Streetlight Harmonies (2020)

A history of Doo-Wop music, its influence, and how far reaching it is even to this day. The interviewees are numerous, including a lot of important figures in the genre and a lot of people whose work was influenced by these trailblazers.

Filmmaker Brent Wilson, along with co-writer George Bellias, makes the film feel complete about the story of Doo-Wop and how important it really is to music history and how its influence is felt throughout current music. The film interviews all kinds of people and lots of them are from the olden days, from the time of Doo-Wop’s start and from periods shortly after. A lot of the interviewees are able to remember things clearly and give first-hand experience stories. This gives the film a weight and importance that a lot of documentaries in the past did not have. The people behind Streetlight Harmonies have understood the importance of people with direct experience with the subject and to find as many sources for the information they present to the viewers.

These interviews include people like LaLa Brooks, Lance Bass, Al Jardine, Brian Wilson, and Lois Powell to name but a few. The variety of people interviewed and their views means that the subject is well-rounded and the historical facts are all there in what seems to be full. The film doesn’t shy away from anything while concentrating on the subject at hand. The way a timeline is established and explored really helps the viewer make the most of the information provided and the variety of approaches are needed to really dig deep which works.

The way this is all shot and edited is what brings it all together very well. The film editing by George Bellias is particularly important and good here, there is something about how the film is put together and how it moves forward with each cut and with each interview bit intercut with others. This work creates the films dynamic along with its music by Gabe Lopez and all the songs used from the bands and artists being discussed. These songs are used as background music and in videos shown throughout the film. Some of the choices are exactly as expected and some are surprising, but they make sense in context.

Streetlight Harmonies is an educative film that all should see because of all the information in there about Doo-Wop, music history, and all the influences from it still felt in hit songs to this day. It’s an easy to watch documentary, something not many can say, and it’s accessible to all, whether they know the music or not, even if the music is not a particular viewer, this documentary is important to understand some of the music on the charts today.