Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Booga Lacka Lacka Lacka

I love Doo-Wop and the early rock and pop songs with killer harmonies workin’ in them. I’ve written a few songs in my day, some good, some bad, and more than a few ugly. So naturally, I got to pondering one of those truly deep questions: Did the song writers actually write out the sound or word or whatever you want to call it that them backup singers sang, or did that happen after they’d sung it? Kind of a chicken and egg question, I guess…

No, really, I wonder: Did somebody think up Booga Lacka Lacka Lacka, or did they do ‘er up phonetically after hearing ‘em sing it?

On Mr. Lee, did somebody write out Um Polly Wolly Whack Em whoa, and then show that to the background singers? “Here, y’all, try this out?"

With title works like Ramma Lamma Ding Dong, can we assume they wrote it?

Ooooooh, Ooooooooh, WAH Oooooooooooooooh, Oooooooooooooooooh, on Teenager in Love is a sure bet - They didn’t need to write that one out.

I have it on good order from my friend Lolita, who sings Gospel professionally, that the Sock it to me’s behind Respect were spontaneous, not scripted.

One of the most famous of these phrases also wasn’t scripted, and that of course is the Ah-Weema Whips behind The Lion Sleeps Tonight: I say that because there’s still debate as to what exactly they’re singing, (There's a camp firmly convinced that it's really A weem ah way…)

Why, I don’t know – It’s clearly Ah-Weema Whip…

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