Cover for PRUTER: Doowop: The Chicago Scene


The Chicago Scene
Awards and Recognition:

Recipient of the ARSC Award for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research in the Field of Recorded Rock, Rhythm and Blues, or Soul, 1997.

How Chicago's African American vocal groups launched a '50s phenomenon

Robert Pruter's classic look at black doowop in the Windy City moves from street corners to South Side clubs to the studios at Chess Records to recapture the doowop scene of the 1950s. Pruter combines long-lost material from fanzines to the Chicago Defender with in-depth interviews to chronicle legendary African American vocal groups like the Flamingos, the Moonglows, the Spaniels, and the El Dorados. But Pruter also delves into the neighborhood scene that produced the likes of the Quintones and Five Chimes, and returns non-recording acts to their rightful place in Chicago music history.

Rich with detail and including an irreplaceable discography, Doowop offers doowop obsessives and fans of early rock 'n' roll and R&B a must-have look at the genre.

"Vividly describes an enchanting time on the local music scene, when a handful of teenagers could taste rock 'n' roll stardom with harmonies they cooked up on a street corner."--Chicago Tribune

"A meticulous portrait of the music's vital role in the city's black social fabric."--Chicago Reader

"A truly significant contribution. . . . A great deal of the history Pruter has captured would have died along with the musicians unless he had documented it."--Colin Escott, author of Good Rockin' Tonight: The Story of Sun Records

"A piece of major scholarship . . . that widens the perspective on Chicago as a vital center in the history of African American popular music. Meticulously researched and based on extensive interviews with the remaining singers from the scene, Doowop is destined to be a classic."--Ray Funk, authority on African American vocal groups

Robert Pruter is the retired rhythm-and-blues editor for Goldmine. His books include Chicago Soul.

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