Based in the North East Of England, The Doo Wop Dollies are a female vintage singing group, bringing you the best music from the 1930s and 1940s. Founder Elle Douglas tells us how she put the group together, and what it’s like to be transported back to the days of World War II on a weekend!
You can’t walk down the street without seeing a cute teashop, a retro clothing store or a themed restaurant celebrating the things of the past. And it’s no different in the entertainment industry. Groups taking inspiration from the musical sounds of eras gone by are popping up everywhere. With the demand for these groups being so high, it’s no wonder musicians are getting into the ‘Dig For Victory’ spirit and giving audiences a chance to bop, twist and jive to their favourite musical decade.And I am no exception. My love of vintage, good old-fashioned tunes and close-knit harmonies saw me take the plunge into the vintage entertainment industry in November 2014, when I put together a group with the intention of entertaining audiences back into Wartime Britain!
The Doo Wop Dollies began as a daydream, partly because I had been working and living with a band of four guys (I have a new found respect for mothers of males!) and partly because I love singing harmonies. The 1930s and 40s saw so many groups of women singing simple tunes with close harmonies and I found myself glued to Youtube watching their performances, wishing I were alive when they were around.
After many conversations about how amazing it would be to put a group together, I decided I had nothing to lose and started to look for members. A simple ad on an entertainment site got a lot of interest and I was soon auditioning suitable ladies!
I have been overwhelmed by the interest we received and the support we have been given from other local and independent businesses in the beginning. Beamish Museum allowed us to take our promotional photos within the grounds of their 1940s farmhouse, the most genuine backdrop we could have asked for! Vintage Tearooms, bars and fairs allowed us to perform at their events to get our name out there and since dedicating our weekends to being Dollies, we have performed in some incredible venues and even organised our own vintage charity event in aid of The Royal British Legion.
People seem shocked to see us when we arrive at a venue. Apparently it’s easy to assume that no one younger than 60 would be interested in singing Vera Lynn. But how can’t you love songs that were written with such passion, drive and have so much history? These were the songs that gave people hope, that inspired an army, that won a War! And that’s what makes this job amazing! To see people enjoying live music, dancing and singing along, smiling at something you have worked so hard to organise and produce is a euphoric feeling. And most importantly remembering a time in history that is too important to forget!
Want to find out more about The Doo Wop Dollies? Check out their website at www.thedoowopdollies.co.uk.
You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and video performances on Youtube.