The Origins of Wildwood's Fabulous Doo Wop

Postwar 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.

Families 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.


The Doo Wop Preservation League was founded to highlight these imaginative forms, celebrate their soaring designs, and preserve them for future generations to enjoy.


Did you know...

"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...

Wildwood's reputation for top-line entertainment in the 1950s and 1960s earned it the nickname "Little Las Vegas"...