These are my top thirty "Doo-Wop" records from 1960-1963, presented in chronological order.
title artist highest ranking week debuted
Step by Step The Crests 14 1960 4 4
Trouble in Paradise The Crests 20 1960 7 18
Save the Last Dance for Me The Drifters 1 1960 9 19
Stay Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs 1 1960 10 10
Will You Love Me Tomorrow The Shirelles 1 1960 12 12
There's a Moon Out Tonight The Capris 3 1961 1 23
Blue Moon The Marcels 1 1961 3 20
Daddy's Home Shep & the Limelites 2 1961 4 10
Some Kind of Wonderful The Drifters 32 1961 4 10
Barbara Ann The Regents 13 1961 5 22
Those Oldies But Goodies Little Caesar & the Romans 9 1961 5 29
Heart and Soul The Cleftones 18 1961 6 19
My True Story The Jive Five 3 1961 8 14
A Little Bit of Soap The Jarmels 12 1961 8 28
Runaround Sue Dion 1 1961 10 2
Please Mr. Postman The Marvelettes 1 1961 10 16
Gypsy Woman The Impressions 20 1961 11 20
The Lion Sleeps Tonight The Tokens 1 1961 11 27
Baby It's You The Shirelles 8 1962 1 6
Cry To Me Solomon Burke 44 1962 1 12
Duke of Earl Gene Chandler 1 1962 1 27
Sherry The Four Seasons 1 1962 9 1
Big Girls Don't Cry The Four Seasons 1 1962 10 27
Up on the Roof The Drifters 5 1962 12 29
Walk Like A Man The Four Seasons 1 1963 1 26
Rhythm of the Rain The Cascades 3 1963 1 26
On Broadway The Drifters 9 1963 4 6
Come and Get These Memories Martha & the Vandellas 29 1963 5 18
So Much In Love The Tymes 1 1963 6 22
My Boyfriend's Back The Angels 1 1963 8 10

For the doo-wop songs from 1954 - 1959, click on the button to the right:

Doo-Wop music flourished during the Elvis Era.  The style was derived from the earlier vocal harmonies of groups such as the Ink Spots and the Mills Brothers.  Those harmonies were adopted by rhythm and blues artists such as the Orioles, the Penguins, and the Moonglows.  Many teens in the mid 1950's were attracted to the new sound of rock and roll, but many did not have access to the necessary instruments.  The doo-wop sound came to rely more heavily on the background vocals.  The name "doo-wop" reflected the often meaningless words chanted as background to the lead vocals.  In some cases, the nonsense syllables were a prominent aspect of the record, such as "Come Go With Me" by The Dell-Vikings.  In others, such as "Since I Don't Have You" by The Skyliners, the emphasis is more on the "ooo's and ahhhh's."   Another common characteristic of the sound was its heavy dose of echo.  Many of the genre's artists got their start singing in school hallways, and bathrooms where a heavy echo could be produced.  Most of the groups had four or five members and were identified as a group (The Clovers, "Devil or Angel") but sometimes a group leader was recognized (Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers, "Why Do Fools Fall in Love").  Eventually, the genre included solo performers where the backup group vocals went uncredited (Gene Chandler, "Duke of Earl").  In the case of Dion & The Belmonts, Dion eventually split with his group, but his solo efforts ("Runaround Sue") had backing vocals sounding just like The Belmonts – in this case, an uncredited group, The Del Satins.

With its close relationship to rhythm and blues, most of the doo-wop groups were black (The Platters), but some were white (The Diamonds), and some were racially mixed (The Dell-Vikings).  Many of the early white doo-wop groups were the product of "cover" versions frequently produced during the era to capitalize on a promising r & b record by cleaning up the vocals and making the production (and the group itself) more attractive to a white audience (and thus making more money).  The Crew Cuts ("Sh-Boom"), The McGuire Sisters ("Sincerely"), and The Diamonds ("Church Bells May Ring") are prime examples of white covers. 

