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Count Every Star - the Ravens

Probably the first group to record what became know as doo-wop was the Ravens in 1946. Strongly influenced by theMills Brothers and the Ink Spots, doo-wop was developed on the street corners of American cities where the black singers fused a black version of the prevalent barber shop quartet style with the vocal delivery of the crooners by impersonating the missing instruments with their vocal roles and noises such as "doo-wop" or "boob boom boom da boom" for the bass. You can tell this is doo-wop right from the very second note:

"Doo (poin) do do doo (poin) do do doo (poin) do do doo (poin) do do do do dooo".

Recorded in 1950, this extraordinary hotchpotch of tempos, harmonies and vocal tones really grows on you the more you listen to it, carrying the seeds of the main future rock 'n' roll slow dance style for years to come. Once again, the deep resonances of the bass, in this case those of Jimmy "Ricky" Ricks, threaten to steal the show. But in the end it is the rich but almost claustrophobic combined weight of all the different vocals that wins you over. Like a lot of early doo-wop, this has a non-studio feel about it, a rawness, as though it was recorded in a smokey club with musicians and singers all crammed together on a postage stamp stage, or maybe in the back of someone's limousine one rainy suburban night.

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