"Rock 'n' roll has nothing to do with a generation gap any more.
Today, it's really a generation bridge."
Donny York, co-founder,
Sha Na Na
A Rock & Roll Celebration
SHA NA NA brings their rock & roll celebration to town in a dynamic, crowd
pleasing show that includes highlights of their four decade journey from
WOODSTOCK, the movie GREASE, THE SHA NA NA TV SHOW and their world wide concert
touring. In an interactive show where the audience sings along, dances along and
participates in a “Greaser Olympics, a good time is had by all ages. Hey all you
greasers, teen angels and party dolls: twist, stroll and hand jive to the
classics as performed by the crowned princes of doo-wop and rock & roll, Sha Na
Sha Na Na bio…
Sha Na Na may not have invented rock nostalgia, but the group has
successfully – very successfully – celebrated the music and the memories for the
past four decades… in concert, in the movies and on TV, and on record.
Sha Na Na’s story is an all-encompassing one: they were in the original
Woodstock Festival lineup, starred in “Grease”, hosted the “Sha Na Na” TV series
for four years, and still play more than 50 concerts a year, from state fairs,
performing art centers, casino showrooms to mega corporate functions world wide.
And through it all – flower power, hard rock, metal music, disco, hip hop, rap
and more – Sha Na Na remains true to the original concept: rock & roll is here
The Sha Na Na story begins oddly for a group that, in appearance, runs the gamut
from greaser to gold lame. Attired in turtleneck and blue blazers, the nucleus
of Sha Na Na were undergraduate members of The Kingsmen, a glee club ensemble at
New York’s Columbia University that used to perform a cappella versions of 50s
rock songs as part of the performances.
These proved very popular and eventually rock & roll took over, instruments were
added and Sha Na Na – the name comes from the 50s Silhouettes’ hit, “Get A Job”
– was born.
Heard of Woodstock?...
If the original 1969 Woodstock Festival was a defining moment in
rock history, it was also a defining moment in the history of Sha Na Na. The
group’s appearance – only the eighth in Sha Na Na’s career, followed by the
Woodstock album and movie, cemented their reputation and style. “We went on
second to last, at sunrise on the final day, but, importantly, just before Jimi
Hendrix,” recalls co-founder, drummer Jocko Marcellino. “We did 40 minutes and
were paid $350…and the check bounced!”
Sha Na Na was the only group at Woodstock without a record deal. Immediately
afterwards, they had one and today the group has released eighteen albums in
total, with worldwide sales of more than 20 million.
TV was another important step for the group…
The group taped 97 episodes of the Sha Na Na music variety shows
from 1977 to 1981 that were seen – and still can be – in worldwide syndication.
The shows, which featured Sha Na Na’s music, plus the group in comedy skits with
special guests, further established the group’s credentials as a part of the
landscape of rock & roll America.
GREASE is still the word for Sha Na Na…
“Grease: The Movie” became another significant building block in
the Sha Na Na story. The group appeared in the 1979 musical, as Johnny Casino
and the Gamblers, and contributed to the music score with six Sha Na Na versions
of rock classics and one original song, “Sandy,” co-written by Screamin’ Scott
Simon for John Travolta to sing. (Between takes, Travolta also sang a little
doo-wop with the group.)
The accompanying “Grease” soundtrack album was a major hit, Grammy-nominated and
certified eight times platinum.
Recalls Marcellino: “Whole new generations get swept up in the nostalgia craze,
effectively becoming our potential audience.”
For example, Sha Na Na played the immense Los Angeles County Fair in front of a
special audience – 20,000 girl scouts! “They were too young to have seen our TV
show, but they had seen ‘Grease’ on video. They knew the words to every song
from the movie.”
Sha Na Na recently rocked The Hollywood Bowl at this year's Grease Sing –A-Long
presented by The Los Angeles Philharmonic hosted by Didi “Frenchy” Conn with
special guest drummer Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters. A Hollywood Bowl
tradition, the event celebrated the 35th Anniversary of the beloved Grease film,
the highest grossing musical film of all time.
Live in concert….
Working for over four decades throughout the world Sha Na Na has
performed worldwide: from Carnegie Hall to the Grand Ole Opry, in Asia and in
Africa, London to Tokyo. They have had some interesting newcomers opening for
their show, such as: Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Billy Crystal, Steve Martin
and Jay Leno!
Live performances remain at the heart of Sha Na Na. Whether it is those girl
scouts or their baby boomer parents, the reaction to the group is the same – the
discovery of a common joy in the music from a time when part of the world was
“greased and ready to
Sha Na Na Rocks with Symphony Orchestras…
As well as stints with MARVIN HAMLISCH conducting THE SEATTLE SYMPHONY, THE
PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY, and THE MILWAUKEE SYMPHONY, Sha Na Na has made multiple
appearances with PETER NERO & PHILLY POPS, THE COLUMBUS, LOUISVILLE, and PHOENIX
Sha Na Na also appeared on The PBS Special A CAPITOL FOURTH with the National
Symphony and Choir at the Capital Fourth Celebration in Washington, D.C. The
special brought the sights and sounds of the symphony performance to a
The arrangements for up to a seventy- six-piece orchestra range from the
staccato strings of “Rhythm of the Rain”, a lush rhythm and blues “wall of
sound” for “Soul and Inspiration” and a swinging arrangement of “Rock & Roll is
Here to Stay”.
