The Happenings were a pop music group that originated in the 1960s. The group's major hits were "See You In September" (1966), which was originally recorded by the Tempos in 1959; a cover version of the George Gershwin/Ira Gershwin song, "I Got Rhythm" (1967), updated for the nascent pop/rock era; and "Hare Krishna," a cover version of a song from the musical Hair (1969). The group's "See You In September" and "I Got Rhythm" were on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles charts for 14 weeks in 1966 and 1967, respectively, forming musical bookends for the 1966-1967 school year, and both peaked at number 3. Both disc sales exceeded one million copies, resulting in R.I.A.A. gold record awards by 1969.
Members of the original group, created in 1965, all hailed from Paterson, New Jersey and consisted of Bob Miranda, David Libert, Tom Giuliano and Ralph DiVito. In 1968, DiVito was replaced by Bernie LaPorta. Lenny Conforti also joined at this time to play drums in the touring band. Both LaPorta and Conforti took a hiatus from the Northern New Jersey band The Emerald Experience to play and tour with The Happenings. The band continued in this present configuration, performing mostly at colleges and universities until 1970, when Libert left the band to pursue other endeavors within the music industry. Libert went on to manage various bands, including George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic, Living Colour, Brian Auger, Vanilla Fudge, The Runaways (Cherie Currie, Joan Jett, Lita Ford), Mother's Finest, Alice Cooper and Evelyn "Champagne" King.
The group had nine Billboard Hot 100 Singles hits from 1967 to 1968, including covers of "Go Away Little Girl" (a #1 hit for Steve Lawrence in 1962) and the jazz song "My Mammy" (popularized by Al Jolson in the 1920s). Both songs peaked at number 13. They also both achieved sales in excess of one million copies, garnering the group another couple of gold records. According to Miranda, the group's original formula was to "take a song that's already proven it could be a hit and put our spin on it". They later wrote some of their own songs.
The band still exists and continues to perform with lead singer Miranda as the only remaining original member. They occasionally perform on cruise ships performing Frankie Valli songs and "Runaround Sue", as well as their original material.
LaPorta was a high-school music teacher in the North Arlington Middle School until the middle of the 2006-2007 school year, when he retired from his position. He now performs with Joe Zisa & Friends "Jersey Tribute" with Joe Zisa, Sal Sellitto, Lenny Conforti, Dennis Oricchio, and Tommy Bialoglow of The Duprees.
Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, "See You In September" was listed in a memo containing 150 songs that radio conglomerate Clear Channel Communications suggested to be pulled from the airwaves - despite the fact that the song is about two lovers saying goodbye for the summer, and has nothing to do with terrorism.
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