A Brief History
John Medora was born in Philadelphia on May 28, 1936. During his teen years, Rock and Roll
was beginning to take shape. When John was 17 years old, he took singing lessons with vocal
coach, Artie Singer. Artie had a song he had written called "Be My Girl." They recorded it, and it
made the National charts top 100. By that time John had changed his name to Johnny Madara.
Following "Be My Girl" John recorded a song written by Dave White and himself called "Do The
Bop" with backup singers Dave White, Danny Rapp, Frank Maffi and Joe Teranova, who would
later become "Danny and The Juniors." Capitol Records, who Johnny had a contract with, passed
on "Do The Bop," and at the suggestion of Dick Clark, the title and lyrics were changed to "At The
Hop." Danny and The Juniors recorded the song for Artie Singer's label, Singular Records, and
later the master was sold to ABC Paramount. By Christmas of 1957,
"At The Hop" reached the top of the charts worldwide, was #1 on the charts for an astounding 7
weeks (the first record to reach that success), and remained in the Top 100 for 21 weeks.
I really loved singing, performing and travelling, and of course, being 20 years old, there were
always attractive girls hanging around. I was really shy back then so my adventures were pretty
tame. I loved meeting and working with tons of stars like Fats Domino, The Everly Brothers, Elvis Presley, The Beach Boys and my good friends, Billy Paul, Bunny Sigler, Leon Huff, Kenny Gamble and Thom Bell.
What Happened Next?
John recorded several other records, including Heavenly and Vacation Time, hit the charts, but Johnny Madara's singing career would be put on the back burner following the huge success
of "At The Hop." Dave and John's subsequent success as producers and writing partners, with such hits as "The Fly," "You Don't Own Me," and "1-2-3," made it difficult to resurrect John's singing career.
It would be several years later that John would record one final time with a group he formed called The Spokesmen, which featured John, Dave White and Ray Gilmore.