At The Hop

Album: At The Hop (1957)
Charted: 3 1
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  • In the '50s, high school dances in America were often referred to as "hops." 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 & 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 & 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)
    Suggestion credit:
    Ryan - Meadville, PA
  • Danny & the Juniors hit the US Top 40 three more times, including "Rock And Roll Is Here To Stay," but "At The Hop" was their only hit in the UK.
  • This was used in the 1973 film American Graffiti, which is set in 1962 and features lots of music from early in the Rock Era.
  • This song stayed on the top of US charts for seven weeks in 1958, longer than any other song that year. For four of those weeks, it held "Great Balls of Fire" off the top spot; Jerry Lee Lewis never did have a #1 US hit.
  • 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.

Comments: 30

  • Dave from Bangor, Pa.At The Hop musicians:
    Artie Singer: Upright Bass
    Walter Gates: Piano
    Jack O'Brian: Drums
  • Jennifur SunWho played the drums?
  • AnonymousSo who played piano then
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaKevin, have wondered the same thing.
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaDoes anyone know who played that fun piano?
  • Keneau Arnet from The Faraway IslandsFlip flop I was doin' the bop... and by the way, the "chalypso" and the ""chicken" were dance steps popular when "At the Hop" was at the top... and let's don't let dat music stop!
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 15th 1957, Sammy Davis Jr. hosts a syndicated radio talk show with a round-table discussion of Rock 'n' Roll...
    His guests were Columbia Records executive Mitch Miller and MGM Records president Arnold Maxim...
    When Davis and Miller blast Rock 'n' Roll as 'the comic books of music', Maxim takes an opposing viewpoint and says 'I don't see any end to Rock 'n' Roll in the near future'...
    At the time Billboard's Top 10 was:
    #1. "April Love" by Pat Boone
    #2. "At the Hop" by Danny and the Juniors
    #3. "Peggy Sue" by Buddy Holly
    #4. "Great Balls of Fire" by Jerry Lee Lewis
    #5. "Raunchy" by Bill Justis and His Orchestra
    #6. a tie, "Jailhouse Rock" by Elvis Presley and "You Send Me" by Sam Cooke
    #8. "Kiss Sweeter Than Wine" by Jimmie Rodgers
    #9. "Silhouettes" by the Rays
    #10. "Rock and Roll Music" by Chuck Berry.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 23rd 1958, Alan Freed's 'Big Beat Show' played the Convention Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania...
    One of the show's acts was Danny and the Juniors and at the time the groups "Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay" was at #33 on Billboard's Top 100 chart, earlier in the month on the 9th it peaked at #19 for one week...
    And also at the time the group's debut record, "At the Hop", was still on the chart at #38.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 8th 1960, Danny & The Juniors performed "Twistin' USA" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    Eighteen days earlier on November 20th it was at #74 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart and that was also its last day on the chart; it had peaked at #27 and spent 9 weeks on the Top 100...
    It was the Philadelphia quartet's last Top 30 record; the first two were "At the Hop" {#1 for 7 weeks in 1958} and "Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay" {#19 in 1958}...
    R.I.P. Daniel 'Danny' Rapp {1941 - 1983}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn 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 from Sauquoit, NyOn 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.
  • Robert from Glen Ellyn, IlFirst 45 I bought.
  • Whamo from San Clemente, CaProps 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.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyNick Todd, Pat Boone's younger brother, covered this record and it peaked at No. 21 in 1959...
  • Kevin from Dallas, TxWhat 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
  • Fred from Laurel, MdSha-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.)
  • Ekristheh from Halath, United StatesThis 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.
  • Joel from Halifax, NsThis song was featured in the movie Grease. It is about young people having a good time dancing.
  • Kristen from Luling, TxI 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.
  • Richard from Talladega, AlI actually never had heard of this song until I heard Sha Na Na's version on the Woodstock album.
  • Andrew from Birmingham, United StatesI 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.
  • Len from Baltimore, MdI had to research the lyrics to find out what these guys where doing with their chickens at the hop. Now I know!
  • Bud from Byrdstown, TnI 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
  • Bob from Rockland, Me"At The Hop"..."here, here..."(Movie: Hombre)
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScI've heard this song and "Rock n' Roll Is Here to Stay", but I haven't heard the others.
  • Fyodor from Denver, CoA 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.
  • Jon from Regina, CanadaThis is a truly great song, and it still serves today as a staple of '50s pop culture.
  • Cynthia from Phoenix, Azi grew up listening to oldies and this is just one of those memorable songs
  • David from Evansville, InHomer:
    My show on XM Satellite Radio's 50s-On-5 has all the Danny & The Juniors great hits.

    daddy dave
  • Homer from Versailles, IlI 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.
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