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|Birth name||Daniel Earl Rapp|
May 9, 1941|
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
|Died||3 April 1983
Quartzsite, Arizona, United States
|Labels||Swan, ABC, Guyden, Mercury, Capitol|
|Associated acts||Danny & the Juniors|
He was born in Philadelphia, PA to a large Irish American family, 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.
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.
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 Saturday, April 2, 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.
Rapp's body was found in his hotel room on Sunday, April 3, 1983, with a single self-inflicted gunshot wound to the right side of the head. He was a few weeks short of his 42nd birthday. and was survived by his sisters Mabel, Cass and Estelle, brothers Robert and Bill, numerous nieces and nephews, and his ex-wife Gloria (née Padlo), and his two sons, Francis (Frank/Frankie) Rapp-Romolini & Alex (Alexander) Rapp-Romolini.
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."
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- "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.
- "Singer's Body Identified". The New York Times. April 7, 1983. Retrieved 6 May 2009.