Rock historian Ed Ward begins a special series on the contribution of various cities to rock and roll. He begins with Los Angeles. Artists discussed Roy Milton, Johnny Otis, Esther Phillips, Richie Valens, Eddie Cochran, Beach Boys, Phil Spector, The Ronettes, and The Byrds.
Rock historian Ed Ward looks at some of the early integrated doo-wop groups. He says unlike today's white acts which appropriate black styles, those early groups truly mixed black and white performers and black and white musical styles.
Rock historian Ed Ward profiles the Gee and End record labels. They were the first to produce vocal-group records for teenagers by groups like Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, the Cleftones, and Arlene Smith and the Chantels.
Rock historian Ed Ward has a retrospective on the Five Keys, a black harmony group that turned out a number of pop and R&B hits in the early 1950's. Their hits included "The Glory of Love," "Ling Ting Tong," and "Close Your Eyes."
Rock historian Ed Ward profiles Jive Five, a soul band led by Eugene Pitt that flourished briefly in the mid-60s. Pitt was one of the few rhythm and blues artists to successfully make the transition to soul. He's best remembered for the song "What's Your Name."
Poet Mark Halliday reads a poem inspired by a song by the Doo-Wop group The Capris. Halliday, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, has read several of his poems on Fresh Air. (Rebroadcast. Originally broadcast on Friday, December 30, 1988.)