Monday, March 9, 2009

IS YOU IS OR IS YOU AIN’T DOO WOP? (with apologies to Louis Jordan)



Experts and amateurs in the field will debate long into the night on whether or not the version of the version of "Tell Me Why" by Dion and The Belmonts is a doo wop song. The date is wrong; doo wop was over by 1961. The date is okay because doo wop got revived. It doesn’t sound like doo wop. It sounds like doo wop.

Well, I’m here to go on record (pun intended) that this one is doo woppy enough for me, in spirit anyway. I have always been a big Dion fan, both with and after The Belmonts. I love his voice, his style, his rhythm, his finger poppin’, his hats…I could go on but I’ll spare you… This one is very high on my list of eminently listenable Dion songs. But there’s also that really terrific recording of "Tell Me Why" by Norman Fox & The Rob-Roys that pre-dates Dion, in 1957. That one is so inarguably doo wop, maybe that’s why people give the Dion version a hard time. Personally, I have room for both, but you can decide for yourself, because, happily, they are both on YouTube. So let’s get down to it, shall we?








Videos by chargertom and meekfreak51 respectively
Dion photo at www.vervemusicgroup.com

Update March 10th, from a blog reader: I received an email from John in the Bronx: "Here is a little info on the song Tell Me Why. The Rob Roys song came out in 57 and the Bellmonts song in 61 is without Dion, The lead I believe Angelo D' Aleo, Dion left in 1960." So maybe I've been wrong (now how did a thing like that happen!) in thinking it was Dion all these years. Well, nothing can change my enjoyment of this song, that's for sure, but I thought in the interest of full disclosure, I'd post it for you, too. Happy listening!

2 comments:

Poetikat said...

This isn't the song I was expecting. I was waiting for "Tell me why you lied..."
I love seeing that needle get set up on the turntable - really takes me back. How many times did you miss the record and have it slip onto the rubber? Or was that just klutzy me?

Kat

Poetikat said...

P.S. I left a comment on the J.D. Souther post - I loved that song.

Kat