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Hushabye!

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Surrounded by original MYSTICS, second tenor, George Galfo (left) and lead singer, Phil Cracolici (right)

On a beautiful day in June 1959 George Snedden, Don Marino, Graham Carnegie, Tim Lewis and I were celebrating the fact that we had just completed seventh grade. Has there ever been a better day in a young boy’s life than the first day of summer vacation?

We were hanging out with a transistor radio in the parking lot across the street from George’s apartment on William Street in East Orange, NJ, when a beautiful lilting melody with amazing harmonies came out of the radio.  “That was ‘Hushabye’,” by the Mystics, a group from Brooklyn, NY,” the DJ announced.

I was transfixed. 

Many who know me find my musical tastes strange. If someone gave me two front row tickets to a Rolling Stones concert down the street, I would pass them up in favor of third balcony seats at full price to hear a good doo wop performance. Credit my wife Vickie, a classical music fan, for putting up with my idiosyncratic preferences.

Credit her also for not refusing when I suggested a few weeks ago that we take a three hour drive to Coral Springs on a Thursday night to hear the Mystics in concert.

Like almost every doo wop group from the fifties, the Mystics have gone through a number of personnel changes, but when I learned that two of the five “originals,” lead voice Phil Cracolici and second tenor George Galfo would be performing, I bought our tickets.

The sold out show was wonderful. We sat at a table with some very nice people who marveled at the fact that we drove three hours to be there. Vickie, who honestly expected to barely tolerate the concert, enjoyed it thoroughly.

The new voices in the Mystics did a great job on a wonderful array of doo wop and some post doo wop numbers, but Phil and George were the reason I was there.

Why?

After 61 years “Hushabye” remains one of my all time favorite songs.

Life in those 61 years has certainly had its ups and downs, but “Hushabye” represents for me a precious idyllic vision of how God wants the world to be.

Some 2500 years ago, the biblical Prophet Micah envisioned a word where: Everyone would lie down under their vines and fig tress with none to make them afraid (Micah 4:4)

“Hushabye” represents that world, a world where  children lie down at night in peace and security and “Guardian angels up above take care of the one I love.”

Micah’s words were just as eloquent, but he didn’t have Phil Crocolici’s beautifully understated voice and the Mystics impeccable harmonies.

10 thoughts on “Hushabye!

  1. This brings back wonderful memories of a time when we seemingly had no cares and we had a huge, diverse group of friends. We loved each other for who we were, not what we had. We were blessed to have parents who loved us and our friends. What a relief to know they supported us and tried their best to make “home” a happy and healthy place.
    As far as doo wops, I’m not so sure my parents “dug” it but I have memories of your dad, Leo, not being fond of it, to say the least. Of course, he was used to hearing the fabulous operatic masters and doo woos didn’t quite measure up !!
    Thanks for sharing these fabulous memories, Steve !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rabbi Steve It was a pleasure sharing our food with you and your lovely wife. We should get together and share a real dinner instead garbage food… Freddy Fricke

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Back in the days 1968 thereabouts driving in my Police car on the 12×8 tour, listening to my AM radio wrapped with rubber bands to attach the dashboard. My choice was 1010 winns
    Doo wop was always my favorite. Being from Queens Astoria NYC we wood see kids singing in all the hallways or in School. Music calms all creatures…..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Steve, As always you bring out and remember the best in all of us. What magical times those were. I can remember when all of us got to high school that doo woop groups in our high school would race between classes to their favorite acoustical spot in the hall ways and sing. I remember that George Snedden’s dad allowed us to have our own clubhouse in the basement of the apartment that the Snedden’s lived in. We played great doo woop there. Often I sit and listen to doo woop on youtube for hours after I come home from The Salvation Army, run HAPPY, our dog, have dinner and settle in, with doo woop, to a time I will never forget and hope to pass along to the next generation. –Let Jane and I know when you and Vickie are back in San Francisco we must break bread again. What a great time we had last time. Please extend that invitation to any of our old friends from that time that might be coming this way! All are most welcome!….tim 416-302-3357 cell
    PS Having total left-hip replacement surgery this Friday 01/24/2020.Will be fun to compare to right hip replacement done 10 years ago. Expected recovery time a fraction of last one!!!…Call when you can!…God Bless the work you do!!…tim

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