Danny Rapp

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Danny Rapp
Birth name Daniel Joseph Rapp
Born (1941-05-10)May 10, 1941
Pennsylvania, United States
Died April 5, 1983(1983-04-05) (aged 41)
Quartzsite, Arizona, United States
Genres Doo-Wop
Years active 1955–1983
Labels Swan, ABC, Guyden, Mercury, Capitol
Associated acts Danny & the Juniors

Daniel Joseph "Danny" Rapp (May 10, 1941 – April 5, 1983) was an American musician and the frontman for the group Danny & the Juniors. The group is best known for their 1957 hit "At the Hop".

He was born in Philadelphia, Pa, the youngest of seven siblings. Although his birth certificate states his date of birth was May 10, he was in fact born at home on May 9 and registered the following day.

Career[edit]

Rapp's musical career began in 1955 with the formation of his group The Juvenairs, which later became known as Danny and the Juniors. Their 1957 song "Do the Bop" came to the attention of Dick Clark, who suggested they rename it to "At the Hop." After limited initial success with the song, it became a worldwide hit when it was played on American Bandstand. The Juniors went on to have two more hits "Rock and Roll Is Here To Stay" and "Twistin' USA". The Juniors released several more records in the 1960s but were not able to produce any more hits. In the 1970s, they capitalized on a strong '50s nostalgia movement by touring and rerecording "At The Hop" in 1976.

Danny and the Juniors broke up and regrouped over the years with a final split in 1978. Joe Terranova and Frank Maffei formed one group, and Danny Rapp formed another. Both groups performed under the "Danny and the Juniors" name.[1]

Rapp's last performance was in Phoenix, Arizona at the Silver Lining Lounge of The Pointe Tapatio Resort in a month-long engagement which was scheduled to end on Saturday, April 2, 1983. On Friday a vice president of the Pointe Resorts met with Rapp to talk with him about a couple of offstage incidents in which hotel security had intervened. The dispute was between Rapp and a female performer who had been with the band less than three months. She quit the band on the day before the meeting, complaining that she was afraid of Rapp and that he had made verbal threats. After the meeting Rapp packed and left, leaving the remaining members of the band to do the last two performances without him.[2]

Death[edit]

On Saturday Rapp checked into the Yacht Club Motel in Quartzsite, Arizona, a small town 165 miles west of Phoenix and just east of the California border. He was seen on Saturday drinking heavily in the Jigsaw, one of the two bars in town. Sometime over the weekend, he bought a .25-caliber automatic from a private individual.[3]

Rapp's body was found in his hotel room on Tuesday, April 5, 1983, with a single self-inflicted gunshot wound to the right side of the head.[4] He was a few weeks short of his 42nd birthday.[5] and was survived by his sisters Mabel, Cass and Estelle, brothers Robert and Bill, numerous nieces and nephews, and his ex-wife and two children.

Tributes[edit]

The first track on the self-titled debut album from The Constantines called "Arizona," is based on Rapp's suicide. The song begins with the lyric "This is a song about the death of Danny Rapp. And that great gospel jest called rock 'n' roll."

Daniel Johnston's song "Danny Don't Rapp" from the album Yip/Jump Music was recorded shortly after Rapp's death in 1983.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Comments ascribed to Joe Terry (fka Joe Terranova), "A DEATH ON THE ROAD—FOR DANNY RAPP, THE HOP WENT ON AND ON," Newspaper Obituary and Death Notice, Philadelphia Daily News (PA), April 12, 1983, p 10.
  2. ^ Comments ascribed to Ken Nagel, vice president of Pointe Resorts, "A DEATH ON THE ROAD—FOR DANNY RAPP, THE HOP WENT ON AND ON," Newspaper Obituary and Death Notice, Philadelphia Daily News (PA), April 12, 1983, p 10.
  3. ^ Comments ascribed to La Paz County Sheriff Rayburn Evans, "A DEATH ON THE ROAD—FOR DANNY RAPP, THE HOP WENT ON AND ON," Newspaper Obituary and Death Notice, Philadelphia Daily News (PA), April 12, 1983, p 10.
  4. ^ "A DEATH ON THE ROAD—FOR DANNY RAPP, THE HOP WENT ON AND ON," Newspaper Obituary and Death Notice, Philadelphia Daily News (PA), April 12, 1983, p 10.
  5. ^ "Singer's Body Identified". The New York Times. April 7, 1983. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 

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