Street Corner Symphonies ... has been added to your Basket
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Available to Download Now
Buy the MP3 album for £7.99

Street Corner Symphonies Vol. 1: 1939-49 Collector's Edition, Original recording remastered

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

Price: £15.51 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
AutoRip is available only for eligible CDs and vinyl sold by Amazon EU Sarl (but does not apply to gift orders or PrimeNow orders). See Terms and Conditions for full details, including costs which may apply for the MP3 version in case of order returns or cancellations.
Only 4 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more
Complete your purchase to add the MP3 version to your Amazon music library. Provided by Amazon EU S.à r.l.
21 new from £8.97 1 used from £11.77
£15.51 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 4 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Special Offers and Product Promotions


Frequently Bought Together

  • Street Corner Symphonies Vol. 1: 1939-49
  • +
  • Street Corner Symphonies - Vol 4: 1952
  • +
  • Street Corner Symphonies, Vol 2: 1950
Total price: £46.24
Buy the selected items together

Product details

  • Audio CD (1 May 2012)
  • Collector's Edition edition
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Collector's Edition, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Bear Family-Rollercoaster
  • ASIN: B007IRCQNM
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 184,087 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

# Doo-Wop is one of the foundation stones of Rock 'n' Roll. # BEAR FAMILY will issue the defintive story of Doo-Wop from 1939-1963! # The first five volumes covering 1939-1953 are out now! # Every Doo-Wop hit! Every neglected classic! Every ground-breaking record! # Detailed song-by-song notes and amazing rare photos from the golden era! Like Rap, Doo Wop music was an urban American art-form. It was sung on street-corners, in stairwells of tenement apartments, in high school toilets ... and it was preserved for posterity in recording studios. Most of the performers were African American, and many of the songs were romantic in sharp contrast to the bleak reality of urban African American life at the time. Doo-wop had its origins in the black pop and gospel groups of the pre-World War II era, but it flourished in the years after World War II and became a major contributing force to the evolution of Rock 'n' Roll. In fact, some eminent cultural historians cite records like Sixty Minute Man and Gee as among the first Rock 'n' Roll records. Both of those classics, along with many more, are on BEAR FAMILY's defintive history of Doo-Wop, 'Street Corner Symphonies.' As always, you can trust BEAR FAMILY to get it right. Starting in 1939 with pre-Doo-Wop acts like the Golden Gate Quartet, the Ink Spots, and the Mills Brothers, 'Street Corner Symphonies' will take the story until the end of the Doo-Wop era in 1963. The first five volumes cover the years 1939 to 1953: in other words, Doo-Wop's true golden era. There are simply too many hits to list just look at the track listing! Suffice to say that these were the records that provided the soundtrack to the Rock 'n' Roll revolution ... and the records that changed American and global popular music forever. This series has been compiled and annotated by R&B music's foremost scholar, Chicago's Bill Dahl, and every song comes with detailed notes and illustrations. There have been plenty of Doo-Wop compilations, even a few Doo-Wop boxed sets, but this series is the last word on the genre. Truly definitive! Every hit, every underground classic, every song that lit up the airwaves at the dawn of Rock 'n' Roll. Every shoop, every doop, every doo-doo-wah! 1. The Ink Spots: If I Didn't Care 2. The Cats And The Fiddle: I Miss You So 3. The Mills Brothers: Till Then 4. The 5 Red Caps: I Learned A Lesson I'll Never Forget 5. Deek Watson And His Brown Dots: Sentimental Reasons 6. Dusty Brooks and His Four Tones: Play Jackpot 7. The Golden Gate Quartet: Atom And Evil 8. The Delta Rhythm Boys: Just A-Sittin' And A-Rockin' 9. The Jubalaires with Andy Kirk and His Orchestra: I Know 10. The Basin Street Boys with Eddie Beal's Fourtet: I Sold My Heart To The Junk Man 11. The Cats 'n' Jammer Three, Vocal by Bill Samuels: I Cover The Water-Front 12. The Melody Masters: My Baby 13. The Four Aces: I Wonder, I Wonder, I Wonder; Part 2 14. The Four Vagabonds: P.S. I Love You 15. The Ravens: Ol' Man River 16. Bill Johnson and His Musical Notes, Vocal: Gus Gordon: Don't You Think I Oughta Know 17. The Five Bars: I'm All Dressed Up With A Broken Heart 18. The Scamps: Solitude 19. The Big Three Trio: After Awhile 20. The Orioles: It's Too Soon To Know 21. The Deep River Boys: Recess In Heaven 22. The Four Rockets: Loch Lomond 23. The Dixieaires: Go Long 24. The Four Blues: It Takes A Long Tall Brown Skinned Gal 25. The Four Tunes: You're Heartless 26. The Charioteers: A Kiss And A Rose 27. The Four Knights: Wrapped Up In A Dream 28. The Syncopators: River Stay Away From My Door 29. The Robins: If It's So Baby 30. The Shadows: I've Been A Fool

