Sha Na Na Favorites
Sha Na Na is an American rock and roll group. Announcing themselves as "from the streets of New York," and outfitted in gold lame, leather jackets, and pompadore hairdos, Sha Na Na performs a song and dance repertoire of classic fifties rock and roll, simultaneously reviving and sending up the music and 1950s New York street culture.
Sha Na Na hosted the Sha Na Na syndicated variety series that ran from 1977 to 1981. It was among the most watched programs in syndication during its run. The show was produced by Pierre Cossette and originally distributed by LBS Communications.
The show featured the group performing hits from the 1950s and 1960s, along with comedy skits. The "tough guys" road act from their original road shows was adapted for TV and the group moved to a comedy and self deprecating routine. The mainstay continued to be the '50s song and dance routines. The show opened in a typical "concert scene," and then moved through various street and ice cream parlor scenes where they and their guests performed several songs. That was followed by a comedy-oriented song (e.g. "Alley Oop", "Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah") and closed with a slow song, again in their "concert format".
Among the supporting members featured in the series were Avery Schreiber, Kenneth Mars and Phillip Roth (All of them in the first season); Pamela Myers and actress Jane Dulo (who played the crabby Lady in the Window, who watched over the street scenes from the window of her apartment with undisguised disdain) (Both throughout the show's run), June Gable and Soupy Dales (Seasons 2 to 4); Michael Sklar (Season 2); and Karen Hartman (Season 4).
Guests included: Jan & Dean, Fabian, Chubby Checker, the Ramones, Ethel Merman, Frank gorshin, Billy Crystal, Danny & the Juniors, and others.
The members of Sha Na Na during the TV series were: Jon 'Bowzer Bauman', (vocals), Lennie Baker (sax), Johnny Contardo (vocals), Frederick 'Dennis' Greene (vocals), 'Dirty Dan' McBride (guitar) (left after third season), John 'Jocko' Marcellino (drums), Dave 'Chico' Ryan (bass), 'Screamin' Scott Simon' (piano), Scott 'Santini' Powell (vocals), Donald 'Donny' York (vocals). Each was introduced only by his nickname or his first name in a voice-over by Myers at the beginning of each show.
Sha Na Na appeared in Grease, the movie, as Johnny Casino and the Gamblers.
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