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At The Hop

by

Danny & the Juniors



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

In the '50s, high school dances in America were often referred to as "The Hop." Sometimes, these dances would be "Sock Hops" because school administrators would make the kids take off their shoes so they didn't scuff up the floor of the gymnasium, where the dance was usually held.
This was written by Dave White and John Madara, who were songwriter/producers based in Philadelphia - White was a member of Danny and the Juniors. Madara explained in an interview with Forgotten Hits: "'At The Hop' originally was recorded by myself, with Danny and The Juniors (who at the time were called The Juvenairs) singing background. It was titled 'Do The Bop,' with the B Side, 'Sometimes,' also with me singing lead and Danny and The Juniors singing background. I was under contract at the time to Prep Records and had just had a record, 'Be My Girl,' which had made the national charts. Prep had me all set up to record again with a producer who was working with Paul Anka, Sid Feller, when I had the idea to write a song 'Do The Bop.' I wanted to do something that had a piano featured like 'Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On.' So, off we go to the recording studio, with me singing lead, Danny and The Juniors singing background, and my 45 record 'A Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On' to set the tone of what I was shooting for. I paid for the session, sat in the control room, told the engineer what to do, played the Jerry Lee Lewis record for the musicians and that is how 'Do The Bop' was created. After the recording, we played the record for Prep. They didn't care for it. They still wanted me to record with Sid Feller. So we went back to Philadelphia where 'Do The Bop' was played for Dick Clark, who suggested that The Bop wasn't really happening around the country and why don't we change it to something about record hops. So with some additional lyric changes, and because I was under contract with Prep, we went back into the studio with Danny and The Juniors. Danny, who was their lead singer, sang lead, using a lot of the same phrasing that I did on 'Do The Bop.' Of course, the rest is Rock and Roll history."
Danny and the Juniors were the Philadelphia group of Danny Rapp, Dave White, Frank Maffei and Joe Terranova. At the time, they were known as The Juvenairs. They were on a street corner singing when a someone who worked at a recording studio heard them and brought them in to sing. The "Bah"'s go in this order of singers:
Bah 1, Terranova (also does the Oh, Baby)
Bah 2, Rapp (Lead Singer and choreographer. He committed suicide in 1983 in a Holiday Inn in Arizona with a shotgun, he owned a black 1958 Impala Convertible with a continental kit)
Bah 3, Maffei (First Tenor)
Bah 4, White (Second Tenor) (thanks, Ryan - Meadville, PA)
Danny and the Juniors hit the US Top 40 3 more times, including "Rock And Roll Is Here To Stay," but this was their only hit in England.
This was used in the 1973 film American Graffiti. (thanks, Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England, for above 2)
This song stayed on the top of US charts for nearly 7 weeks and sold over 2 million copies worldwide. (thanks, Ryan - Meadville, PA)
Artie Singer also has a composer credit on this song. In the Forgotten Hits interview, Madara said: "Artie Singer, who had been my vocal coach, took all of the credit for the production (and production monies and all of the publishing), put his name on as a songwriter and publisher and has tried to take credit for producing 'At The Hop' all these years. I have read on many websites that Artie Singer went out and got Leon Huff to help with the production and play piano. This is totally, one hundred percent false. I discovered Leon Huff in 1963 playing with a band called'The Lavenders,' and at that time he was about 18 years old. He would have had to have been 12 years old to be involved with 'At The Hop.'"
Sha-Na-Na played this at Woodstock in 1969. They were relatively unknown at the time and performed covers of '50s hits and Doo-Wop songs. Their Woodstock performance, which preceded Jimi Hendrix, helped launch their career, which led to their own TV show in 1977.
Danny & the Juniors
More Danny & the Juniors songs
More songs about dancing
More songs that had different titles when they started
More songs used in movies
More songs performed at Woodstock

Comments (21):

