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Sunday, May 20, 2012

"At the Hop"

Danny & The Juniors - "At the Hop" (1958)

The band was original called The Juvenairs

A song so associated with the 1950s that a re-recording of the tune in the 70s by a 60s era novelty band became a hit based on nostalgia alone. In fact, it is not just a song associated with the 50s, it is the 50s to many children of the 70s who grew up during that Happy Days nostalgia fueled age. According to 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die it was originally recorded as "At the Bop" referencing a specific dance craze. It was Dick Clark who suggested to writers Dave White and John Medora that they change the name to "At the Hop" referencing the name high school kids used for a school dance, and then call out a bunch of other dance names during the song. White and Medora wrote other songs together, including "1-2-3" and "You Don't Own Me" which became big hits, but nothing as big as "At the Hop".

Sha Na Na were a local New York City group in the late 1960s that performed 'oldies' tunes and began singing together in an a cappella group at Columbia University. Their college and NYC connection brought them to Woodstock in 1969 and their performance and appearance in the documentary of the concert brought them huge attention. The 70s brought us a lot of nostalgia themed entertainment, but many people point to Sha Na Na's performance at Woodstock as one of the touch off points.

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