BEST OF JOHNNY MADARA
of Johnny Madara's career as a performer, including 30 songs, 4
of which have never been released, with over 40 historical photos
of his 50 years in the music business. This historical CD contains
valuable information, when available, on the musicians who played
on each song, the year the song was recorded and the studio where
it was recorded.
"Of all my musical
memories I treasure the works of John Madara. He'll always
be remembered. He's a very special guy." -- Dick
name Johnny Madara may not be so familiar to many people.
But when it comes to music, it is legendary. Here is a man,
not only as a writer and producer, but also instrumental in the
careers of Danny and The Juniors, Leon Huff, Hall & Oates, Len
Barry, Lesley Gore, Chubby Checker, Maureen Gray, and untold others.
He is one of the unsung heroes in the early days of rock and roll.
Yet he has remained active through six decades in the music business.
And then there's John as a singer. The works you are about
to hear represent John as a performer. But more important,
his vision and understanding of how important our music was, and
being a part of an exciting new industry that we called rock and
roll, is really what he is about. You'll find that in his
songs. There are many facets to John Madara. This is
just one of them." -- The Geator,
Madara grew up in Philadelphia at a time when rock and roll was
starting to take root. In 1956, at 20 years old, he launched
his solo career with his first record, "Be My Girl," which
reached the National charts. The follow-up to "Be My
Girl" was his next record, "Love Sick."
year, an event occurred in Southwest Philly that would have a profound
impact on his life. One evening Johnny heard the compelling
voices of some street corner singers as the drifted through his
bedroom window. The group was called The Juvinaires, and was
headed by David White. Dave and Johnny soon formed a partnership
and little did they know, their lives would never be the same.
At the time, Johnny
had a recording contract with Capitol Records. Johnny and
Dave wrote a song called "Do The Bop." They went
and recorded it with the B Side, "Sometimes," that was
written by Dave. Johnny sang the lead and Dave's group sang
the background. Capitol Records didn't like it. They
didn't understand early rock and roll.
had sung several times on Bandstand, which was a local show out
of Philadelphia. They took "Do The Bop" to host,
Dick Clark, who had just gone National with American Bandstand.
He really liked it, but The Bop was a dance that was on its way
out and was really known mostly on the East Coast. Dick thought
the record hops were really taking off and suggested that they change
the name and the lyrics to reflect that. They followed Dick's
advice. "Do The Bop" became "At The Hop."
The lyrics were changed but the music was the same. They recorded
"At The Hop" with Dave's renamed group, Danny and The
Juniors. It was released on a small label, Singular Records,
and ABC Records eventually acquired the master. The record
started selling well in Philadelphia. By Christmas of 1957,
"At The Hop" had reached the top of the charts worldwide
and remained #1 for an astounding seven weeks, the first record
ever to reach that success, and it has remained a rock and roll
classic to this day.
continued to record songs as an artist, but he was having his real
success producing and writing songs with Dave. Madara &
White would go on to make some of the most successful songs during
that era including "Rock and Roll Is Here To Stay" (Danny
and The Juniors), "The Fly" (Chubby Checker, which Chubby
is enjoying a resurgance with a dance version of the song),"1-2-3"
(Len Barry, who co-wrote the song with Madara & White), and
"You Don't Own Me" (Leslie Gore).
that time John discovered Leon Huff playing piano with a group,
The Lavenders. Leon was signed to an exclusive writer and
producer's contract, and he wrote and played on many of the Madara
& White records before he met and teamed up with Kenny Gamble.
Gamble & Huff would become one of the most prolific songwriting
teams in the history of Rock and Roll and helped create "The
Sound of Philadelphia." Madara & White co-published
many of their songs, including "Cowboys To Girls," "Together,"
"Western Union Man," "Only The Strong Survive"
and "Never Gonna Give You Up," just to name a few.
In the mid-'60s, Johnny,
Dave and Ray Gilmore wrote "The Dawn of Correction," an
answer song to "The Eve Of Destruction," by Barry McGuire.
They called themselves The Spokesmen. The song was very controversial.
In some cases the group was not permitted to sing the song
on the air and had to replace it with another. With Dick Clark's
support, The Spokesmen were able to sing the song on American Bandstand.
It reached top 20 on the charts and was a huge hit.
discovered Daryl Hall & John Oates, the most successful duo
in the history of the music business. He produced two albums
John and Dave split up, John continued to write and produce movies
and TV. including "Cinderella Liberty," and "The
Sid and Marty Krofft Comedy Hour." He produced two albums
with Wayne Newton, co-wrote the songs on the Ralph Bakshi animated
film "Hey Good Lookin," and recently produced an album
for Tony Danza, following a hugely successful radio hit single that
he also produced, "The House I Live In."
& White songs have reached millions of people through radio,
films and TV. Worldwide sales have reached over 200 million
records. Madara & White songs have appeared on some of
the biggest soundtrack albums of all time, including "American
Graffiti" and "Woodstock" (At The Hop), "Grease"
(Rock and Roll Is Here To Stay), "Hairspray" (The Fly
and You Don't Own Me) and "Dirty Dancing" and "The
First Wives Club" (You Don't Own Me).
of 2001, "At The Hop" was voted one of the top 100 songs
of the century by The Recording Industry Association Of America.
The soundtrack album "Grease" was voted one of the top
albums of the century.
Jack's son recently found a handwritten list of his favorite top
10 songs. "At The Hop" was #1.
& White have just written four new songs which will be featured
in their film "At The Hop," and a musical is being developed
that would feature the songs of "Madara & White."
In October of 2013, John, along with partner Dave White, was inducted into the Philadelphia Walk of Fame by The Philadelphia Music Alliance.
on this CD have been digitally restored and digitally mastered.
historical CD a part of your oldies record collection!
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