On June 4th 1958, Danny and the Juniors performed "Rock and Roll Is Here To Stay" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
It was their follow-up song to "At The Hop", and peaked at #19 on the Top 100...
Their other two Top 40 hits were "Dottie" (#39) and "Twistin' U.S.A." (#27)...
They sang "Dottie" on the same 'Bandstand' show (since this was "Bandstand' they actually lip-sync it).
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
On December 2nd, 1957 Danny and the Juniors performed "At The Hop" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
One weeks later on December 9th it entered Billboard's Top 100 chart; and on January 6th, 1958 it peaked at #1 (for 7 weeks) and spent 21 weeks on the chart...
And the day it reached #1 on the Top 100 it made #1 (for 5 weeks) on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
The record "Get A Job" by The Silhouettes succeeded it at #1 on both charts.
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
First 45 I bought.
- Robert, Glen Ellyn, IL
Props to the real singer! This is a great song. I was born in '52 so I was a little kid when I used to hear this song on the radio. If you like this song pick up "Malt Shop Rock" collection CD, which doesn't have this classic, but many others from that era. What a classic era it was -- the birth of rock and roll.
- WHAMO, San Clemente, CA
Nick Todd, Pat Boone's younger brother, covered this record and it peaked at No. 21 in 1959...
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
What is the background to the first chorus? It sounds a little like "Paar-ty" but I cannot get it - the second chorus background is "Tooo-the Hop and the last is simply "Let's Go To The Hop". Another question: Who were the musicians?-Thanks
- Kevin, Dallas, TX
Sha-Na-Na were a retro, 'camp' group in the late 60's/70's, and provided a stark contrast to what was being done on the bleeding edge of rock/pop at the time. They even dressed like they had come through a time warp from 1957. It was almost like they were saying, "Hey, here's what was all the rage just a decade ago -- seems like a whole 'nother century, huh, kids?" BTW, the leader/spokesman for Sha-Na-Na was Bowser, who I believe sang bass. (A lot of the bass parts in do-wop went, "Bow, bow, bow..." -- actually, even the Beach Boys used that in 1965, in 'Help Me Rhonda,' which was light-years beyond do-wop, or so it seemed at the time.)
- Fred, Laurel, MD
This was the title and theme of a local television dance program in Champaign, Illinois. I never missed it. We had "sock hops" in grade school, on, I think, the last Friday of every month.
- Ekristheh, Halath, United States
This song was featured in the movie Grease. It is about young people having a good time dancing.
- Joel, Halifax, NS
I love this song . It is the coolest song on the earth. My dance team dance to it at are pep-rally . It a good song to dance too.
-Kristen,Luling,TX
- kristen, luling, TX
I actually never had heard of this song until I heard Sha Na Na's version on the Woodstock album.
- Richard, Talladega, AL
I myself am curious to know more stuff about how sock-hops went back then. The '50s rock-and-roll hits do soothe the soul. Though I'm a '70s fan, I miss the '50s as well! The '50s gave birth to rock-and-roll! Without the '50s, where would rock-and-roll be? The Juniors are one of my favorite groups of early time.
- andrew, birmingham, United States
I had to research the lyrics to find out what these guys where doing with their chickens at the hop. Now I know!
- Len, Baltimore, MD
I was 17 when this song came out , getting ready to join the Marine Corps, it was a great time to grow up in the 40s and 50s great music soft rock and some very great groups , a lot of which had only one or to hits, but they sure do bring back memories, remember the Elegants, Mary Wells,of course Elvis , Jerry Lee, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Troy Shondell, Robby Rydell, Brenda Lee the list goes on forever.
Bud greensburg , ky
- bud, byrdstown, TN
"At The Hop"..."here, here..."(Movie: Hombre)
- Bob, Rockland, ME
I've heard this song and "Rock n' Roll Is Here to Stay", but I haven't heard the others.
- Stefanie, Rock Hill, SC
A guy I worked with who grew up during this time period reported "doing the Bop to Elvis," but I've rarely heard about this dance (or phrase) otherwise. Quite a crazy version of this song done by Sha-Na-Na at Woodstock.
- fyodor, Denver, CO
This is a truly great song, and it still serves today as a staple of '50s pop culture.
- Jon, Regina, Canada
i grew up listening to oldies and this is just one of those memorable songs
- cynthia, phoenix, AZ
Homer:
My show on XM Satellite Radio's 50s-On-5 has all the Danny & The Juniors great hits.

daddy dave
www.daddydaveshollywooddiner.com
- David, Evansville, IN
I used to love this song! It seems to be one of the great 50's songs that have disappeared from oldies radio in the last several years.
- Homer, Versailles, IL
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