(Ray Anthony/Leonard Auletti)
This dance and song written by Ray Anthony and Leonard Auletti originated around the same time, in 1952. It was a hit for Ray Anthony, and a hit with the kids at San Francisco’s Balboa High School, who are credited with its creation.
A conga-like dance designed to break the ice at parties, it requires participants to form a line, with the second person putting their hands on the hips of the leader, and so on through the last dancer. The dance is basically two taps with the right foot, two taps with the left foot, one hop forward, one hop backward, and three more hops forward, until the song is over. Ironically, the B side of Ray Anthony’s recording was “The Hokey Pokey”.
“The Bunny Hop” has since been recorded by an eclectic mix of artists and groups, including The Champs, Da Entourage, Delteens, Duke Ellington, and A Smoky Montgomery. The version by A Smoky Montgomery is a country instrumental that starts out with twin fiddles, then passes off the melody to the steel guitar and the piano. The lead guitarist gets a little more lee-way to improvise, then the twin fiddles come back and harmonize to the end, with a stinger supplied by the piano and drums.
A Smoky Montgomery recordings
Sabre Records SS-45-12 LH-7171