Danny and The Juniors (originally The Juvenairs) all attended John Bartram High School in Philadelphia and formed in 1955, practising their harmonies in a car initially, before graduating to street corners when they became more confident.
In 1957 the group began to target record producer John Madara, making it a ritual to sing under his window. Madara initially told the boys to get lost because they were keeping his children awake, but eventually gave in and arranged for them to meet his friend, Artie Wayne, owner of Singular Records.
Dave White had written two songs for The Juvenairs: Sometimes – a typical doo-wop ballad of the period and a rocker called Do The Bop. Artie Wayne couldn’t make up his mind about the group but took a test pressing of Do The Bop to the influential Dick Clark.
Clark liked the song but suggested At The Hop would be a better title because, in his opinion, no one danced the ‘bop’ anymore. And Artie Singer told the boys to change their name to Danny & The Juniors before he recorded them.
Sometimes/At The Hop, by Danny & The Juniors, was released on Singular in November 1957. Sales were extremely poor, but a break came when the group was asked to replace Little Anthony and The Imperials on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand TV show, where they mimed to their record.
The sudden demand for At The Hop prompted ABC-Paramount to buy the masters of the record from Artie Singer, and by January 1958, Danny & The Juniors had a #1 hit which stayed at the top of the charts for seven weeks, with another 21 weeks in the Top 100. The record made it to the UK the following year where it charted at #3.
At The Hop was a classic record that was followed by many imitations, but it was totally expressionless. Yet that synthetic, de-personalised feel was what made people buy this and many other ‘high school’ hits.
Danny Rapp committed suicide on 5 April 1983.
Second Tenor vocals
Joe Terranova (Joe Terry)