“Wind. . . Wind . . . Blow Wind. . .
. . . Oooooh Oooh . . .
. . . Blow Wind . . . !”
You couldn’t help but melt while listening to the old singing group offer its beatific sounds to the young teenagers dancing at St. Joe’s Sunday night dance special.
The girls loved the soft harmonies that whispered about their longing for true love. While boys, like me, sang the back-up parts, attempting to harmonize with our African American brothers who introduced us to a form of Rock & Roll which would later be called“Doo Wop.”
St. Joe’s Orphanage for boys is still operating there in North Philadelphia, but there are no more dances. Doo Wop is a song of the past. But I’ll always remember it whenever I hear the sounds of yesterday and the love it brings to my heart and to my mind . . .
The song called “The Wind” was a special one that lifted me to a higher level of consciousness. I felt I existed on a different plane, one where love, beauty and the divine mingled with all that was holy and joyful.
I forget the name of the group that sang the slow moving song. But, I’ll never forget how I loved the touch of a special young lady in my arms as we slowly moved on the wooden floor that served as both a dance floor and a gym floor.
We’d touch, hand in hand and arm against arm. No, we’d never do the “grind.” That was a dirty type of a dance, where you hardly moved, except to bend the girl backwards while you leaned forward with those private parts coming into closer contact than you ever had experienced before.
The name of the groups that blew “The Wind” were the Diablos and the Jesters
I sang Doo Wop as a baritone and my five-man group once appeared on television. It was the time that the Righteous Brothers were introducing what they called “Blue-Eyed Soul.” We were a bunch of white guys singing like we were black. Yes, we wanted to be as black as the Moonglows, the Spaniels and the Harptones. The greatest groups of my generation that spanned the 1950s and 1960s.
We wanted to sing as softly and as rowdy as the wind, be it a smooth caressing version of the “Ten Commandments of Love”, or a fast dance song like the one by the Earls.
See if you can remember this one:
“Re-mem-mem, re-mem-mem-mem-ber oop-shoop
Re-mem-mem, re-mem-mem-mem-ber oop-shoop
Re-mem-mem, re-mem-mem-mem-ber oop-shoop then
Then , remember then . . .”
It was all part of growing up in an urban setting made popular by American Bandstand and some of the greatest disc jockeys this side of Dick Clark’s forever youthful-looking face. Hy Lit and Jerry Blavat played the songs and we copied them blowing our harmony on street corners and “under the Boardwalk” and “Up on he Roof.”
Whenever I think of music, I’ll always think of my Doo Wops days and Doo Wop nights.
Blow brother, blow.
Let the “oohs” and the “aahs” take us all away.
(For another look at street corner harmony, please see: