Joe “Terry” Terranova, the former Philadelphia street singer best known as the frontman of Danny and the Juniors, died on Monday, April 15. He was 78.
His former group member Frank Maffei confirmed his death. As for the cause of death, Maffei says Joe passed away from natural causes at his Williamstown home.
Maffei, who was a musical partner of Joe for more than 60 years, recalled on Wednesday, April 17, "We used to sing in school, in electric shop, when we were doing bell wire and stuff like that."
The teacher would say, ‘You better learn how to run those wires. … You sure aren’t going to make a living singing.’ He was wrong.
Joe began his singing career on a West Philly corner. He and three other neighborhood teens; Danny Rapp, David White, and Maffei formed a musical group, the Juvenaires, in 1955.
The group later called Danny and the Juniors.
They moved their performances from street corners to the studio after being introduced to fellow performer Johnny Madara and producer Artie Singer.
The group recorded its first single, "At the Bop" (its title was later changed to "At the Hop") and released it in 1957.
The song was broadcasted live on American Bandstand and it was sold 7,000 copies in Philadelphia in one week. It remained No. 1 on the national charts for seven weeks straight.
Rest In Peace Joe Terry!
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