Open Mic Adventures XIII: The Penguins’ “Earth Angel”

I’ve long been a fan of doo-wop music.  There’s something about those classic late 1950s doo-wop tunes that just sparkles with life and warmth—a magical, indefinable quality.

One of my perennial favorites is this piece from The Penguins, “Earth Angel.”  Recorded way back in 1954 and immortalized in Back to the Future (1985), it’s become a staple of my live shows, and is one of my favorite to play with my students.

The original is apparently Ab major—shudder—but I play it most frequently in F major.  When I teach it to my students (usually my Middle School Music Ensemble classes), I put it in G major, as it makes the progression much easier to play on guitar.

Here my constant musical compatriot John Pickett and I delivered a cover on 18 October 2022 at our local coffee shop’s open mic night:

I hit a few sour chords in there, and it’s not my best vocal performance, but it’s a good example of how I approach the song.  I alter the lyrics of the final verse to “I’ll love you dear/to the end of space and time,” which has become a signature of mine over the past decade (to the point that students and fans think that “to the end of space and time” are the actual lyrics!), and fits into the spacey vibe of some of my earlier work.

How do we stack up to The Penguins?

Happy Listening!

—TPP

Other Editions of Open Mic Adventures:

4 thoughts on “Open Mic Adventures XIII: The Penguins’ “Earth Angel”

  1. Cheers Tyler. 🙂

    Good to see no one was foolishly playing around with time. I could see that because your hands weren’t disappearing before your very eyes! 🙂 (Back to the Future reference, for those who don’t know)

    You and John harmonise well. Maybe a cover of I Only Have Eyes for you (The Flamingos) is on the cards? Or Soap Gets In Your Eyes (The Platters), lyrics of which I changed when I sang the original in the shower and well, you can guess the rest! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha, yes, no time-traveling shenanigans this time around. “I Only Have Eyes for You” would be a great one to cover! Thank you for your kind remarks. I enjoy singing with John; he harmonizes well, and I like harmonizing on the songs where he takes the lead vocals.

      Liked by 1 person

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