"Cruising with Ruben & the Jets" by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention Is Released
Cruising With Ruben & The Jets is an album by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, released in 1968 (see 1968 in music), and controversially reissued in an alternate mix with newly recorded bass and percussion in 1984.
The album is fashioned as a simultaneous parody of and tribute to the doo-wop music Frank and many of the Mothers grew up with and worked on. The album has been described as a collision of high and low art, with Stravinsky-style chord changes and unusual tempos applied to purposely trite and banal teenage pop love songs. The backing vocals at the end of "Fountain of Love" sing the opening melody from Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.
The album predated a mini-revival of 1950's rock music styles and touched off the Rock and roll revival movement. Soon after it came out the group Sha-Na-Na formed in New York City to play their own brand of 1950's style doo-wop. Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley relaunched their careers not long after the album was released. Bo Diddley announced "I'm back and I'm feelin' fine" in his comeback single Bo Diddley 1969.
In 1973, a real doo-wop band, consisting of Ruben Guevara, Tony Duran, Robert "Frog" Camarena, Johhny Martinez, Robert "Buffalo" Roberts, Bill Wild, and Bob Zamora approached Zappa to ask him if they could use the name "Ruben and the Jets" for their band. Zappa not only approved of the name, he produced the band's first album, which was titled For Real!, a direct reference to the 1968 Mothers album with the "fake" Ruben & The Jets.