David White (musician)

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For other musicians named David White, see David White (disambiguation).

David White (born November 26, 1939, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American singer and songwriter. He was a member of the doo-wop quartet Danny & the Juniors and the pop trio The Spokesmen, and co-wrote a number of hit songs, including "At the Hop" and "You Don't Own Me".

Early life[edit]

Danny toured the country with his parents prior to attending school in their acrobatic/hand-balancing act called Barry and Brenda and Company.

The Juvenaires/Danny & the Juniors[edit]

In 1955, White formed a vocal group that he named The Juvenaires, of which he was a member singing first tenor. The other original members were Danny Rapp (lead singer), Joe "Terry" Terranova (baritone) and Frank Maffei (second tenor).

In 1957, David and John Madara wrote "Do the Bop"[1] for the group and John, who had a chart record at the time called "Be My Girl", on Prep Records under the name of Johnny Madara, took The Juvenaires to his vocal coach/record producer, Artie Singer for an audition. Artie liked what he heard and scheduled a recording session at Reco-Art Studios in Philly, to record "Do the Bop" and a ballad that David White had written called, "Sometimes (When I'm All Alone)".

At the recording session, The Juvenaires were told that they would be singing back-up for John, who needed a follow-up record. They complied but as it turned out, John's record company turned it down. Artie Singer took it to Dick Clark, who suggested that they call it "At the Hop" since the dance called the Bop was on the way out and the hops were what was happening. Artie took his advice and changed some of the lyrics to fit the new idea, becoming a co-writer on the song with David and John. A new recording session was scheduled at Reco-Art Studios with recording engineer/owner, Emile Corsen. The trio of musicians consisted of Walt Gates on grand piano, Artie Singer on upright bass and Jack O'Brian on drums. This time, The Juvenaires recorded the two songs while John Madara was in the control room overseeing the session.

The Juvenaires were renamed Danny & the Juniors, since it was a more contemporary name, and "At the Hop", backed with "Sometimes (When I'm All Alone)", was released on Singular Records; Artie Singer's label with partner DJ, Larry Brown. Payola was not illegal at the time and Artie reluctantly gave Dick Clark half the publishing of "At the Hop", which Dick later sold prior to the payola hearings in 1960.

"Sometimes (When I'm All Alone)" was later covered by various vocal groups, including The Capris, The Chimes, The Cleftones, The Rascals, The Del Satins, The Dovells, The Elegants, The Impalas, The Earls, Randy and the Rainbows, The Tokens, The Vogues, and Vito and the Salutations among others.

David was now attending Temple University on a full gymnastics scholarship, but when Dick Clark started playing the record, David left college, never to return, going over to Danny's house every week-day to watch American Bandstand. "At the Hop" skyrocketed to number one on the Billboard Chart, a position it would remain in for seven weeks, breaking a record for vocal group chart position. It was also number one on the R&B chart for five weeks, and stayed in the top forty for eighteen weeks. "At the Hop" is featured in the films American Graffiti and Woodstock, among others.

Singular Records could not handle the distribution of such a hot record so Artie sold the master to ABC Paramount Records. Danny and the Juniors' follow-up record was "Rock and Roll is Here to Stay", which only went to number nineteen on the Billboard Chart but has also achieved fame, being featured in the films Grease (performed by Sha Na Na) and Christine, among others.

David White had several other hits while with the group, including "Dottie" (#39 in Billboard), "Twistin' USA" (#27 in Billboard), "Pony Express" (#60 in Billboard), "Twistin' All Night Long" (#68 in Billboard), "Back to the Hop" (#80 in Billboard), "Doin' the Continental Walk" (#93 in Billboard) and "OO-La-La-Limbo" (#99 in Billboard).

David appeared with Danny and the Juniors in the 1958 film Let's Rock, and while touring with them he appeared at The New York Paramount with Alan Freed and The Apollo in Harlem with "Jocko" Henderson. Some other appearances with the group include Patti Page's The Big Record, Merv Griffin's Saturday Night Prom and The Pat Boone Chevy Show.

White left the group in the early 1960s, but continued to appear and record with them occasionally til the early 1970s.

Partnership with John Madara[edit]

In 1960, he teamed up with John Madara, forming Madara and White Productions. One of their first efforts was producing the musical track and writing "The Fly" (#7 in Billboard) for Chubby Checker.

In an independent production deal with Mercury Records, David and John composed "You Don't Own Me" for Lesley Gore (#2 in Billboard).

David has arranged and performed background vocals for Debby Boone and Bernadette Peters, appearing with Bernadette on The Tonight Show and The Tim Conway Show.

Moving on to Decca Records, David and John produced "1-2-3” (#2 in Billboard), co-writing it with Len Barry. This song is also featured in several movies including Mr. Holland's Opus.

Other hits that Madara and White co-wrote and co-produced include "Birthday Party" (#40 in Billboard), "442 Glenwood Avenue" (#56 in Billboard) and "Cold Cold Winter" (#79 in Billboard), all for The Pixies Three; "Pop-Pop-Pop-Pie" (#35 in Billboard) for The Sherrys and "The Boy Next Door" (#18 in Billboard) for The Secrets.

The Spokesmen[edit]

At Decca, White, Madara and DJ Ray Gilmore formed and became members of The Spokesmen. Madara and White co-produced "Dawn of Correction" (#36 in Billboard) for them, co-writing the song with Ray. The Spokesmen recorded an album and made appearances on The Mike Douglas Show, Shindig!, Shivaree, Where the Action Is and Hollywood-A-Go-Go among others. David and John along with Ray also wrote “Sadie (The Cleaning Lady)”, recorded by Johnny Farnham, which became a number one record in Australia.

Later career[edit]

David then wrote and co-produced “The Thought of Loving You”, for The Crystal Mansion, of which he was a member. It has been covered by Cher, The Manhattan Transfer, Astrud Gilberto, Lou Christie, The Spiral Starecase and Wayne Newton.

In 1971, White recorded a solo album for Bell Records titled Pastel, Paint, Pencil and Ink under the name of David White Tricker (Tricker being his family name).

He has lectured at a community college and studied film scoring and orchestration at UCLA Extension.

Awards and honors[edit]

In 1992, he and his group, Danny & the Juniors were inducted into The Hall of Fame and Walk of Fame in his hometown by The Philadelphia Music Alliance. In 2003, Danny & the Juniors were inducted into The Vocal Group Hall of Fame in Sharon, Pennsylvania. His piano was donated to The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.

Personal life[edit]

In 1959, at the age of nineteen, White married sixteen year old, Joanne "Dee" Rody. The marriage lasted twelve years and produced three children: Wendy, Linda and Jody.

In 1998, he married Sandra Simone. He and Simone are actively engaged in writing, producing and discovering new talent.

References[edit]

External links[edit]