Best Jump Tune Intros ©2002 JCMarion

Whispering Bells - The DelVikings (Fee Bee / Mercury). This mid fifties rocker starts off immediately in high gear with tenor sax and guitar out front. Rhythmic hand clapping leads to the vocal intro set up by the bass and then the "ding - dong" followed by the rest of the group. The intro is great in setting the stage for what is to follow - an all out rocker by this Pittsburgh group.

You're So Fine - The Falcons (Unart). This group which gave us Eddie Floyd, Wilson Pickett, and lead singer Joe (brother of Levi of the Temptations) Stubbs, sits back and waits out the piano intro at medium tempo. At the concluding piano chord at the rhythm stop, Stubbs blasts into the lyric with the force of a bulldozer. Coming after the almost sedate intro the record is an all time soulful winner.

Crazy Love - The Royaltones (Old Town). This falsetto led group gives an almost out of control performance on this up tempo gem. A "laughing" sax intro for the first chorus gives way to the bass sung doo wop-a-doo on the second go-through, and then Eddie Carson's falsetto lead tops off the group as they move into the main lyrics of the tune. The group takes the "Crazy" of the title and incorporates it into the intro which has made the song a historic natural.
No Chance - The Cadillacs (Josie). A quick statement by Jessie Powell and his combo lead into LaVern Drake's bass statement and then the supercharged "shoo-be-doo-be-doo-wop" wordless vocal intro of this all time great jump tune. From this great intro to the last note, this rock classic by one of the very best vocal quintets of all time delivers the goods.

Down The Road - The Cadillacs (Josie). A quick instrumental chorus by the Jessie Powell combo sets up Lavern Drake again with a bass set up for the rest of the group to jump into the scat harmony chorus. A string bass descending run is the launching pad for the vocal chorus for this frantic rock tune. A memorable jumper for all time.

Angel In My Life - The Jewels (Imperial). The intro features over pounding drums (echoing the group's previous blast of "Hearts Of Stone") is what I call a bit of "skeleton" piano, because it sounds like music that would accompany dancing skeletons in a Disney cartoon or some such. Anyway the piano makes way for this dynamic group's vocal interpretation of the song, every bit as threatening as their previous record.

At My Front Door (Crazy Little Mama) - The Eldorados (Vee-Jay). The intro consists of a tenor sax and piano bass keys playing in unison. The intro creeps in and with a snapping drum roll break, the group launches into the vocal. The exact same passage is played during the final chorus nicely framing the vocal performance on this well liked song.

Rang Tang Ding Dong (The Japanese Sandman) - The Cellos (Apollo). The Asian influenced electric guitar figure with smashing cymbals opens the festivities here. The question and answer of the fifties ( Q: Who are you ? A: I am the Japanese Sandman) follow with, what else ? . . ."He goes Rang Tang Ding Dong . . . . ." Was there ever a better use of musical nonsense ? Or was it really nonsense ?

Hey Senorita - The Penguins (Dootone). Now tell the truth, doesn't this intro have the sound and the feel of a get together in someone's living room (circa the Watts section of L.A. 1954) ? Just hand clapping in front of a piano (until the appearance of mysterious bongos on the last note of the song. Could they have been added later ?). One full chorus of piano and finger snapping / hand clapping and into the vocal. If this was a first take, it certainly remains priceless.

Gee Records - The label's two main vocal groups during the heyday of the mid fifties, The Teenagers and The Cleftones, seem to have memorable intros on most of their up tempo recordings. All those memorable bass lines by Sherman Garnes for The Teenagers ("Hey Doo Wop Doo Wop Doo Wop Doh Doh" , or "Bay Bay Bay Be Doo Doo Be Doo Wop" or " Doo Bop See Doo Bum Bum Bum Bum Bum" and of course the immortal "Hoolie Bop A Cow Bop A Cow Bop A Cow Cow" and others) set the stages for some of the greatest and long lasting classics from the 50s ever recorded. That the group's lead singer was also a singular talent made them a rock phenom of the times. The Cleftones on the other hand varied their intros a bit but some of their classics include the wordless a capella intro to "You Baby You", the "diddle liddle liddle liddle lit" for "Little Girl Of Mine", and the bass led harmony figure leading into "String Around My Heart". There is one intro that must be singled out however. This comes from the live Alan Freed broadcasts from CBS radio in 1956. Freed introduces the Teenagers "singing their latest hit "I Promise To Remember" and you hear the full orchestra's "running on to the stage" music as the group gets set. Then one cataclysmic piano chord (though not as bombastic or nearly as long as the final note of The Beatles' "A Day In The Life") leads into Sherman's wall shaking "hoolie bop a cow" intro. The entire recorded bit is incredible, and the intro stands alone.

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