Some of the best music of the 1950s came from young people harmonizing on the street corners and other places like hallways and train cars. The British Invasion rock and roll of the 1960s evolved from their predecessors of street corner doo wop. I grew up listening to Don K. Reed on The Doo Wop Shop Sunday nights on WCBS-FM in New York. Today, the best place to pick it up is on Pandora on your computer.
It got me thinking. Before the cell phone and such devices this generation clings to like a baby clings to a milk bottle or pacifier, there was no scorn for a person or persons to harmonize on the train on the way to or from work. If they had good singing voices, [we] would simply listen and enjoy the music. Today, there would be somebody on a cell phone somewhere on that rail car exclaiming, Shut Up, I’m on the phone! The only car where cell phones are prohibited is the Quiet Car usually located at the rear of the train—but you can’t sing in the quiet car either.
I propose commuter railroads designate one car to be The Doo Wop Car where both those who want to harmonize and those who want to listen can congregate and be like the days gone by. No cell phones permitted, but harmonizing encouraged! If this were allowed to happen, this generation would have a new appreciation for good music and maybe some new great songs would evolve. Rap is not music—I really think they should put a C in front of it! I am not suggesting bringing in drums, electric guitars, and amplifiers and rattling eardrums out of house and home—just simple street corner doo wop in the doo wop car.
If singing on the train is now scorned due to the ones that just have to be on their cell phones, alas, another casualty of technology.