Foreword Reviews

Making Your Memories with Rock & Roll and Doo-Wop

The Music and Artists of the 1950s and Early 1960s

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

Making Your Memories is a time capsule and a kindhearted gift, encouraging the making of new memories by music lovers of the past, present, and future.

In Making Your Memories with Rock & Roll and Doo-Wop, J. C. De Ladurantey compiles an easily digestible and joy-infused series of thematic reminiscences that prompt readers to rediscover the artists and culture of early rock-and-roll.

The author and his on-air personality, “The Doctor of Doo Wop,” are proud products of the the post-WWII era, a time of American prosperity when teens had an increasing market share in a new industry of recorded, rather than live, music. Here, each hit single, Billboard mainstay, and local gem is afforded an intrinsic value, celebrated for helping to form memories made to last.

This volume shows that people like De Ladurantey were shaped by the new ways that artists captured feelings, fleeting moments, and deeply felt human experiences. Such identities are shown to be genuine, entwined irreversibly with American patriotism, a rapidly evolving music recording industry, the rise of television, and a wholesome perspective on young love and dating.

Although some might be wary of the book’s deliberate and open avoidance of criticism related to the era’s racial and economic problems, De Ladurantey’s relentless positivity is part of his personality, and he provides a wealth of references in which interested readers may seek a deeper analysis. As he makes clear, the point of Making Your Memories is to reexperience, with fondness and reverence, a soundtrack to what feels to him like a simpler time.

With this in mind, the volume is lovingly compiled; each chapter contains lists of song titles, evocative lyrical snippets, or casts of characters whose very existences may have been, for some, locked up in memory banks for decades. Each one is pulled back into the sunshine, celebrated, and cherished for its impact.

These lists also make for interesting follow-up potential, creating possibilities for endless playlists and giving record collectors renewed reasons to dust off their 45s and turn up the hi-fi. The author’s passion for the songs and sounds of the ‘50s translates well to the page, and it’s easy to imagine De Ladurantey’s voice coming over the airwaves to introduce another classic.

True music lovers will enjoy the multiple angles from which “the Doctor” approaches his subject, like using musical analysis, breaking down some of the common themes found in popular group names, focusing on duos or groups who used a great many “nonsense words” (“sho u bop ba daaaaaa”), and the like. The tone is conversational, and De Ladurantey closes many chapters with an engaging question for his readers.

Making Your Memories is both time capsule and baton, a heartfelt tribute and kindhearted gift, encouraging the making of new memories by music lovers of the past, present, and future.

Reviewed by Patty Comeau

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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