Antedating of _doo(-)wop_

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Mon Mar 1 16:24:42 UTC 2010

On Mon, Mar 1, 2010 at 11:05 AM, Mullins, Bill AMRDEC wrote:
> "Tunes with Greatest Radio - TV Audience" _Billboard_ 3/24/1958 p 60 col  3
> "Doo-Wop (R) -- Kempto & Wildcat -- BMI" [a song title] [Google Books]

This, presumably, is a typo for "Do Wop," a song released by The De Villes in
1958. That May, Billboard gave this description of the song:

1958 _Billboard_ 5 May 118/4 Male lead shouts a fair chorus with "do wop" rhythm
backing by the group.

So "do(o)-wop" could already be used generically, at least to describe the
choral style. That certainly accords with Wilson's argument.

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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