Gary: “People who take an alternative way of leaving this planet, are not high on my list. Unfortunately it is relevant in the music industry so I will carry on. There is no way a young man of 43 should take his own life, but who am I to criticize?
So Let’s talk about a white quartet that really only placed 4 songs on the Billboard top 40, but the first two where just huge. The second one, to me, even though it did not sell anywhere near the volume of the first, is the most relevant, because of it’s title and message.
I was a big American Bandstand Fan and especially liked to watch a dancer named, Pat Molittieri **, who, in my opinion was the best dancer on the show. She invented a dance called “The Bop” and this group recorded a song called “Do the Bop”. Unfortunately Pat died in 1979, she was only 36.
Now Dick Clark encouraged them to change their name, and the group was born:
Danny & the Juniors
- Danny Rapp (born Daniel Joseph Rapp, May 9, 1941, in Philadelphia – died April 5, 1983) – Lead Tenor vocalist.
- Joe Terranova (born Joseph Terranova, January 30, 1941, in Philadelphia) – Baritone / Bass vocalist
- Dave White (born Dave White Tricker, September 1, 1940, in Philadelphia) – Tenor vocalist.
- Frank Maffei (born November 1940, in Philadelphia) – Second Tenor vocalist
We know that Dick Clark encouraged them to change the name of the song to “At the Hop“, (and when Dick spoke, everyone listened) .
The second song is really what I am all about, and to a degree Russ too,
“Rock and Roll is Here to Stay, it will never die, it was meant to be that way, though I don’t know why”.
Those lyrics ring true for me.
1. Do the Bop (never released)
I have what I believe to be one of the first recordings of “Do the Bop” and then they released “At the Hop“
2A. At the Hop/ ABC-Paramount 9871/ 12/9/57/ # 1for 7 weeks on Billboard
2B. Sometimes When I’m Alone/ B side
3. Rock and Roll is Here To Stay/ ABC-Paramount 9888/ 3/10/58/ # 19 Billboard
4. Dottie/ ABC-Paramount 9926/ 7/21/58/ # 39 Billboard
5. Twistin’ USA/ Swan 4060/ 10/10/60/ # 27 Billboard
Now that they where with Dick Clark, Swan and Frank Slay (Freddy Cannon’s co-writer and producer) it’s only logical that they would record a song together…
6. Twistin’ All Night Long with Freddy Cannon
Danny & The Juniors were a Philadelphia based quartet comprising Danny Rapp, Dave White, Frank Maffei and Joe Terranova. They are most widely recognized for their hit single “At the Hop,” which was released in 1957. They are sometimes erroneously stated as being an Italian-American band, however, Danny Rapp was of Irish extraction.
Initially formed in 1955 as “The Juvenairs”, their song, “Do the Bop,” came to the attention of Dick Clark, who suggested that they rename it “At the Hop”. The song was not initially a success, but after being played on Clark’s Bandstand, it was picked up by ABC-Paramount Records, and stayed at the top of the U.S. charts for seven weeks.
It went on to sell over two million copies worldwide. The song was followed by the similar sounding “Rock ‘n’ Roll Is Here To Stay,” which also made it into the Top 20.
In 1960, Danny and the Juniors were signed to Dick Clark’s Swan Records label, and they released one more record, “Twistin’ USA.” It made it into the Top 40, and became their final hit single.
They went on to release several more singles, but were not able to repeat their earlier successes.
Dave White left the group in the early 1960s to concentrate on writing and production. White was very successful in this venture, composing a number of hits, including “You Don’t Own Me” for Lesley Gore, and “1-2-3” and “Like A Baby” for Len Barry.
In the late 1960s, the Juniors also appeared on Guyden Records, Mercury Records, and Capitol Records, where they re-recorded “Rock ‘n’ Roll Is Here To Stay” in 1968.
In 1976, “At the Hop” was re-issued, and it made its way into the Top 40 of the UK Singles Chart.
After a few quiet years, Danny Rapp was found dead in a hotel in Arizona on April 5, 1983, of an apparent suicide.
** Here is the scoop on my favourite dancer Pat Mollitieri – known for her perky personality, Pat is credited with inventing the dance called “The Hop”, by combining elements of “The Slop” and “The Bop”. Sadly, she died in the mid-1970s of a heart attack. She was only 36.
We all loved to watch her dance on American Bandstand.