quit Ahmet Ertegun signed him to the Chess
label and encouraged him to assemble a new group.
Most of the Drifters were gospel quartet singers McPhatter had worked with in the 1940s. He tried several different combinations
before he found the sound he was looking for. He also decided to employ instrumental accompaniment, unlike most vocal
harmony groups; as it turned out, the Drifters' guitar player, Jimmy Oliver, was the most prolific composer in the group.
McPhatter quit the Drifters in late 1954; he felt that Ahmet and Neshui Ertegun interfered too much in creative matters. Rather
than disband the group the Erteguns looked for a replacement, but this proved to be rather difficult. The Drifters had a fluctuating
lineup for the next two years and had some modest successes, but they had not yet topped the charts. In 1956 every member of
the band had quit, but rather than disband a group with name recognition owner George Treadwell recruited a successful
Brooklyn group, the Five Crowns, and renamed them. He then assigned Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller to produce the first record,
"There Goes My Baby"; they daringly added strings, horns, and Latin percussion to the mix, as was common in popular songs of
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the period. Though Jerry Wexler thought it sounded like a radio caught between classical and R&B stations he released it
anyway, and the song was a smash hit. Extensive overdubbing and passionately delivered vocals that dealt with small, intimate
scenes became the typical "Drifters sound" until the mid sixties.
Also see: The Platters, the Ink Spots, the Orioles, Billy Ward and the Dominoes
Must Haves:
"Up on the Roof"
"On Broadway"
"Save the Last Dance for Me"
"Under the Boardwalk"
"Some Kind of Wonderful"
Performers Influenced By This Artist:
The Cleftones
the Searchers
Jay and the Americans
the Temptations
Be My Baby The Ronettes
Page: 134
Form: Contrasting verse-chorus. (more info in text)
Time signature: 4/4 with hand claps and percussion used to build excitement and drive forward the chorus
Instrumentation: Piano, bass, electric guitar, drums, horns, orchestral strings, percussion, hand claps, lead and backup vocals.
Notes: girl group pop, Phil Spector’s WALL OF SOUND, reverb on drums,
Ronnie Bennett, her sister Estelle, and their cousin Nedra Talley grew up in New York City and started singing together as
children. Ronnie and Estelle's grandmother not only encouraged their career but actively cultivated it; she used to shut the three
girls in a room for long periods of time and encourage them to harmonize. When they were teenagers the girls entered a talent
contest at the Apollo and won. After that they acquired a manager and started singing at hops and charity shows, but their real
break came when the three underage girls tried to get into the fashionable Joey Dee's Peppermint Lounge. To make themselves
look older they dressed in tight skirts and heels and high, teased hairdos; they looked so glamorous that the manager assumed
they were the singing trio he had booked for the night! They got on stage and sang the Ray Charles hit "What'd I Say" before the
real group showed upby which point they had lost their gig to the young trio, who was promptly booked for regular
appearances at the club. They made their first record in 1961 as "Ronnie and the Relatives"; their record company renamed them
the Ronettes, but this didn't help their modest sales. They continued to record, singing backup on records for Bobby Rydell and
Del Shannon before up-and- coming producer Phil Spector.
Under Spector's tutelage and production the Ronettes became the most famous girl group in rock and roll; their sophisticated
image, fashionable dresses, and modern dance moves made them international stars. During their world tour in 1964 they played
a number of concerts in England with an up-and-coming London group called the Rolling Stones; they also met the Beatles, who
were star struck and asked for their autographs.
The Ronettes had a string of hits before they disbanded in 1966. Ronnie married Phil Spector in 1968; she suffered several years
of psychological abuse before fleeing their house with only the clothes on her back. In recent years she has emerged as a feminist
icon; she is seen as the first tough-girl in rock music, and praised for her tenacious, fifteen-year battle to recover her royalties
from her ex-husband. In 2000 she was awarded $2.6 million, and as a result of her advocacy the U.S. Congress passed legislation
making it easier for artists to recover monies from record sales.
Also see: Little Anthony and the Imperials; Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers
Must Haves:
"Baby, I Love You"
"Walking in the Rain"
"Is This What I Get for Loving You?"
Performers Influenced By This Artist:
The Blossoms
the Crystals
the Chiffons
the Angels
I Want to Hold Your Hand The Beatles
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