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
1
4 star
1
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a review for the whole superb collection superb. The subtitle of the series is The Complete Story of Doo Wop and that's exactly what it is. There are fifteen volumes in all with around 35 tracks of re-mastered classics on each. The Bear Family have a great reputation for issuing quality collections but they have surpassed themselves here. Every CD covers one year in the history of Doo Wop (with the exception of #1 which covers 1939-1949) and comes with a beautifully compiled and printed booklet. This is a must for any serious collector of this genre or period of music. It will provide hours of pleasure. Bear Family Records don't appear to have released a boxed collection which is a shame. I bought each album separately.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Audio CD
Hot on the heels of their definitive "Blowing The Fuse" and "Sweet Soul Music" CD Series (15 volumes to each genre of R'n'B and Soul) comes Bear Family’s Vocal Group attack - 15 discs spanning 1939 to 1963. Volumes 1 to 10 hit the shops in May and October 2012 and the last five in the spring of 2013. And while critics will argue that Vocal Group music has already been done to death by Rhino (3 x 4CD Box Sets across the decades) and a mountain of other cheapo labels taking advantage of the 50-year copyright law - this is the first time someone reputable (other than Rhino) have had a go - and typically these German-issued Bear Family CDs are gorgeous in all the right places - presentation and audio. You get 30 tracks and a format-incredible total playing time of 87:09 minutes. Time to 'cover the waterfront'...with 'memories that never die'...

Released May 2012 in Germany - "Street Corner Symphonies Volume 1: 1939-1949" on Bear Family BCD 17279 AR (Barcode 4000127172792) breaks down as follows (I've provided American 78" catalogue numbers on all tracks – those with two or more catalogue numbers are reissues in the same year – 87:09 minutes):

1. If I Didn't Care – THE INK SPOTS (1939, Decca 2286, A)
2. I Miss You So – THE CATS and THE FIDDLE (1940, Bluebird 8429, B-side to "Public Jitterbug No. 1")
3. Till Then – THE MILLS BROTHERS (1944, Decca 18599, A)
4. I Learn A Lesson, I'll Never Forget (1944, Beacon 7120, A)
5. Sentimental Reasons – DEEK WATSON (1945, Manor 1009, A)
6. Play Jackpot – DUSTY BROOKS and His Four Tones (1945, Memo 1001, A)
7. Atom And Evil – THE GOLDEN GATE QUARTET (1946, Columbia 37236, A)
8. Just A-Sittin' And A-Rockin' – THE DELTA RHYTHM BOYS (1946, Decca 18739, A)
9.
Read more ›
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "…If I Didn't Care...Would I Feel This Way..." - Street Corner Symphonies Volume 1: 1939-1949 (2012 Bear Family CD Remasters) 27 Aug. 2015
By Mark Barry - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Hot on the heels of their definitive "Blowing The Fuse" and "Sweet Soul Music" CD Series (15 volumes to each genre of R'n'B and Soul) comes Bear Family’s Vocal Group attack - 15 discs spanning 1939 to 1963. Volumes 1 to 10 hit the shops in May and October 2012 and the last five in the spring of 2013. And while critics will argue that Vocal Group music has already been done to death by Rhino (3 x 4CD Box Sets across the decades) and a mountain of other cheapo labels taking advantage of the 50-year copyright law - this is the first time someone reputable (other than Rhino) have had a go - and typically these German-issued Bear Family CDs are gorgeous in all the right places - presentation and audio. You get 30 tracks and a format-incredible total playing time of 87:09 minutes. Time to 'cover the waterfront'...with 'memories that never die'...

Released May 2012 in Germany - "Street Corner Symphonies Volume 1: 1939-1949" on Bear Family BCD 17279 AR (Barcode 4000127172792) breaks down as follows (I've provided American 78" catalogue numbers on all tracks – those with two or more catalogue numbers are reissues in the same year – 87:09 minutes):

1. If I Didn't Care – THE INK SPOTS (1939, Decca 2286, A)
2. I Miss You So – THE CATS and THE FIDDLE (1940, Bluebird 8429, B-side to “Public Jitterbug No. 1”)
3. Till Then – THE MILLS BROTHERS (1944, Decca 18599, A)
4. I Learn A Lesson, I'll Never Forget (1944, Beacon 7120, A)
5. Sentimental Reasons – DEEK WATSON (1945, Manor 1009, A)
6. Play Jackpot – DUSTY BROOKS and His Four Tones (1945, Memo 1001, A)
7. Atom And Evil – THE GOLDEN GATE QUARTET (1946, Columbia 37236, A)
8. Just A-Sittin' And A-Rockin' – THE DELTA RHYTHM BOYS (1946, Decca 18739, A)
9. I Know – THE JUBALAIRES with Andy Kirk and His Orchestra (1946, Decca 18782, A)
10. I Sold My Heart To The Junk Man – THE BASIN STREET BOYS (1946, Exclusive 225, A)
11. I Cover The Waterfront – THE CATS 'N' JAMMER THREE (1946, Mercury 2003, A)
12. My Baby – THE MELODY MASTERS (1946, Apollo 379, A)
13. I Wonder, I Wonder, I Wonder – THE FOUR ACES (1946, Trilon 143, A)
14. P. S. I Love You – THE FOUR VAGABONDS (1947, Apollo 1057, A)
15. Ol' Man River – THE RAVENS (1947, National 9035, A)
16. Don't You Think I Oughta Know – BILL JOHNSON and His Musical Notes (1947, Harlem 1011/Queen 4171/King 4171, A)
17. I'm All Dressed Up With A Broken Heart – THE FIVE BARS (1947, Bullet 1009, A)
18. Solitude – THE SCAMPS (1947, Modern Music 550, A)
19. After Awhile – THE BIG THREE TRIO (1947, Columbia 37893/30103, A)
20. It's Too Soon To Know – THE ORIOLES (1948, It’s A Natural 5000/Jubilee 5000, A)
21. Recess In Heaven – THE DEEP RIVER BOYS (1948, RCA Victor 20-3203, A)
22. Loch Lomond – THE ROCKETS (1948, Aladdin 3017, A)
23. Go Long – THE DIXIEAIRES (1948, Gotham 163, A)
24. It Takes A Long Tall Brown Skinned Gal – THE FOUR BLUES (1948, Apollo 398, A)
25. You're Heartless – THE FOUR TUNES (1949, RCA Victor 22-0024/50-0008, A)
26. A Kiss And A Rose – THE CHARIOTEERS (1949, Columbia 38438, A)
27. Wrapped Up In A Dream – THE FOUR KNIGHTS (1949, Coral 60046, A)
28. River Stay Away From My Door – THE SYNCOPATORS (1949, National 9095, A)
29. If It's So Baby – THE ROBINS (1949, Savoy 726, A)
30. I've Been A Fool – THE SHADOWS (1949, Lee 200, A)

