Tucked between the early street corner Doo Wop groups and the mid-60s British invasion was the phenomenon known as the Girl Groups.
With names like the Teen Queens, Chantels, the Ronettes, Shangri-Las and Shirelles, they offered vocal harmonies that was eagerly embraced by a wide audience.
Starting in 1958, all-Girl Groups became more visible and started to hit the charts with regularity.
Dressed in pink prom dresses and behive hairdos, three ladies from the present pay tribute to 60s girl-group pop.
Take time to smile a little and watch Carrie Underwood, Kristin Chenoweth, and Christina Applegate in a 60s medley from 2009 All-Star Special.
Continue below for more content and videos.
It marked the first time a music was centered around adolescent girls, with lyrics that were mostly innocent and naive – of the “girl–dealing-with-boy” variety.
This was an exciting era where teenagers were becoming a significant group and the girl group sound and style would occupy a prominent position, emerging in 1956 and dominating the pop charts from 1960 to 1963.
Most girl singers really were girls, with ages ranging from early teens to eighteen in the most popular groups.
Most of their songs, from the Dixie Cups' “Chapel of Love” to the Angels' “My Boyfriend’s Back” and the Chiffons "He's So Fine," focused on the males in their lives and the promise of a satisfying relationship with that perfect guy.
As countless broken-hearted teenage girls cried into their pillows, the "Chantels" delivered an exciting sound in 1958, the year the song "Maybe" rose to #15 on the pop charts, and #2 on the R&B charts.
The song would set the standard for many other harmony groups.
The "Chantels" deeply romantic and melancholy declarations of unrequited love, resembled in some ways, the sweet voiced sounds of the urban black teenage boys singing street corner doo-wop under the lights.
Songwriters and record producers took notice that something new was in play. A female voice was emerging despite all the talented male groups and singers.
The era of the male Doo Wop was not fading, however, the "girls" were definitely moving the spotlight.
A number of Girl Group hit songs were co-written by female songwriters, including Carole King and Ellie Greenwich. Rock and Roll had a new female sound that was producing a string of hits.
If, up to that point, male voices and male songwriters dominated the popular music scene, things were changing.
I have long been a big fan of Session players (studio musicians). Most notable was a group of session players known as The Wrecking Crew from Los Angeles.
The Girl singers rarely if ever performed material they had written themselves and rarely if ever played the instruments featured on their recordings, a job left to studio musicians.
This was also true of other famous bands and artists. For example, The Wrecking Crew performed on all the Beach Boys biggest hits.
Brian Wilson requested these players after hearing the magic they created on Phil Spector productions like Be My Baby, Da Doo Ron Ron and He's a Rebel.
So the lady doo-woppers had their day in the sun, as the gentlemen doo-woopers had had before them. And then exited the stage.
Vinyl Record Memories- The 50s, 60s, & 70s. Read my stories, listen to all the great oldies. Read more...
Cruise on over to the Doo Wop page and listen to those wonderful street corner sounds from the 50s & 60s. Read more.
Listen to the original 45rpm recording of "The Locomotion" and watch the best dance version ever! Read more.
"Looking For An Echo" is street corner music with soul. A time when the ability to sing was mandatory. Read more.
Congratulations on an outstanding site. I am from the old school. I was 13 when Rock & Roll erupted in 1955. I would literally run home from school to watch Bandstand every day. I lived outside Philly and grew up with all the Philadelphia music scene and its performers. Keep up the good work and I thank you for your time and effort in keeping the old vinyl music alive for us and future generations.
Bill Moore (retired)
This Darling Lorraine page returns to 1959 and the remarkable story about a determined song writer. Includes memorable video clip with original lead singer. Read more here.
Many consider "In The Still of The Night" to be the anthem of Doo Wop oldies and it would be hard to argue that point giving the year the song was originally released, 1956. Read more.
Signed to the new Gordy label in 1962 this group recorded Berry Gordy Jr.'s "Do You Love Me," resulting in the group's (and label's) first hit. Read the story here.