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The Duprees

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One of the final Italian doo wop groups to make a wave in the early '60s, the Duprees were in some senses not a rock & roll act at all. They relied on updates of pre-rock pop standards for most of their material, dressed up in classy big band arrangements. Their New Jersey street-corner roots were still audible in their doo wop harmonies, giving their treatments of moldy oldies enough of a contemporary flavor to compete in the rock and pop marketplace. They were very good at what they did, and in 1962-1963, they were very successful: "You Belong to Me" (previously recorded by Jo Stafford, Patti Page, Dean Martin, and Joni James) made the Top Ten, and "My Own True Love" (from the soundtrack of Gone With the Wind), "Have You Heard," and "Why Don't You Believe Me" were also Top 40 hits. The Duprees were already retro when they were at their peak, and were washed out by the British Invasion, although they continued to record throughout the late '60s, sometimes in a Jay & the Americans/Vogues style. ~ Richie Unterberger

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