The 82-page non-detachable booklet is a feast of indepth liner notes on each release by Grammy-winning writer and lifelong fan BILL DAHL. Let's put it this way - there's a 'Photo Captions' index on Page 81 that tells who's who in the black and white publicity shots that accompany most (not all) of the photos. It actually lists the singer's names - who else but Bear would do this? The text is peppered with pictures of those old American 78s on long-forgotten labels like National, Gotham, Bullet, Apollo, Memo, Beacon and Bluebird. You get trade adverts and concert posters for The Ink Spots, The Delta Rhythm Boys, Bill Samuels, The Four Vagabonds and The Four Blues. The CD repros the rare "I'm All Dressed Up With A Broken Heart" by The Five Bars on Bullet and the spine makes up a single photograph of the series name when you line up all 15 volumes alongside each other on a shelf. Long-standing and trusted names like Walter DeVenne, Nico Feuerbach, Victor Pearlin, Colin Escott and Billy Vera have been involved in the research - while Audio Engineer MARCUS HEUMANN did the superb mastering (some Disc/Metalpart transfers by Victor Pearlin and Lothar Blank). The sources (as you can imagine) differ wildly but to my ears the sound quality is improved on everything that I've heard before (including some of the Rhino box sets). The audio and presentation are top-class here (a norm for Bear Family)...

With a huge 30 tracks and a format-busting playing time of 87:09 minutes – you certainly can't accuse this CD of scrimping it. Volume 1 in the series of 15 opens with a died-in-the-wool 1938 classic famously used in the opening scene of Frank Darabont's 1994 movie masterpiece "The Shawshank Redemption". The character Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is sat drunk in his car at night with a gun in hand. He knows that his wife is inside the house ahead of him with another man as he listens to The Ink Spots on the radio sing their nostalgic love song "If I Didn't Care'. Both it and the following two lullabies precursor Fifties Vocal Groups by a decade – "I Miss You So" by The Cats And The Fiddle and "Till Then" by The Mills Brothers – and the opening three sound utterly astonishing in their clarity. All that goes out the window with "I Learned A Lesson, I'll Never Forget" which has clearly been dubbed from a badly worn disc (shame because it's a sweetheart of a tune).

I've always had a thing for "Sentimental Reasons" which Linda Ronstadt covered so beautifully on her 1986 album "'Round Midnight" (also used in the Julia Roberts/Richard Gere soundtrack to "The Runaway Bride" in 1999) and often wondered who did the original? Well here it is. Fronted by ex Ink Spots Tenor Ivory 'Deek' Watson and written by their Baritone/Guitarist William 'Pat' Best – it's another rough transfer – but a fabulous inclusion – scratchy or no. A welcome lyrical wit kicks in with the slot-machine song "Play Jackpot" where our hero wisely advises his listeners to "...pull down the lever and see what you got..." (it also boasts great audio despite the barely audible crackle in the background). The same brill audio applies to a genuinely astonishing find – an anti nuclear song cut a year after Enola Gay dropped its horrible cargo. It's called "Atom And Evil" wherein The Golden Gate Quarter solemnly warn us that if "...Atom and Evil should ever be wed...then damn near all of us are gonna be dead..." (so true).

Duke Ellington's "Just A-Sittin' And A Rockin'" as sung by The Delta Rhythm Boys features the gorgeous Lead Vocals of Otho 'Lee' Gaines – said to have massively influenced a singer beloved by all Vocal Group collectors – Jimmy Ricks of The Ravens. And you can hear why Ricks was so enamoured – Gaines' deep velvet tone lift every song to another place. Fabulous clarity returns with "I Know" by The Jubalaires where Andy Kirk fronts amazing Brass and Guitar. The gorgeous standard "I Sold My Heart To The Junk Man" is represented here by a clean-as-a-whistle transfer for The Basin Street Boys where Ormond Wilson sadly tells all his lady friends that "...he'll never fall in love again...” (though I've heard they’re not so sure). Two very rough transfers come at you next – "Cover The Waterfront" and "My Baby" and while the lovely melodies impress – there's no escaping the fact that the wall of cackle and clicks make them hard going as a listen.