While early doo-wop records such as Otis Williams & The Charms' "Ivory Tower" were almost devoid of instrumentation, the genre evolved to eventually include full orchestras, such as The Drifters' "Up on the Roof."  As stated before, early on the genre was almost exclusively made up of black groups, but later such all white groups as Dion & The Belmonts and The Four Seasons had great success.

Many rock and roll records of the Elvis Era owed their success to the influence of doo-wop.  Neil Sedaka had great success in the early 1960's with records which included doo-wop lyrics, such as his #1 hit, "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" ("Down dooby doo down down").  Roy Orbison's early successes, such as "Only The Lonely" employed doo-wop ("dum dum dum, dumdy doo dwah").  In 1961, Barry Mann had a #7 hit with a song that payed homage to the genre, "Who Put The Bomp (in the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)".  Jan & Dean also showed a heavy doo-wop influence in their initial hit recording "Baby Talk."

Categorizing records as "doo-wop" has a grey area.  For this list, sometimes a record that has doo-wop sound isn't included because it comes up a little short on some of the criteria.  For example, "Eddie My Love" by The Teen Queens has a doo-wop kind of sound, but it’s a duet, not a vocal group, and it lacks the backing vocals and bass commonly associated with the genre.  At the same time, "Lollipop" by The Chordettes is included as it certainly has the harmony, a four member group (all female), and the requisite nonsense syllables ("pop, ba boom boom").  The Four Seasons are included as their music is east-coast r & b influenced, with emphasis on the nonsense syllables, Frankie Valli's falsetto, and Bob Gaudio's bass ("Sherry" – "Why don't you come out?")  Their contemporaries, The Beach Boys are not listed as their sound was more closely identified with the west coast surf guitar driven sound, although they certainly employed the close harmony and backing vocals (but these vocals were more commonly repeated phrases rather than nonsense syllables ("Fun, Fun, Fun" – "fun, fun, fun, now that daddy took her T-Bird away"). The girl groups of the early 1960's present a categorization dilemma.  While many are obviously doo-wop influenced, the increased instrumental role, less use of harmony,  and the use of more responsive lyrics from the backup vocals and less nonsense syllables make many of them borderline.  Most of The Shirelles records seem to qualify ("Will You Love Me Tomorrow") but The Marvelettes ("Playboy") doesn't.

 All of this, of course, is debatable.  However flawed it might be, below is my list of the doo-wop sounds of 1960 - 1963:

Baby Blue by The Echoes 3/27/1961 #12
Baby It's You by The Shirelles 1/6/1962 #8
Barbara Ann by The Regents 5/22/1961 #13
Beechwood 4 5789 by The Marvelettes 9/1/1962 #17
Big Girls Don't Cry by The Four Seasons 10/27/1962 #1
Big John by The Shirelles 10/23/1961 #21
Blue Moon by The Marcels 3/20/1961 #1
Candy Girl by The Four Seasons 7/20/1963 #3
Cherry Pie by Skip & Flip 4/25/1960 #11
Come On Little Angel by The Belmonts 8/25/1962 #28
Come and Get These Memories by Martha & the Vandellas 5/18/1963 #29
Cry To Me by Solomon Burke 1/12/1962 #44
Daddy's Home by Shep & the Limelites 4/10/1961 #2
Dedicated to the One I Love by The Shirelles 2/6/1961 #3
Denise by Randy & the Rainbows 7/27/1963 #10
Diamonds & Pearls by The Paradons 9/26/1960 #18
Donna the Prima Donna by Dion 9/28/1963 #6
Drip Drop by Dion 11/23/1963 #6
Duke of Earl by Gene Chandler 1/27/1962 #1
Every Beat of My Heart by The Pips 6/5/1961 #6
First Taste Of Love by Ben E. King 11/18/1960 #53
Gypsy Woman by The Impressions 11/20/1961 #20
Have You Heard by The Duprees 11/30/1963 #18
Heart and Soul by The Cleftones 6/19/1961 #18
Heartaches by The Marcels 10/30/1961 #7
I Understand by The G-Clefs 10/16/1961 #9
I Wish That We Were Married by Ronnie & The Hi-Lites 4/21/1962 #16
I Count the Tears by The Drifters 12/31/1960 #17
I Love You by The Volumes 6/2/1962 #22
Image of a Girl by The Safaris 7/11/1960 #6
Let Me In by The Sensations 2/10/1962 #4
Letter Full of Tears by Gladys Knight & the Pips 1/20/1962 #19
The Lion Sleeps Tonight by The Tokens 11/27/1961 #1
The Lion Sleeps Tonight by The Tokens 11/27/1961 #1
A Little Bit of Soap by The Jarmels 8/28/1961 #12
Little Bitty Pretty One by Clyde McPhatter 6/30/1962 #25
Little Diane by Dion 7/21/1962 #8
Love Came To Me by Dion 11/24/1962 #10
Lovers Who Wander by Dion 5/5/1962 #3
Mama Said by The Shirelles 5/1/1961 #4
My Own True Love by The Duprees 11/10/1962 #13
My Boyfriend's Back by The Angels 8/10/1963 #1
My True Story by The Jive Five 8/14/1961 #3

