"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
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
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 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 seventh 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: 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 original 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.
GREASE still makes an impact for Sha Na Na…
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. We played a 90-minute set and they
knew the words to every song from the movie.”
Working for the past three decades throughout the world – from Carnegie Hall to
the Grand Ole Opry, in Asia and in Africa, Paris to London to Tokyo – Sha Na Na
has had some interesting unknown performers 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 symphonies.
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
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.
Recent Sha Na Na recordings…
SHA NA NA 40TH ANNIVERSARY
COLLECTOR’S EDITION joins the Sha Na Na catalogue which includes ROCK & ROLL
DANCE PARTY, a collection of the greatest dance themes of the era (with THE
TWIST, THE STROLL, THE HAND JIVE), Sha Na Na’s first Holiday c.d. of their
career, ROCKIN’ CHRISTMAS (with SANTA’S ON A DIET, YOU’RE ALL I WANT FOR
CHRISTMAS, 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
(including SANDY from Grease co-written by Screamin’ Scott, THE CAT IN THE P.T.
CRUISER co-written by Jocko and ROCK ‘N’ ROLL HALL OF FAME by Donny). Sha Na Na
CDs are available on
Pat Boone’s Gold Label.
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 “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
Originally from the Bronx, New York, drummer Paul Kimbarow now
lives in San Diego where he is one of the most sought-after musicians in the
area. With his diverse musical background he has performed and recorded with a
myriad of artists including A.J. Croce, the Ventures, Angela Bofill, Willie
Colon, Robin Henkel, Chuck Berry, Ashford and Simpson, The Platters, The Gypsy
Swing All-Stars and now Sha Na Na. His television appearances include “The
Tonight Show”, “The Today Show” and “Rock Concert” and Austin City Limits..
Gene Jaramillo knew that he wanted to play guitar as soon as he
saw the Buddy Holly Story when he was 4 years-old growing up in the southwestern
border town of Yuma, AZ. Since then he¹s achieved his dream by not only playing
with Sha Na Na, but with his role as ringmaster of the Los Angeles-based Eugene
Edwards Band. Flagship Records released his debut album My Favorite Revolution
in 2005 and it has received critical acclaim along with his bombastic live
shows. Starting in 2007 Gene began his ongoing radio career as "Antonio" on LA's
number one-rated K-EARTH morning show. That year also saw Gene perform as "Ian"
on AMC's hit show "Mad Men." For more information go to
In addition to rocking with Sha Na Na and doing his radio show, Gene composes
music for film and television. He can be followed on Twitter at eugeneedwards25.
““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