|Origin||Paterson, New Jersey, United States|
|Genres||Sunshine pop, cover band|
The Happenings are a pop music group that originated in the 1960s. Members of the original group, created in the spring of 1961 and initially called "The Four Graduates" because all had just graduated from high school in Paterson, New Jersey, were Bob Miranda, David Libert, Tom Giuliano, and Ralph DiVito. In 1968 DiVito was replaced by Bernie LaPorta and Lenny Conforti also joined to play drums in the touring band. Both LaPorta and Conforti took a hiatus from the northern New Jersey band, The Emerald Experience, to play and tour with The Happenings. That lineup performed mostly at colleges and universities until 1970, when Libert left the band to manage other groups, including George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic, Living Colour, Brian Auger, Vanilla Fudge, The Runaways (Cherie Currie, Joan Jett, Lita Ford), Mother's Finest, Alice Cooper and Evelyn "Champagne" King.
The band's original concept and much of its commercial success came as a cover band playing classic songs in a unique style. Said Miranda, the group's concept was to "take a song that's already proven it could be a hit and put our spin on it". That "spin" consisted of a combination of rich harmonies on vocals and upbeat tempos marked by prominent percussion and sometimes elaborate orchestration. The group later composed its own songs.
The group's major hits were "See You In September" (1966), which was originally recorded by The Tempos in 1959, and a cover version of the George Gershwin/Ira Gershwin song, "I Got Rhythm" (1967), updated for the group's sunshine pop musical style. "See You In September" and "I Got Rhythm" were on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles charts for 14 weeks in 1966 and 13 weeks in 1967, respectively, forming musical bookends for the 1966-1967 school year, based on their Hot 100 #3 peak dates. "I Got Rhythm" and Billy Stewart's "Summertime" also formed Gershwin musical bookends for the same school year, based on the very same Hot 100 peak dates. Disc sales for both "See You in September" and "I Got Rhythm" exceeded one million copies, resulting in R.I.A.A. gold record awards by 1969.
The group had nine Billboard Hot 100 Singles hits from 1966 to 1968, including versions of "Go Away Little Girl" (#12) (a #1 hit for Steve Lawrence in 1963 and later for Donny Osmond in 1971) and "My Mammy" (#13) (popularized by Al Jolson in the 1920s). They also both achieved sales in excess of one million copies, garnering the group another couple of gold records. "Hare Krishna," a version of a song from the musical Hair (1969), was the group's last Hot 100 hit.
The band continues to perform with lead singer Miranda as the only remaining original member. On cruise ships it also performs Frankie Valli songs and "Runaround Sue" as well as their original material.
LaPorta was a music teacher in the North Arlington, New Jersey, school district until the 2006-2007 school year, when he retired from his position. He now performs with Joe Zisa & Friends a "Jersey Tribute" with Joe Zisa, Sal Sellitto, Lenny Conforti, Dennis Oricchio, and Tommy Bialoglow of The Duprees.
(Following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, "See You In September" was listed in a memo containing 150 songs that radio conglomerate Clear Channel Communications suggested be banned from radio.}
|Year||Titles (A-side, B-side)
Both sides from same album except where indicated
|Label & number||Chart positions||Album|
|1966||"Girls on the Go"
b/w "Go-Go" (Non-album track)
|B.T. Puppy 517||-||-||The Happenings|
|"See You in September"
b/w "He Thinks He's a Hero" (from Back To Back)
|B.T. Puppy 520||3||100|
|"Go Away Little Girl"
b/w "Tea Time"
|B.T. Puppy 522||12||-|
|"Goodnight My Love"
b/w "Lillies by Monet"
|B.T. Puppy 523||51||-||Back to Back|
|1967||"I Got Rhythm"
b/w "You're in a Bad Way" (Non-album track)
|B.T. Puppy 527||3||66||Psycle|
b/w "I Believe in Nothing"
|B.T. Puppy 530||13||35|
|"Why Do Fools Fall in Love"
b/w "When the Summer Is Through"
|B.T. Puppy 532||41||-|
|1968||"Music Music Music"
b/w "When I Lock My Door" (from Psycle)
|B.T. Puppy 538||96||-||The Happenings Golden Hits|
b/w "The Love Song of Mommy and Dad" (Non-album track)
|B.T. Puppy 540||118||-|
|"Sealed with a Kiss"
b/w "Anyway" (Non-album track)
|B.T. Puppy 542||-||-|
|"Breaking Up Is Hard to Do"
b/w "Anyway" (Non-album track)
|B.T. Puppy 543||67||-|
b/w "Love Song of Mommy and Dad"
|B.T. Puppy 545||-||-||Non-album tracks|
|1969||"That's All I Want from You"
b/w "He Thinks He's a Hero" (from Back to Back)
|B.T. Puppy 549||-||-|
|"Where Do I Go / Be-In / Hare Krishna"
b/w "New Day Comin'"
|Jubilee 5666||66||92||Piece of Mind|
|"El Paso County Jail"
b/w "Won't Anybody Listen"
|Jubilee 5677||-||-||Non-album tracks|
|"Answer Me, My Love"
b/w "I Need a Woman"
|1970||"Tomorrow Today Will Be Yesterday"
b/w "Chain of Hands"
b/w "Chain of Hands"
|1971||"Lullaby in the Rain"
b/w "I Wish You Could Know Me (Naomi)"
|"Make Your Own Kind of Music" (stereo)
b/w "Make Your Own Kind of Music" (mono)
|1972||"Workin' My Way Back to You"
b/w "Strawberry Morning"
|Big Tree 146||-||-|
|"Me Without You"
b/w "God Bless Joanna"
|Big Tree 153||-||-|
|1977||"That's Why I Love You"
b/w "Beyond the Hurt"
|Midland International 10897||-||-|
|"Let Me Stay"
b/w "Someone Special"
|Midland International 11127||-||-|
- "John Paiva's Guitar Experience". blues.gr. Retrieved 2020-07-17.
- "PIECE OF MIND - ORIGINAL US PRESSING" (PDF). thehappenings.com. Retrieved 2021-03-19.
- "The Happenings Lost Tracks" (PDF). thehappenings.com. p. 1. Retrieved 2009-07-17.
- "Hot 100 Top 10". 1966-08-27. Retrieved 2014-05-24.
- "Hot 100 Top 10". 1967-06-10. Retrieved 2014-05-24.
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 205 & 222. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- "Chart History - The Happenings". Billboard. Retrieved 2014-10-26.
- "Jubilee - Label Discography". 45cat. Retrieved 2017-09-27.