On Broadway by The Drifters 4/6/1963 #9
Once In A While by The Chimes 1/16/1961 #11
Papa Oom Mow Mow by The Rivingtons 3/16/1962 #48
Peanut Butter by The Marathons 5/22/1961 #20
Please Mr. Postman by The Marvelettes 10/16/1961 #1
Please Stay by The Drifters 6/26/1961 #14
Pretty Little Angel Eyes by Curtis Lee 7/17/1961 #7
Rama Lama Ding Dong by The Edsels 6/5/1961 #21
Remember Then by The Earls 1/12/1963 #24
Rhythm of the Rain by The Cascades 1/26/1963 #3
Ruby Baby by Dion 1/26/1963 #2
Runaround Sue by Dion 10/2/1961 #1
Sacred by The Castells 7/3/1961 #20
Save the Last Dance for Me by The Drifters 9/19/1960 #1
Sherry by The Four Seasons 9/1/1962 #1
Shimmy, Shimmy, Ko-Ko-Bop by Little Anthony & the Imperials 1/18/1960 #24
So This Is Love by The Castells 5/26/1962 #21
Soldier Boy by The Shirelles 3/31/1962 #1
Some Kind of Wonderful by The Drifters 4/10/1961 #32
So Much In Love by The Tymes 6/22/1963 #1
Stay by Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs 10/10/1960 #1
Step by Step by The Crests 4/4/1960 #14
Sweets For My Sweet by The Drifters 9/25/1961 #16
TELL ME WHY by The Belmonts 6/19/1961 #18
The Majestic by Dion 12/18/1961 #36
There's a Moon Out Tonight by The Capris 1/23/1961 #3
There's No Other by The Crystals 12/11/1961 #20
There's No Other by The Crystals 12/11/1961 #20
This Magic Moment by The Drifters 3/14/1960 #16
Those Oldies But Goodies by Little Caesar & the Romans 5/29/1961 #9
Till Then by The Classics 7/20/1963 #20
Tonight I Fell In Love by The Tokens 4/24/1961 #15
Tonight's the Night by The Shirelles 10/17/1960 #39
Tragedy by The Fleetwoods 5/8/1961 #10
Trouble in Paradise by The Crests 7/18/1960 #20
Up on the Roof by The Drifters 12/29/1962 #5
Walk Like A Man by The Four Seasons 1/26/1963 #1
The Wanderer by Dion 12/16/1961 #2
When We Get Married by The Dreamlovers 8/28/1961 #10
Where or When by Dion & the Belmonts 1/11/1960 #3
Will You Love Me Tomorrow by The Shirelles 12/12/1960 #1
A Wonderful Dream by The Majors 9/8/1962 #22
You Belong to Me by The Duprees 8/25/1962 #7