Doo-Wop Girls: Doing their thing

Three singers from the center of the country are working hard to revive a style of harmony that was immensely popular in the US and other Western countries a half-century ago.

Doo-Wop Girls 521 (photo credit: Eran Levi)
Doo-Wop Girls 521
(photo credit: Eran Levi)
The atmosphere becomes electric when Anna, Ella and Na’ama, otherwise known as the Doo-Wop Girls, perform their modern version of “doo-wop” harmony at nightclubs and other venues throughout Israel.
Accompanied by jazz pianist and arranger Doron Braude, expert in giving a jazzy twist to a variety of melodies, the trio are trying to revive a harmony style that was immensely popular in the US and other Western countries a half-century ago.
“We use styles similar to the ’70s and earlier musical eras in Israel and abroad – but with a modern rock ’n’ roll and jazz twist,” says Na’ama Nachum.
The trio – Nachum, 26, Anna Spitz, 23, and Ella Tadmor, 31 – all hail from the center of the country, including the metro Tel Aviv area. They’ve been together for one and a half years.
Doo-wop is a type of rhythm-and-blues harmony that originated in America’s Afro-American communities during the 1940s. Its popularity peaked during the mid-1950s to early 1960s with hits that included “Why Do Fools Fall in Love?” by Frankie Lyman and the Teenagers (1956), “Book of Love” by the Monotones (1957) and “Blue Moon” by the Marcels (1961).
Many doo-wop songs integrate a “doo-wop” or “doo-wah” refrain in the beat. Female singing groups incorporating similar harmony sounds include the Chordettes (1955) with their “Mr. Sandman” and The Chiffons (1958-59) with “He’s So Fine.”
“We sing in both English and Hebrew, and our melodies include those from American groups such as the Chordettes and Israeli groups like Chocolat Menta Mastik,” says Nachum. “Mastik,” perhaps Israel’s most popular female vocal group of all time, comprised singers Yardena Arazi, Ruti Holtzman and Leah Luptik. Some of their most popular melodies were “Haita Li Ahavata” (She Used to Love Me) and “Yesh Li Shemesh” (I’ve Got Sun).
All three members of the Doo-Wop Girls have a music background, and two of them, Tadmor and Spitz, studied at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. Tadmor began singing professionally at age 16 and was a member of an IDF singing and entertainment troupe. She appeared as the character Gretel in a Hebrew version of The Sound of Music, and later on Channel 1, singing songs by Dorit Ben-Ze’ev. She also had the leading role in a children’s opera entitled Story of Sol.
Tadmor and her husband, jazz pianist Omer Rinzi, met Nachum while on a trip to New York.
“We immediately connected, and afterwards decided to form a singing group,” she says. In order to do something original, they decided to create a girls’ harmony trio incorporating a type of music that had not been much tried in Israel.
After checking out a number of styles, they finally decided on their own version of the classic doo-wop. And thus the Doo-Wop Girls were born.
Prior to forming the group, Tadmor sang together with her sister, Hadar, now a DJ on FM radio channel 100. She also performed with her own jazz singing group, Jazz & Roll, together with husband.
“Music has become a big part of my life. I definitely want to pursue a musical career,” says Tadmor, whose father is a radio announcer.
Says Nachum: “I come from a ‘mixed family’: My mother is Yemenite, and and my father is from Ukraine. I believe I have ‘inherited’ musical attributes from both sides.”
Her dream of forming a female singing ensemble resulted in her and Tadmor recruiting Spitz, the youngest member of the group.
“I began singing when I was five and was appearing professionally on stage by age nine,” Spitz said, adding that she won a children’s talent contest called “Bravo” sponsored by Channel 2. She also studied concert piano for eight years and later enrolled in the Jerusalem Academy. Besides performing with the Doo-Wop Girls, Spitz also sings with a “Glenn Miller-type Big Band” based in Kfar Saba.
After forming the Doo-Wop Girls in early 2010, the trio first appeared at the “Yemei Zemer” (Music Days) music festival in April of that year. After this venue, there was no turning back. The trio recently did a tour of Jewish communities in the US that included Boca Raton, Florida, and New York City.
“We wowed them in all the places we performed in,” Nachum said.
Braude, 36, also attended the academy, which was where he met Tadmor. He began playing the piano at age five and arranging and composing music at 15. Many of his arrangements were for the theater, until friends suggested he turn to arranging music for singers.
Braude, who is also director of Music Preparation for the matriculation exams at Kibbutz Shefayim High School outside Netanya, helped to form the Doo-Wop Girls and considers the group his “baby.” He believes the girls will become a big success, and “will record hit songs that will soar in the music charts.”
He is now in the process of arranging a “cover” that will be the lead-off for the group at nightclubs and events. The trio are also accompanied by jazz bassist Erez Shermer and drummer Roy Oliel.
“The girls are great: Everything about them is fantastic, including their looks, their talent, and their desire to succeed. They are very professional,” Braude sums up.
Recordings of some of the Doo-Wop Girls’ performances can be found on their My Space site:

Their contact email address is: