Inductees into the Doo-Wop Hall of Fame of America aren’t enshrined, they’re honored. There’s no building where bronze likenesses of the Belmonts, the Five Keys, the Cadillacs or the Inkspots reside. And that’s fine with founder Harvey Robbins.
“I never intended to have a building. That’s only a place to sell T-shirts and memorabilia,” Robbins told us. “This is to honor the music and the legacy of these great performers.”
This year’s induction/concert takes place Oct. 12 at the North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly (created in 2000, the Hall of Fame usually holds the annual concert at Symphony Hall, but there is a conflict this year), and the honorees include, among others, the Clovers, the Persuasions, the original members of the Duprees, the Shades of Blue, and Pete Hernandez and the Lovenotes.
Not familiar with Hernandez? Perhaps you’ve heard of his son, Bruno Mars.
Before he was selling millions of CDs and playing sold-out arena shows, Mars — real name Peter Hernandez — was singing with his dad, the man credited with introducing doo-wop to the island of Hawaii. (Bruno’s first album was called “Doo-Wops & Hooligans.”)
“Of course, my son has reached levels I never attained,” Hernandez says. “But I first brought him into my show when he was 2½, and from that time until he was 17, he was surrounded by doo-wop singers. He absorbed so much of that.”
Hernandez grew up in New York, watching groups singing on street corners. Hearing those harmonies changed his life, and when he moved to Hawaii and he put a group together that has been performing for three decades.
“I can’t believe I’m being honored [by the Hall of Fame],” he said. “These are idols of my life.”
If you’re wondering if Mars will be there Oct. 12 when his father is honored, we don’t know.
“Even if he was, I wouldn’t say,” his father said. “It would take away from what Harvey has in mind. If he comes, [Bruno] will see his father attain what to him would be like a Grammy. That’s how I treasure this.”