Of course Sha Na Na invites the orchestras to lose their tuxedo jackets, open
their collars and roll up their sleeves. That, that is, to get greased and ready
to rock & roll.
Sha Na Na recordings…
Their latest release, "SHA NA NA GREASER HIGH SCHOOL HOP” features 25 signature
songs perfect for an instant high school hop dance party. "The Bop," "The
Twist," "The Stroll," "The Hand Jive," "The Monkey," "The Jerk," "The Cha Cha"
and even "The Hokey Pokey" are amongst the great dances of the ‘50s and ‘60s
celebrated by Sha Na Na in this collection. Also included are songs they sang in
Grease ("Sandy", "Rock & Roll is Here to Stay"), The Sha Na Na TV Show ("Rock &
Roll Hall of Fame," "You Can’t Sit Down") and at Woodstock ("At The Hop").
Also in the Sha Na Na catalogue: SHA NA NA 40TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTOR’S EDITION,
ROCK & ROLL DANCE PARTY, ROCKIN’ CHRISTMAS (with “Santa’s On A Diet”, “Blue
Christmas” and “The Rockin’ Dreidel Song”) and Sha Na Na’s first completely
original Rock & Roll and doo-wop c.d., ONE MORE SATURDAY NIGHT. Sha Na Na CDs
are available at iTunes and Amazon.
Jocko, now in his four decade with Sha Na Na, was the first to walk onstage
“greased and ready to rock ‘n’ roll” in 1969. That same year, at age 19, he
appeared with the group at the Woodstock Festival. Jocko holds the distinction
along with fellow Sha Donny of performing in both the most successful music
documentary ever (Woodstock) and the most successful rock and roll film musical
Juggling his schedule around his touring, Jocko earned both a
B.A. from Columbia and a Masters in Drama from New York University.When not with
Sha Na Na, Jocko is an actor, producer and a songwriter. His acting credits
include television’s “Veronica Mars”, “NYPD Blue”, “Alley McBeal”, “The Tiger
Woods Story”, “Herman’s Head”, “Good Advice”, ”18 Wheels of Justice”, “The
Invisible Man”, “Amazing Stories” and the “Gary Shandling Show”. His film
credits include: "Rainman", "National Security" and "Hot To Trot". Jocko has
also written and performed songs for the films "Rainman", "That's Life" and "The
Night Of The Comet"; and television shows "Golden Boy", "Once Upon A Time",
"Save Me", “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”,
"The Office", "Terriers", "Castle", "Kath & Kim", "Parks and Recreation” and
ESPN's "Monday Countdown" ("C'mon Man" theme song). In addition, he performed
and produced an arrangement of “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” for the motion
picture "Benchwarmers". Jocko has produced Sha Na Na's last five CDs.
Jocko also released his original rock & roll, children’s collection: "Kidsville"
and has a rock ‘n’ roll/ rhythm and blues band: Jocko and the Rockets. For more
information, go to their website.
Jocko was born in Quincy, Mass. and toured New England with his high school
band, The Pilgrims. He now lives with his family in La Jolla, California.
Screamin' Scott Simon
Screamin’ Scott Simon has been an integral part of Sha Na Na’s
popularity since 1970 as a charismatic performer, multi-instrumentalist musician
(from keyboards to guitar and bass) and prolific songwriter. His best-known
composition, “Sandy” was sung by John Travolta in the hit movie Grease. Two
other songs of his have made the billboard Hot 100, “Top Forty” and “Only One
Song” both on the group’s “ Sha Na Na” (Gold Boots) album. Scott composed
“Wrestling Tonight” performed by Sha Na Na for the 1985 film Grunt The Wrestling
Movie, and recorded a solo album on Rolling Rock Records, “Transmissions from
Space.” He also self-produced the original “Boomer Humor” CD by his side-band,
Hong Kong Tailor and the Prom Kings.
Raised in Kansas City, Missouri, Scott lives in Los Angeles, and has been seen
around town performing as part of Art Fein’s Elvis birthday parties, Ronnie
Mack’s Barn Dance, and as an occasional member of Chuck E. Weiss and the GD
Liars, the hippest band in town.
He is married and has two fabulous daughters.
Donny York is a native of Idaho and a 1971 graduate of Columbia,
where he co-founded Sha Na Na. He is a veteran of Woodstock, the movie Grease
and The Sha Na Na TV Show. Donny penned a song on an early road tour, urging
establishment of a “Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.” He later performed the song on
Sha Na Na’s hit TV series. Finally, his prophecy came true with the opening of
the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland in 1995.