Better is "P.S. I Love You" sung by Lead Tenor John Jordan of The Four Vagabonds – as lovely and as nostalgic a tune as a filmmaker could wish for. A welcome bopper arrives in sparkling form as the awesome Bass Singer Jimmy Ricks does that Jerome Kern classic "Ol' Man River" for The Ravens – thankfully keeping it upbeat - the suffering explored in the song somehow pushed into the background. Two more beautiful melodies "Don't You Think I Oughta Know" by Bill Johnson and "I'm Dressed Up With A Broken Heart" by The Five Bars are badly wrecked – but they're such gorgeous songs and strong performances – I can fully understand their inclusion is not just about rarity value. Thankfully the clarity on The Scamps version of Duke Ellington's "Solitude" is fabulous – piano and voices like they were in the room. The Big Three Trio liven things up with "...Hey Mo! Tell old Tom...hurry on down...the party is on...were gonna drink a little whiskey...after awhile..."

Things go into the legendary with "It's Too Soon To Know" by The Orioles fronted by the suave and silver-toned Sonny Til - a sex symbol of the day for African-American teenage girls (the equally terrific George Nelson holds the second half of the song sounding not unlike a young Louis Armstrong). Another professing-my-love "my angle, my dear" song comes in the sweet shape of The Deep River Boys singing "Recess In Heaven" while the vocal bopper "Loch Lomond" assures us that The Rockets have all been to Scotland (well maybe not). And on it goes to Preacher Brown who's in both celestial and congregational trouble because a "...long tall brown skinned gal made him lay his bible down..." (oh dear). Saving us all from the flames of desire is the wistful "You're Heartless" by The Four Tunes – another audio winner with stunning clarity. Aside from the R&B jaunt of The Robins on a wonderfully clear "If It's So Baby" - two of the compilation's final four - "A Kiss And A Rose" by The Charioteers and "Wrapped Up In A Dream" by The Four Knights are amazingly evocative – dripping the sob-pillow longings of hopeless romantics the world over...and would we have it any other way.

To sum up – I had honestly felt that Volume 1 in this series would be an Audio Disaster Area because of transfer problems with discs so staggeringly old (and as I’ve highlighted - in some cases it is). But man oh man the clarity on the others is stunning. And like its 1950 follow-up – '1939 to 1949' is dominated by unashamedly smoochy tunes – an out-and-out 'romantic' compilation that positively drips old movies nostalgia – and personally I love that.

Niggles - they're too expensive as singles discs and perhaps they should have been doubles because real collectors will have more than a few titles on offer here. But Bear Family will argue '...not in this sound quality or looking this good...' - and they'd have a point.

Presented to us with love and affection by an independent record company that cares about forgotten voices that shouldn’t be forgotten. What a sweetheart of a compilation and another gold standard from Bear...
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great music and liner notes but issues with disk format 9 Feb. 2013
By Bernie Rosman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The tracks on this CD and others in this Bear Family series are well-chosen and meticulously researched with excellent liner notes from Bill Dahl. However, there appear to be format issues with the disks, many of which are longer than 80 minutes. Some of the disks do not play on my Bose Soundlink Cd player, but do play on other CD players. Other disks in the series (e.g. this volume (Vol. 1) play only 29 of the 30 tracks, although I can rip them all on my computer. Perhaps Bear can shed some light on this issue.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Typical Bear Family Compilation: Excellent! 27 Dec. 2012
By michael williams - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Another great entry in another great series from the folks at Bear Family. This pre-1954 stuff is very interesting and makes you realize that Doo-Wop didn't just spring out of thin air in 1954. There are very few collections of Black Vocal Groups from the '30s and '40s and this one hits all the high points (Ink Spots, Mills Brothers) with many more obscure, but worthy artists.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bear Family Does It Again 2 April 2013
By 'da Hui - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
You cannot beat Bear Family Records for the care and quality that go into their CDs and LPs. This first volume of the Street Corner Symphonies is sonically surprising and comes with just enough accompanying information to practically qualify it as a text book for American music. Buy this CD with confidence. I cannot imagine anybody being disappointed.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars more amazing work from bear family 9 Aug. 2012
By matthew king - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm usually platform-agnostic but spending the extra money to get discs produced by Bear Family is always worth it. I've already picked up the first three volumes of the set and will get the rest soon. There are some very well known songs on these sets and a lot of great obscurities too.
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know


Customer Discussions


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Look for similar items by category


Feedback