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Danny and the Juniors were formed in 1955 by Dave White in Southwest Philadelphia. They were originally known as The Juvenaires. The
group consisted of; Danny Rapp (lead singer), Dave White (first tenor), Joe Terry (baritone) and Frank Maffei (second tenor). They
began performing at local church dances and high school amateur shows. Dave was no stranger to show business. His parents,"Barry and
Brenda" had a hand-balancing act and he performed with them for several years prior to beginning school. This experience inspired
him to create a career in the entertainment field.
His mom and step-dad were The Juvenaires first managers. They took them to bars,
restaurants, night-clubs and talent shows where the group gained performance experience. Two of their more memorable appearances
were the 500 club in Atlantic City and the Sons of Italy talent show in South Philly where they won second prize. The first prize
went to Bobby Ridiarelli, later known as Bobby Rydell.
They were basically an acappella group but on their live engagements Dave would
accompany the group
strumming his $25 guitar.
One spring night in1957, they were overheard singing on a street-corner adjacent to the
apartment of Johnny Madara, a recording artist who had a chart record at the time called "Be my Girl". He was impressed and the
next day, after some inquiries, he located the group and in the fall of '57 he took them to his vocal coach, Artie
Singer for an audition. Artie liked what he heard and decided to record the group for Singular Records, a local label that
he and local deejay Larry Brown owned.
Johnny Madara and Dave White started hanging out together and one day while riding the
EL (elevated train), Johnny hummed a melody to Dave and suggested they write a song about The Bop, a popular dance at the time. "Do
the Bop" was written and a recording session was scheduled at Reco-Art Studos in Philly to record it along with "Sometimes" (When
I'm All Alone), an original song written by Dave.
At the session The Juvenaires were shocked when they were told that they would be
singing background for Johnny Madara on the songs since he needed a follow-up to his chart record. The group aquiesced and the
recordings were made. Johnny's record company, Prep Records, turned it down and when Artie Singer played the recording for Dick
Clark, who had recently gone national with "American Bandstand,"
Dick recommended changing "Do the Bop" to "At the Hop" since
the bop was on the way out and the hops were hot. Artie re-wrote some of the lyrics and booked another recording session. He told
The Juvenaires that they would be backing up Johnny Madara again but this time Dave let Artie know that his group would not do the
recording unless it was to be their record with Danny singing lead. Artie reluctantly agreed and The Juvenaires recorded "At
the Hop." It was then suggested that The Juvenaires name be changed to Danny and the Juniors. Dave wasn't happy about that since he
was the leader of the group but he went along with it since it was a more contemporary name. Artie Singer sold the master to ABC Paramount
and "At the Hop" rose to the # 1 position and became a world-wide hit. Their next record was the rock and roll anthem "Rock
and Roll is Here to Stay" written by Dave White. They had two more hits
when they moved to Swan Records; "Twistin' USA" and "Pony
Express". Dave White and Johnny Madara formed Madara and White Productions and wrote and produced "Pop-Pop-Pop-Pie"
by the Sherrys for Jamie Records. They also wrote "The Fly" by Chubby Checker for Cameo Records, "You Don't Own Me" by Lesley
Gore for Mercury Records, "1-2-3" with Len Barry for Decca Records and scores of Billboard chart records. Danny Rapp
passed away in 1984 but Joe Terry, Frank Maffei and Frank's brother Bobby continue to entertain audiences as Danny and the Juniors
featuring Joe Terry.