The Rooftop Singers

Profile:
American folk band. The Rooftop Singers was an American progressive folk singing trio in the early 1960s, best known for the hit "Walk Right In". Darling put the group together in June 1962 specifically to record an updated and uptempo version of a 1920s Gus Cannon folk blues song, "Walk Right In". The trio recorded the song for Vanguard Records, with updated lyrics and an arrangement featuring paired 12-string acoustic guitars. The record became the most successful in Vanguard's history.

The album containing this song was also called "Walk Right In" and was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category Best Folk Recording. The group differed markedly from The Weavers and most of the popular folk trios of the era, being far more influenced by blues and jazz, as well as less profoundly earnest in its political sensibilities.

In being more musically complex than most folk groups, the trio favoured understated melodies sometimes and emphasised their blues roots at others, particularly in the sly and lyrically suggestive "Tom Cat". Indeed, it was their musical eclecticism and willingness to be suggestive that got "Tom Cat", their second single, banned from conservative radio stations and prevented them from capitalizing on their breakthrough hit.

The group played at the Newport Folk Festival in 1963. Yielding to pressure from her husband (Skip Weshner), Taylor left the trio shortly after Vanguard released its second album, "Good Time!". Darling and Svanoe recruited Mindy Stuart to replace her. This line-up recorded one final album, "Rainy River". But the Rooftop Singers suffered without Taylor's jazz phrasing and harmonic ideas, and the group never regained its footing musically, critically or commercially. Patricia Street replaced Stuart shortly before the Rooftop Singers formally disbanded in 1967. Darling and Street continued working as a duo into the early seventies, recording the album "The Possible Dream" for Vanguard.

There was even an abortive attempt to turn the latter-day incarnation of The Rooftop Singers into something more relevant to 1965 as Project X, that is, electric folk or folk rock.

Erik Darling was a member of two other successful groups: The Tarriers and The Weavers, prior to forming The Rooftop Singers.
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Albums

VTC 1660 The Rooftop Singers - Walk Right In! album art The Rooftop Singers Walk Right In! (Album) Vanguard VTC 1660 US 1963 Sell This Version
VSD-79134 The Rooftop Singers - Good Time! album art The Rooftop Singers Good Time! (Album) Vanguard VSD-79134 US 1964 Sell This Version
VSD-79190 The Rooftop Singers - Rainy River album art The Rooftop Singers Rainy River (Album) Vanguard VSD-79190 US 1965 Sell This Version
SR-415 The Rooftop Singers Golden Album(LP) Vanguard SR-415 Japan Unknown Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

ENC-501 The Rooftop Singers - Walk Right In album art The Rooftop Singers Walk Right In (Single, EP) Vanguard ENC-501 Canada 1962 Sell This Version
VRS-35019 The Rooftop Singers - Tom Cat  album art The Rooftop Singers Tom Cat (Single) Vanguard VRS-35019 Canada 1963 Sell This Version
271 702 TF The Rooftop Singers - Tom Cat / Hey Boys album art The Rooftop Singers Tom Cat / Hey Boys (Single) Fontana 271 702 TF Germany 1963 Sell This Version
SP 23 040 The Rooftop Singers - Tom Cat / Ham And Eggs album art Rooftop Singers* Tom Cat / Ham And Eggs (Single) CBS, CBS SP 23 040 Germany 1963 Sell This Version
VRS-35020 The Rooftop Singers - Mama Don't Allow album art The Rooftop Singers Mama Don't Allow (Single) Vanguard VRS-35020 US 1963 Sell This Version
HAM 257-01 The Rooftop Singers - Tom Cat / Shoes / Hey, Boys / Ham And Eggs album art The Rooftop Singers Tom Cat / Shoes / Hey, Boys / Ham And Eggs(7", EP) Vanguard HAM 257-01 Spain 1963 Sell This Version
AVRS EP 15601 The Rooftop Singers - Tom Cat  album art The Rooftop Singers Tom Cat (7", EP) Amadeo AVRS EP 15601 Austria 1963 Sell This Version
AVRS 21276 The Rooftop Singers - Shoes / You Don't Know album art The Rooftop Singers Shoes / You Don't Know(7", Single) Amadeo AVRS 21276 Austria 1963 Sell This Version
VRS-35024 The Rooftop Singers - Sail Away Ladies album art The Rooftop Singers Sail Away Ladies (Single) Astor VRS-35024 US 1964 Sell This Version
60.034 The Rooftop Singers - Mama No Me Lo Permite (Mama Don't Allow) album art The Rooftop Singers Mama No Me Lo Permite (Mama Don't Allow)(7", EP) Music Hall, Vanguard 60.034 Argentina 1964 Sell This Version
AVRS 45 104 The Rooftop Singers - Cool Water album art The Rooftop Singers Cool Water(7", EP) Amadeo, Vanguard AVRS 45 104 France 1964 Sell This Version
GX 07-018 The Rooftop Singers Camina Derechito (Walk Right In)(7", EP) Gamma (4), Vanguard GX 07-018 Mexico 1964 Sell This Version
VRS-35029 The Rooftop Singers - Rainy River album art The Rooftop Singers Rainy River (Single) Astor VRS-35029 US 1966 Sell This Version
PP-86 The Rooftop Singers - Walk Right In album art The Rooftop Singers Walk Right In(7", EP) Vanguard PP-86 Japan 1966 Sell This Version
45-6526 The Rooftop Singers - Kites album art The Rooftop Singers Kites ATCO Records 45-6526 US 1967 Sell This Version
271701 TF The Rooftop Singers - Walk Right In / Tom Cat album art The Rooftop Singers Walk Right In / Tom Cat (Single) Hip-Pocket Records, Philco-Ford Corporation 271701 TF Europe 1962 Sell This Version
1494 The Rooftop Singers - La Paloma / Too Much Monkey Business album art Freddy Quinn, Chuck Berry, The Rooftop Singers Freddy Quinn, Chuck Berry, The Rooftop Singers - La Paloma / Too Much Monkey Business(7", EP, Mono) Konsursium 1494 Iran Unknown Sell This Version

Compilations

KICP 2033 The Rooftop Singers - Walk Right In / Good Time! album art The Rooftop Singers Walk Right In / Good Time!(CD, Comp, RE) Vanguard, King Records KICP 2033 Japan 1990 Sell This Version
VCD-79457 The Rooftop Singers - The Best Of The Rooftop Singers album art The Rooftop Singers The Best Of The Rooftop Singers(CD, Comp) Vanguard VCD-79457 US 1993 Sell This Version
79749 The Rooftop Singers - Best Of The Vanguard Years album art The Rooftop Singers Best Of The Vanguard Years (Comp) Vanguard 79749 US 2004 Sell This Version
73158 The Rooftop Singers - Vanguard Visionaries album art The Rooftop Singers Vanguard Visionaries(CD, Comp) Vanguard 73158 US 2007 Sell This Version