At the Hop

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For the Devendra Banhart song, see Niño Rojo.
"At the Hop"
Single by Danny & the Juniors[1]
B-side "Sometimes (When I'm All Alone)"
Released 17 June 1957
Format 45 rpm,78 rpm single
Genre Doo-wop, Rock n Roll
Label ABC
Writer(s) Artie Singer, John Medora, and David White

"At the Hop" is a rock 'n' roll/Doo-wop song written by Artie Singer, John Medora, and David White and originally released by Danny & the Juniors.[2] The song was released in the fall of 1957, and reached number one on the US charts on January 6, 1958, thus becoming one of the top-selling singles of 1958.[3] "At the Hop" also hit number one on the R&B Best Sellers list.[4]

The song became more prominent after it was performed by rock and roll revival act Sha Na Na at the 1969 Woodstock Festival and featured in the 1973 coming-of-age teen drama American Graffiti. Musically, it's notable for combining two of the most popular formulas in 1950s rock'n'roll, the twelve-bar blues and the 50s progression.

Background[edit]

The song was written by White, Medora and Singer in 1957, when Danny & the Juniors were still called The Juvenairs. Initially called "Do the Bop", the song was heard by Dick Clark, who suggested they change its name. After performing the song on Clark's show American Bandstand, it gained popularity and went to the top of the US charts, remaining at number one for five weeks.[5]

The song describes the scene at a record hop, particularly the dances being performed and the interaction with the disc jockey host.

A sample of the song's lyrics (contemporary popular dances in italics):

You can rock it you can roll it
Do the stomp and even stroll it
At the hop.
When the record starts spinnin'
You chalypso and you chicken at the hop
Do the dance sensation that is sweepin' the nation
at the hop

Payola involvement[edit]

On the 2008 nationally-televised PBS documentary Wages of Spin: Dick Clark, American Bandstand and the Payola Scandals,[6] Singer claimed that Dick Clark would not play "At the Hop" without receiving half of the publishing proceeds. Singer agreed to make the payments and called the situation "bittersweet" because although he didn't like having to give the money, he credited his success in the music industry to Clark and therefore was grateful to him. Payola was not illegal at the time and Clark sold the song prior to the 1960 payola hearings.

Cover versions[edit]

Soundtrack appearances[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Danny and the Juniors - At the Hop". Discogs. Retrieved 5 August 2009. 
  2. ^ "At the Hop - Danny and the Juniors". Billboard. Archived from the original on 3 August 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2009. 
  3. ^ Macmillan Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Macmillan. 1998. p. 1384. ISBN 0-333-74134-X. 
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 145. 
  5. ^ Macmillan Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Macmillan. 1998. p. 1384. ISBN 0-333-74134-X. 
  6. ^ "The Wages of Spin". Full cast and crew. IMDb. Retrieved September 3, 2012. 
  7. ^ "At the Hop - Freddy Quinn". Allmusic. Retrieved 5 June 2010. 
  8. ^ Video on YouTube
Preceded by
"April Love" by Pat Boone
Billboard Top 100 number-one single
January 6, 1958 (7 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Get a Job" by The Silhouettes
Preceded by
"You Send Me" by Sam Cooke
Billboard R&B Best Sellers in Stores number-one single
January 6, 1958 - January 27, 1958 (five weeks)
Succeeded by
"Get a Job" by The Silhouettes