Song of the Week

California Dreamin by The Mamas and The Papas

I don’t think there is any other song out there that says 1960s like this one. There is something about this song – perhaps that eerie guitar intro, or the dismal lyrics – that makes it wonderful. The vocals of this piece are brilliant, with that “call-answer” technique. “All the leaves are brown, all the leaves are broooooown.” The melancholy tone of this piece is brilliant too. Maybe that’s why it took so long for this song to gain attention.

So many ’50s and early ’60s songs are upbeat, because of course many people would dance to them. Then it seems that by the mid and late-1960s a totally new style of music emerged, like the style featured in this song. I mean you could try dancing to this song, but it’s better to just listen to it while relaxing by the pool or on the beach. The imagery that this song portrays is great as well. That longing of being in California, basking in the sun on one of the beaches, or driving with the top down on Route 66. California was the place to be back in the ’60s.

This song really strikes me because I have wanted to go to southern California for a while now. I should say, that I’ve been “dreaming” of going to California. Many people say it’s overrated, but I think it’s filled with so much history. That lovely Spanish-style architecture, the music, the movies, the sun, the busy freeways, the palm trees, Sunset Blvd., Hollywood Blvd., hell even the smog!

The unique thing about California is that since the 1800s, people have been flocking there for opportunities. At first it was the Gold Rush, then the religious reformations, then the Okies searching for better lives during the Great Depression, then the World War II weapon manufacturing centers, then the movie industry, then the Hippie movement! Did I miss anything???? California, the “land of opportunity,” the promised land, has served as a beacon of hope for many people, and still remains that way today.

-Live and love your life!


About doowopdoowah

Hello and welcome! This site is dedicated to the incredible music known as “doo wop” from the 1950s and 1960s. As a college student studying psychology and music, I am fascinated by the soul and passion that lives within the plethora of songs from these unique times. “Doo wop” is an indelible form of popular music that filled the airwaves and hearts of those throughout the 1950s and 1960s. This music is soulful, passionate, and also romantic. Moreover, this music is nostalgic. Many might say that the nostalgia comes from the individual memories and experiences people had with this music back in the day (at the diners, the drive-in movies, in the backseat of the ’57 Chevy, on the street corners). However, as a young adult who certainly did not live through the 1950s and 1960s, I also become very nostalgic when listening to this music. There is an innocence to it, a certain romantic charm that warms the heart and brings a few tears. I acknowledge that everyone experiences music differently. We all have individual tastes, favorites. Furthermore, many people today have no idea what “doo wop” even is. The truth is, even though many of us do not know what this music is, we have all experienced it at some point in our lives, whether it was while watching a movie, a TV show, or scrolling through the Sirius or XM radio stations, listening to Meghan Trainor (Yes, doo wop music is still recorded and produced today)! The purpose of this site is to share and reflect upon some great music from a very tumultuous time in history, and also upon the legacy this music has left. I hope this site allows people of all ages to see that the nostalgia lies not only in the memories and experiences from way back when; it lies within the music. ABOUT ME I have been on WordPress now for about five years – doesn’t seem like it’s been that long. I was hesitant to start this blog and contemplated doing it for months. Writing has never been a strong suit, however, I do indeed enjoy it, and this is my space to sort of practice – so I apologize in advance if I may sound as though I am rambling, making no sense. I’m currently a college student (had to update this) who loves to talk, to play and listen to music, to learn, to meet new people, and to study just about anything. I LOVE classical music, Beethoven, 50s/60s pop and so much more. Also, anything psychology, really. I try to learn something new about myself everyday. I try to meet somebody new everyday. And I try to meditate everyday, using music and nature as my guide. I enjoy travelling and would like to visit New York City, Washington D.C., Boston, Los Angeles or any other Southern Californian city (Southern Californian architecture is just beautiful), and Italy. Unfortunately, I have yet to go to any of these places, but the goal is to visit before I reach 25. I have many idols. Leonard Bernstein (the BEST conductor ever, pictured in my profile picture) definitely inspired me to study music beyond its surface, and to talk about it. Ludwig van Beethoven is just brilliant, and has inspired me to learn more about music. Goldie Hawn (one of my favorite actresses and a huge proponent of positive psychology pertaining to mindfulness in children) - I grew up watching her movies. She has such a dynamic personality and life! I’m still waiting, though for her to make her big comeback to the screen… I hope it will happen! Other than that, I believe we all have the power to inspire each other and I think we should use that power more often. I hope that we can inspire each other by reflecting on great music - and other things too! It's interesting because my initial blog, liveloveyourlife was never meant to be a music blog. However, after sorting through my posts, 90% of it is music.. Oops! I try to tie the music into other aspects, but those messages tend to be difficult to convey sometimes, but I try my best. Doowopdoowah on the other hand is purely a music blog and will be where most of the action happens! So please, reach out, share your thoughts and feelings! Read (and LISTEN) on!

Posted on July 21, 2012, in Song of the Week and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I was singing this song last week and it even cropped up in the photo challenge I posted last week, for “dreaming”.

    By all means go visit California. The state is huge and has so many diverse areas. From the hot sandy beaches to the south to the cool coastal redwoods on the north, dormant volcanoes, rivers, lakes, Hollywood, San Francisco, Disneyland, Laguna Beach, Carmel, all the missions, the wine country… It is fabulous, so wonderful to travel!

    That said, it is not the land of opportunity any longer. The state is in disarray, the financial siuation for the schools is precarious, the state dead last out of all 50 states in education. It makes me sad to see it in such bad shape, but we tried to move back there and lived it from 2008-2010, to be near family, and the opportunities so dismal that we moved back where we could both teach and neither of us has to fear pinkslipping.

    It is definitely a beacon for travel, and I highly recommend it. You could easily spend a month and never be bored! But please don’t ever consider moving there. It’s not a beacon of opportunity. It is so sad, but California is self-destructing. We lived it and we’re lucky we were able to escape it back to Maine, where we both have jobs!

  2. Gosh, had no idea that the conditions were so bad there. I agree, it is really sad. I still definitely want to go there for vacation though! I can’t believe the education system is that bad too. Horrible. Thanks for the insight!

    You mentioned teaching… What do you and your husband teach?

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