This is a gorgeous doo wop song from the 1950s which would obviously have to get severely trimmed down if you’re going to perform it solo with one guitar or ukulele instead of having a band and 3 back up singers.
But that’s where arrangement comes in.
In the tabbed versions here, you actually do sing some of the accompanying parts when the lead singer is not singing. It’s about as complete a piece as you can do solo.
I’ve also simplified a few phrases ever so slightly, taking out a few subtle melismas (singing of a single syllable while moving between different notes) that are rather hard to do. Finally, I left out that stunning ending vocal interlude the lead singer, Fred Parris, does at the end. If you can do that, you shouldn’t be surfing this site for your music.
The notes are all written out in the tabs (by note letter) to help you figure out how to play my version of the tab.
Now, all that said of playing solo, if you had a group of people, you can certainly train them to sing the back up parts. That would be the “shoh doh shoh be doh” part throughout. This would be a great ukulele group piece, for example, if you put the time in to learn it!
If the letter size tabs (8.5″ x 11″) are too small for your eyes, you can either enlarge to tabloid size (11″ x 17″) using an automatic enlarge feature on many photocopiers, or download the tabloid sized versions for printing. The tabloid size tabs can be inserted into a typical letter sized binder on the 11″ size, and folded almost in half to fit. You just open each tab to use it.
By the way, the video was from the 1950s and is quite sad if you realized segregation was in full tilt back then. The white people loved these guys’ music, but treated them worse than they treated their pets. They forced them in the back door, drink from different fountains, probably dressed outside, etc. No wonder they don’t look very happy.
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 7.4