Donny has returned to his North West northwest roots, now living near the Idaho
border in Spokane, Washington, where he enjoys skiing and camping in the nearby
He worked with Pat Boone on the latter’s preparation of Pat Boone’s America, 50
Years, a career memoir that included Donny’s commentary about historical
settings the book explored. His essay on the place of the “King of Square” in
rock music history remains one of the most visited pages in the
PatBoone.com web site.
Says Donny, “Rock ‘n’ Roll has nothing to do with a generation gap anymore.
Nowadays, it’s really a generation bridge.”
Everything about Tim Butler is old-fashioned, from his Buddy
Holly glasses to his vintage checkered shirts. Butler, a longtime San Diego
bassist who has toured with Sha Na Na, The Rockin’ Aces and Hot Rod Lincoln is
known as a go to guy for bass, guitar and singing. Tim has worked with almost
all of San Diego’s top artists and even has a classic profession. He owns
Quality Letterpress, a custom print shop that makes everything from wedding
invitations to concert posters…except Butler makes everything on his antique
letterpress machines, some dating back to before the Civil War… That’s “old
Rock-a-billy drummer Ty Cox has surely played with some greats -- Chuck Berry,
Wanda Jackson, Brian Setzer, Lee Rocker and Jerry Lee Lewis top the list. For
more than 30 years, Ty has remained loyal to his favorite style of music. In
1993, he began drumming with Buzz Campbell and Hot Rod Lincoln, venturing to
tour the world with the traditional three piece; in 2008, Hot Rod Lincoln opened
for the Stray Cats on their European Farewell tour, where the powerful HRL trio
performed for more than 100,000 fans in 3 weeks. He has also opened for the
legendary artists Social Distortion, Junior Brown and Willie Nelson.
When not rockin’ with Sha
Na NA, Ty drums for John Mueller’s Winter Dance Party, a tribute to Buddy Holly,
Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper and with Mueller and Rockin’ Neil Morrow in A
Night to Remember, a tribute to Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and
Elvis Presley. While Ty cherishes all the places rock-n-roll has taken him over
the years -- private parties drumming for Priscilla and Lisa Presley, and
landing on an aircraft carrier to play with legendary drummer Doug Clifford of
CCR to the delight of USO Troops -- it is his love for the music that keeps him
coming back for more. He drums likes somebody who loves what he does, and it
shows. And he’s sentimental about it too – for years Ty has been cruising his
Red and White ‘57 Chevy with big fins and filled to the gills with drums and
Randy Hill was born in Dayton, Ohio. At age 8, his family moved to Westchester,
CA. At age 12, after seeing the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, he knew he
wanted to play guitar. He immediately went to his local music store and started
taking lessons. Soon he formed his first band, The Illusions, who got good
enough to play at the 7th grade dance at his junior high. They got paid in
his four decade career (working for a lot more than snacks) he has performed and
recorded with an array of national and international artists: The Pointer
Sisters, Rick James, Stephen Stills, Johnny Hallyday, Veronique Sanson, The Ohio
Express and now Sha Na Na.
When not touring, Randy
works as a producer/ engineer/ guitarist/ bassist at Shut Up & Play studio in
California’s San Fernando Valley. He also works with The Rescue Riders, an
organization he founded that transports and fosters homeless animals.
““Downtown” Michael Brown
originally from Newport Beach in Orange County Ca. now hails from Pahrump
Nevada. The son of renowned jazz pianist, Ronnie Brown, Michael has played the
saxophone since the age of nine.
A regular on
the Las Vegas and national touring scene, he has performed with the likes of,
Buckwheat Zydeco, The Platters, Lil’ Elmo and the Cosmos, Shake Rattle and Roll,
Launi Kristopher, Mitch Woods and His Rocket 88’s, the house band at Ivan Kane’s
Forty Deuce Club inside Mandalay Bay Las Vegas, and now Sha Na Na.
When not rocking, he is the Coola Suncare Education
Ambassador, the Executive Director for the Melanoma Education Foundation Nevada
chapter and part time Racecar driver. Michael has a solo c.d.: WITH ALL MY
HEART, an original eclectic blend of music from Pop-rock to Jazz-funk,
punctuated by a ballad dedicated to melanoma awareness and the memory of his
wife Amanda. It is available on CD Baby.
“FINDING N-E-D: NO EVIDENCE OF DISEASE” is now available from Tate Publishing.
It is a heartfelt true story of love, loss, and hope. Diagnosed with malignant
melanoma, Amanda Faye Brown started on a long, difficult journey through the
disease, and had the wisdom and foresight to gather her thoughts into a journal.
Compiling these journal entries and interspersing them with his own thoughts,
telling their story from first meeting through marriage to tearful days at the
hospital, Michael Brown shares the struggles and sorrows that came with his
wife's cancer. Their beautiful, poignant story is a treasure. You can order it
from Tate Publishing