Italian Americans in Bronx Doo Wop: The Glory and the Paradox

Mar 01, 2019 326

BY: Mark Naison

The appearance of the Green Book, a mass market movie where the Italian American main character doesn’t want Black people fixing things in his house, but feels confident enough to school a Black classical musician on the music of “Little Richard” is a perfect opening for discussing the prominent- and ambivalent- role of Italian Americans in the growth of Urban Harmonic Music- sometimes known as “Doo Wop”- in the Bronx.

A form of music that was first performed by black artists in the Morrisania section of the Bronx in the early 1950’s, and popularized through hits like the Chords “Sh-Boom” and the Chantels “Maybe,” it spread quickly into Bronx Italian American neighborhoods and led to scores of Italian Americans groups making records, and two Italian American singers, Dion DiMucci and Bobby Darin, becoming among the best known rock and roll stars of the later 50’s. 

Read more


You may be interested