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
Non-musical special guests included Frank Gorshin, Henny Youngman, Phyllis Diller, and Milton Berle; Broadway star Ethel Merman also made an appearance, during which she sang a duet with Bowzer: a (very) reworked version of "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better". See more »
[Opening introduction for every show.]
And now, here they are, all greased up and ready to sing their brains out, Sha Na Na!
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ROCK & ROLL IS HERE TO STAY (along with a little comedy thrown in)
How odd it is that some people still think that Sha Na Na emerged and made their mark on the movie GREASE which later led to this short lived variety show.
Before GREASE (1978), HAPPY DAYS (1974) and American Graffiti (1973), there was Sha Na Na, who formed in 1968 and played in Woodstock in 1969. They also had a slew of singles and 3 albums to their credit before their label (Kama Sutra) released THE GOLDEN AGE OF ROCK 'N' ROLL on a 2-album set in 1973.
Flash Cadillac & the Continental Kids may had appeared on American Graffiti and in 1975 as Fish & the Fins on HAPPY DAYS. But they got there by pretty much copying the style of Sha Na Na! While I was not too wild about variety shows nor was I too wild about acts that would lipsinque, Sha Na Na were the exception to the rule. Their blend of comedy and music made their variety show a hit with their fan base, which also included us critics out there on the fringe, drawn to their brand of entertainment, like a moth to a light. Even my mother, whose teenage years were spent during the "big band era" (and not a fan of rock & roll) enjoyed this show.
One classic performance was a version of "A Lover's Question" (by Clyde McPhatter-1958/Atlantic Records). The setting looked like something out of THE WEST SIDE STORY. And each of the members was sitting on a window sill or on a fire escape! Classic rock 'n' roll as we like to remember it! Grease for peace!!!
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