Rest_In_Peace's current selection is:
At the Hop (live)
by Danny & the Juniors, feat. Joe Terry, lead vocals
Joe Terry (1941 to 2019) was an American 'rock and roll' singer, with 'Danny & the Juniors'. Joseph Terranova was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, on January 30th 1941. Along with high school friends Danny Rapp (lead tenor), David White (first tenor) and Frank Maffei (second tenor), he provided the baritone/bass vocal after they formed a 'rock and roll dance' combo named 'The Juvenaires' in school. He shortened his stage name to 'Joe Terry', and they played mainly after-school gigs and local shows as a foursome, later adding saxophonist Lennie Baker to the line-up. While still in school, they were performing at a record hop in late 1957 when a local businessman named John Madara spotted them. He was interested in being a 'rock and roll' promoter and introduced them to local songwriter/vocal coach Artie Singer, who also ran his own record label, 'Singular Records'. Singer auditioned the band and particularly liked an original song that White had written which captured the energetic spirit of the genre - renamed as "At the Hop", it proved to be an immediate success. (Singer then also changed the name of the group to 'Danny & the Juniors'.) After a 'demo' of the song by Terry and the boys was circulated to local DJs, it found its way to Dick Clark, host of the popular music show "American Bandstand", and when a group suddenly cancelled they were asked to fill in. After their rendition of "At the Hop" caused immediate interest, 'Singular' quickly issued it as the group's first single (it became a regional hit, selling 7,000 copies in Philadelphia in one week, and a 'live' rendition of it is featured here). It eventually climbed the charts in December 1957 to reach No. 1, where it stayed for seven weeks. The band followed up with "Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay" (another number which also made the Top 20), and they then toured with several of Alan Freed's travelling 'rock and roll' shows. After putting out two more songs into the Top 40, they switched over to the 'Swan' label in the early 1960s, but parted company with them after their final song charted in 1963. By that year however, groups like 'The Beatles' were becoming outstandingly popular, and American record producers put pressure on Terry and the others to become more like the 'British Invasion' acts, but they flatly refused. They continued to tour, and by 1969 a revival of interest in 1950s 'rock 'n' roll' saw the line-up appearing at Madison Square Garden - indeed, their records never stopped selling, with "At the Hop" now being declared the No. 23 top-selling record of all time. In later years, Terry and Maffei had toured with a new member, Johnny Petillo, doing about 110 dates a year in places such as Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Connecticut and Florida (among others), so his career finally found a comfortable middle ground following their soaring stardom and their eventual disappointment in the Sixties. Joe Terry died on April 15th 2019 in Williamstown, New Jersey, aged 78 (one month after ex-bandmate White).
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Posted: 17th May 2019
Hundreds of very talented musicians pass away each year, some without much recognition at all. On "Rest In Peace", I aim to give them a fitting 'send-off', with a decent Tribute. I hope you will join me in marking their passing.....
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