The ultimate sing along music is Doo Wop. The other day I shared a CD with a friend my age. We immediately began singing with the songs and discussing memories from the era. Doo Wop prospered from the mid-fifties to the early sixties just as I was becoming aware of music in early adolescence. The songs were all about love, a topic I also discovered during this time. Their general innocence paralleled my own early years and that of many others on the front end of the baby boom. Perhaps that has something to do with the fondness of the memories. In the mid sixties Soul, the British groups, and other more complex and forceful songs took over as we got older, entered later adolescence, and the country became more politicized on many important issues.
So Doo Wop is the music of awakening and transition for many. This afternoon I pulled out my collection and reflected on my favorites. I generally like the ballads best. This was an era with great group names that reflect this innocence, The Five Satins (In the Still of the Night), The Flamingos (I Only Have Eyes for You), The Platters (Only You and many more), The Cadillacs (Speedo (but my real name is Mr. Earl), The Moontones (Book of Love), The Capris (There is a Moon Out Tonight), and The Penguins (Earth Angle). There were a lot of cars and birds and you tend to remember the song more than the group, especially the one hit wonders.
After finding Doo Wop missing from the Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock and Roll, looked in the wikipedia. It has a reasonable entry on Doo Wop. It says the term was orginated by a DJ, Gus Gossert, in the 1970s to refer mostly to the white groups of the era but it got later expanded to cover black R&B groups of the era. Most current CD collections include both white and black groups. Some people do not like the term, but whatever term you choose the music is great and ideal for singing along. Google has 604,000 hits for doo wop, some make for interesting reading
There are many collections of Doo Wop songs available today. My list of favorites is very long so I will continue tomorrow with my picks.