Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A style of rhythm and blues popularized in the 1950s and characterized by words and nonsense syllables sung in harmony by small groups against a stylized rhythmic melody.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A style of vocal-based rhythm and blues music popular in the mid-1950s to the early 1960s in America.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a genre (usually a cappella) of Black vocal-harmony music of the 1950s that evolved in New York City from gospel singing; characterized by close four-part harmonies; the name derived from some of the nonsense syllables sung by the backup

Etymologies

Imitative of the vocals in such music.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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