Origins of Wildwood's Fabulous Doo Wop
1950's America was an optimistic, confident, enthusiastic society and an economic
colossus where people enjoyed increasingly greater wealth and leisure time. TV
overtook radio as the most important cultural influence and began broadcasting
ads for a device that would transform society: the automobile.
wanted to get in their cars and go! The Wildwoods accommodated them with a dynamic
seaside boardwalk, amusement piers and nightclubs that became a proving ground
for the period's biggest music stars. The prosperity and vitality of the 1950's
provided the impetus for an exciting high-voltage visual style that transformed
the Wildwoods' architectural landscape. The island resort's architecture built
in this era reflected the spirit of the people: brash, bold and boastful, and
the popular culture of the times. The dense building fabric presented a varied
and exaggerated spectacle of designs, all competing for the passing motorists'
attention. Angular elements, space-age imagery, tropical themes and colors, with
spectacular neon signage turning up the volume even more, combined to form a sensational
display that can still be seen in the Wildwoods today.
Doo Wop Preservation League was founded to highlight these imaginative forms,
celebrate their soaring designs, and preserve them for future generations to enjoy.
"The Twist" was first introduced to the world
by Chubby Checker in Wildwood's Rainbow Club in 1960...
The first national
broadcast of Dick Clark's "American Bandstand" show was aired from the
Starlight Ballroom on the Wildwood Boardwalk in 1957...
for top-line entertainment in the 1950s and 1960s earned it the nickname "Little