Download Instrumental Let’s go back to 1958, shall we? Rock’nRoll was really coming into its own that year, and “At the Hop” was at the top of the charts. Always liked this one, mostly because it featured a boogie-woogie piano (not a guitar in sight). Those repetitive eighth notes are a bit tiresome to play live, but it can be done – it’s all in the wrist.
Danny and the Juniors were four guys who met in high school in the mid-fifties. They were all fascinated with “doo-wop”, a music genre that usually consisted of 4 or 5 people who sang but couldn’t play an instrument. There would be one lead singer and 3 or 4 other singers gyrating behind him – inserting harmony in all the right places. The bands behind the doo-wop artists never got any recognition… ever. Don’t get me wrong – I like doo-wop. But a little of it goes a long way. Kinda like bluegrass music.
The original title of this tune was “Do the Bop”, but a certain DJ at the time convinced them to change the name. That DJ was Dick Clark. In fact, “At the Hop” didn’t really get popular until Clark invited them to perform on American Bandstand in January of “58. They soon recorded “Rock and Roll is Here to Stay” and “Dottie” – both of which did moderately well on the charts. Dick Clark signed them to Swan Records in 1960, where they recorded their final hit “Twistin’ USA”. After that, they just sorta disappeared…. much like doo-wop.
Click on the link below to see the boys sing this one on American Bandstand: