Their personalities and demeanor were exceptional. Not only did they sound and look wonderful, they also introduced our students to (music) terminology. It was both an educational and entertaining experience for all. --- Ms. Hopsis, Principal, Egremont School
ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE By bringing their own contemporary style to the greatest hits of the 50s and 60s, THE ALLEY CATS present a fun interactive and informative assembly. Through the use of comedy, music and crowd participation, students and teachers will enjoy this presentation. Students will learn about the unique American musical form called doo-wop. The audience hears four-part harmony and learns about each vocal part and it's job in the total sound of the music produced. Members of The Alley Cats discuss and demonstrate pitch, tempo and rhythm and how these elements are manipulated to create a particular effect in a song. Tight harmonies, universal humor, and unbelievable a cappella energy have made THE ALLEY CATS America's Premier Doo-Wop Group.
PREPARING FOR THE EXPERIENCE A cappella, meaning singing without musical accompaniment is the oldest form of music. Tribal Chant, Gregorian Chant, Gospel, Jazz, Barbershop, Doo-Wop, and Contemporary music all trace their roots to A cappella. During the fifties young men and women began forming groups in their neighborhoods. Street corner songs soon became the hits of the day and Doo-Wop was born. Doo-Wop is a type of rhythm and blues popular in the 1950's and 60's using non-sense syllables in intricate, harmonic arrangements. Classic examples are "Earth Angel" by The Penguins and "Sh-boom" by The Chords. The groups eventually helped establish Motown. The first real boy bands, before N'SYNC and the Backstreet Boys, were Doo-Wop groups like the Del Vikings, and Dion and The Belmonts, and in the Motown Era, The Temptations, Four Tops and Miracles. These groups laid the foundation for the music we hear now.
The fifties were a happy time in America. World War II was over, and "I like Ike" was the phrase of the time. People felt safe and secure. The music of the fifties is enjoyed by people of all ages, it is truly timeless. Today Doo-wop is more widely known as oldies and rarely is heard in the A cappella form. The music is enjoyed all around the world.
Early on, what we called doo-wop music embraced the grand tradition of non-sense lyrics. Taking their cue from Dizzy Gillespie's 1947 be-bop song, "Oop Boop Sh'bam," vocal groups sang "Sh-boom", "Oop Shoop", "Rama Lama Ding Dong," all using meaningless sounds to fill the beats and create background chants. But perhaps the most common non-sense syllable was "doo", which has always been useful in popular songs. Over 150 years ago, Composer Stephen Foster used "doo-dah, doo-dah" to fill out the verses of "De Camp Town Races" (1850). A hundred years later a black vocal group called The Sliders crooned "doo-da doo-doo" behind Savannah Churchill on her "When you Come Back to Me." The first hit record showcasing the actual lyric"doo-wop" came in 1955 with The Turbans recording of "When You Dance."
MEET THE ARTIST The four members of THE ALLEY CATS are a perfect blend both vocally and personally. Royce Reynolds, whose solid bass vocals create the Cats' musical foundation, and Mando Fonseca, the second tenor always ready with a pun or quick quip, have the ease of familiarity which make their camaraderie and vocal play radiate from the stage. Baritone David Loucks, whose smooth vocals melt hearts the world over, and newest member, Juan Del Castillo, re-creator of all those soaring 50s first tenor lines, bring freshness and talent to an already solid foundation of a cappella tradition. THE ALLEY CATS formed in 1987 at Fullerton College in California, and began their musical journey with Disney's "Blast to the Past" salute. The Cats have appeared at numerous fairs and festivals around the country and have been the featured performers on stages at Disneyland, Las Vegas, and at the White House.
On the recording scene, THE ALLEY CATS CD's showcase rich harmonies, as well as the energy and humor. Their first disc, The Cat's Meow, was called "The best a cappella recording of the 50's classics we've ever heard," by A Cappella.com. Their release, Cruisin', won a Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award. Their release, Strike 3, continues a tradition of Doo-Wop at its best. And their live concert release The Doo-Wop Drive-In captures the unique experience of a Live Alley Cats concert and was also awarded the CARA for Best Doo-Wop album and song. Their newest release Nine Lives! Captures the Cats live on DVD with 12 live concert performances and well as a following the guys on a road trip for 36 hours. It is another can't miss hit!