Neil Waldman is a former high school teacher from New York. He has a love for music history. He specializes in the genre of Doo Wop. On January 20th he gave a history lesson to an audience of 65 at the Spanish River Library.
This was not the boring history lecture you received in school. Waldman knew how to keep his audience’s attention with short background information on each musical group he featured, as well as interesting tidbits.
He then played portions of popular Doo Wop songs spanning from the late 1940s to the mid to late 1950s.
The audience was transported back in time by the sounds of groups like: The Platters, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, The Coasters, The Imperials and many more. Many audience members sang along to classic songs of that time like “Gee,” “Earth Angel,” Glory of Love,” “Goodnight Sweetheart,” as well as many others.
Audience members were surprised by Waldman’s claim that there were no white Doo Wop groups. He was referring to the common practice of record companies taking song originally recorded by black Doo Wop groups and recording them with white groups, like the Crew Cuts and the McGuire Sisters. They wanted to take advantage of the fact that songs would get more airplay on the radio if they were sung by white artists.
Waldman taught many people a history lesson about the music they know and love. The music industry of today is quite different than the one of yesteryear, which was controlled by the rules of segregation. If you want to learn even more about Doo Wop music, you can go to the Boca Downtown Library and check out “Doo Wop: The music, the times, the era” by Cousin Brucie Morrow.