Most of the entries in the Favorite Concerts page are classical music concerts, but last night at The Ridgefield Playhouse was another kind of "classical" music. The "Doo-Wop and Oldies Spectacular" featured classics of the 50s & 60s. It was a real trip down memory lane with Emil Stucchio and the Classics (& Till Then& ), The Shangri-Las (& Leader of the Pack& and & Remember Walking in the Sand& ), Kenny Vance and the Planotones (& Looking for an Echo& ), and the Emotions – ("The Nearest Thing To Heaven").
The Origins of Doo Wop are debated but most would agree that it evolved from a merging of pop, gospel, blues, jazz and swing elements in the late 1940’s and early 50’s. Doo Wop music is, innocent, joyous, romantic and, some would say, almost spiritual. Doo Wop was vocal group harmonizing at it’s best.
Watching these performing groups on stage was inspiring. A little arithmetic can quickly show that most of the performers were 60+ and some may have been 70+. Some looked it, some did not. All of them had great voices and rhythm. If you look at their concert schedules on the web sites you can see that they are performing almost constantly — one group claimed 208 concerts last year. Why are they doing this? Why don’t they stop and retire? It is possible some lived past their means or not invested in their future during the hay days and now need the money. Others may do it out of loyalty to other members of their group. Some may not know what else to do. Most however, are probably doing it because they love it. You could see the sparkle in their eyes and the spring in their step. As the audience raved, the performers were inspired, and the cycle continued. It was a great night.