Friday, May 11, 2012

Pass the Helium Please

I was driving around western MI this week for business and my rental car had a Sirius XM radio. I enjoyed listening to the “50’s at 5” channel for hours since their playlist includes many unfrequently-heard Doo-Wop and Rock N’ Roll of the 1950’s.  Listening for that length of time I did conclude something that wasn’t so obvious to me ever before - female backup singers of that day all sang in squeaky high voices. They were all breathing helium at the recording studios, I think.  But in the case of female lead singers, some were just plain young – girls really. Here’s two that both had hits in 1960 and both were only 15 years old at the time of their recordings: Rosie and the Originals (Rosie Hamlin) and Kathy Young and the Innocents.



Assistant Village Idiot said...

Whew. Pretty much the same song, eh?

Not so much high, as thin.

Gringo said...

I also go with thin.

Perhaps because I have a bias towards vocal music, my nostalgia picks gravitate towards the doo-wop and girl groups of my elementary school years instead of the British Invasion groups of my high school years. Funny thing about it is that at the time, I didn't think much of the music.

For a nonstandard nostalgia pick, Peggy March here sings ”I Will Follow Hin” in Japanese and English. For more variety, Dee Dee Sharp sings “I Will Follow Him.” Dee Dee impresses me more.

Sponge-headed ScienceMan said...

Gringo - I had never heard the Dee Dee Sharp version of this - thanks. I'd agree its a bit more impressive amd I like that background organ. Girl groups certainly peaked in the Doo wop era and didn't flourish much during the Brit Invasion, did they? Of course there were some break-out stars like Petula Clark that AVI has previously mentioned in postings.