A themed variety show, in which the skits and music centered around Sha Na Na (a '50s-style "greaser" rock band) and the neighborhood in which they lived (an unidentified inner city neighborhood reminiscent of the Bronx). Written by
Late Night Stick Of "Bubble Gum" And Pure Pleasure
LIKE MOST ROCK Music groups, the gravitation toward comedy was a force that couldn't be resisted. The emotional expressing of what the moods and lyrics of a particular piece of music require a great deal of acting. No singer wishes to just sing the words alone.
ADDED TO THIS, we have the costuming and stage personality which gets superimposed over the real person. The result is entertainers whose on stage presentation lampoons the real world in a sort of cartoony style.
HENCE, WE HAVE the phenomenon of the Comedian-Rocker; of which we can't think of a better example than our honored group of the day, SHA NA NA.
OUR RECOLLECTIONS OF this series are ones of the great and the nostalgic. Being a syndicated series, it was no doubt seen at different times in the various markets that featured it. In our case, it was on the NBC wholly owned subsidiary, WMAQ, Channel 5. We remember that it played late on Saturday following NBC's Saturday NIGHT LIVE.
EVERY PROGRAM FEATURED power names from show biz in the special guest spotlight. Singers, Comedians and Legendary performers galore headed up the weekly proceedings. Being that they were limited to a 30 minute length and format, things went surprisingly well. We had wished that SHA NA NA would have had a full hour with which to work; but alas, It wasn't to be.
THE GROUP'S CHOSEN image, being that of a bunch of street toughs, led by Jon "Bowser" Baumann, proved to be a really misleading facade. In actuality, this conglomeration of dyed in the wool "Greasers" were a truly a talented musical team. And, they were really much more than the series revealed. We saw them in concert at the Holiday Star Theatre, Merrillville, Indiana, circa 1982. THeir show was excellent, believe us.
AS FOR THEIR leader, "Bowser"; it turns out that Jon Baumann was voice-trained on the Classics. You know what that means, don't you Schultz? Yeah,it's like Opera!
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