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February 09, 1948 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1948-02-09

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Page Two


kA--A-., ^ If% AM

Pge T-.. E ti, n 1 LOP r.' Iv MondovY February 9 ,148

I -

Great -Hop Tradition Spans 76 Years



Michigan's Big
Formal Boasts
Turbulent Past
Dance Endangered
By Class Warfare
Last week-end's J-Hop added
another thrilling chapter to the
"country's greatest formal" whose
turbulent history includes a near
tragedy, brilliant successes and a
double dance held in different
Beginning with the problem of
which class was to have the priv-
ilege of holding a "distinctive col-
lege affair," each year had
brought more excitement to the
Hop. Fiery discussion raged on
campus until in 1872 the juniors
won the honor with their "Junior
Hop," presented at "Hank's Em-
Society Hop'
The name was changed to "So-
ciety Hop" when nine secret so-
cieties undertook all responsibil-
ity. When, however, two newly
formed fraternities were denied
participation, the Regents refused
to let Waterman Gym be used
unless everyone were included.
The nine fraternities held the J-
Hop in Toledo. The two new ones
and the independents held the J-
Hop in the Gym.
After that the juniors worked
together-to make each Hop the
"best ever." Only once was there
a notable failure; the decorator
did not show up and the refresh-
ments consisted of a wafer and a
glass of water." This was attribut-
ed, however, to the fact that for
some unknown reason the chair-
man of the committee was a soph-
Juniors Better
Junior chairmen were much
more successful. Year after year
J-Hoppers have danced under in-

the best band of the year, J-Hop Committee banned them. There- a -
committees have presented Tom- upon, "fifty toqued (better known
my Dorsey (with Sinatra). Benny as drunk) indiviauals" stormed
Goodman, Kay Kayser, Count the dance with bricks. "Cowards
Basie, Fred Waring, Gene Krupa, were plentiful" among the rioting
Jimmy Dorsey and Paul White- mob, and their advance was halt-
man. But at the beginnin", the ed by one lone janitor, wielding
same band played for many years, a pair of Indian clubs.
mainly because the leader wrote Wars Cancel Hop
special songs for the Hop-like
"I'd Bather Just Waltz With You, War conditions in 1910, 1921,
You, You." He also provided fa- and from 1943-45 caused Univer-
vors, releasing a swarm of toy sity officials to call off the Hop.
airships while playing his "Yankee The tradition was revived in 1946
Toys" for instance, with what nearly turned out to
Passing out appropriate favors be a charity dance. Student ob-
during a number has, as a matter jections to a $10 ticket price for a
of fact, been a common procedure. one-night dance caused the com-
One year dancers were given little mittee to lower the price to $7.50,
drums so that they could join in and over 2,000 students danced to
during a drum novelty. the music of Tommy Dorsey,.the
durg sa dreum oveSentimentalists and Ziggy Elman
Ducat sat Premium and his trumpet in the atmo-
Even though the Hop moved sphere of a vivid spring garden.
from Hank's Emporium to Water- Last year's Hop was marked by
man Gym, flowed over into Bar- post-war lavishness. The band
bour Gymnasium, and finally end- spotlight was shared by Ziggy
ed up in the Sports Building, there Elman, who formed his own band
have always been too few tickets. when Dorsey's broke up, and the
In 1017, the Committee, moved late Jimmy Lunceford. The dance
by the protestations of the crowds was a two-night affair complete -
which waited in vain for tickets with Parisian theme and post-
from 4:30 a.m., on for several dance breakfasts, attended by
days, offered to give a miniature 6,000 students.
Hop in the Union on the same Up until this year The Daily has
night, similar to the main dance always distributed a J-Hop Extra
in every detail. The students re- at the dance. This year The Daily
fused, apparently wanting all or editors, in cooperation with the
nothing. J-Hop Committee, decided to
For a nominal fee, spectators forego this distribution and sell
were admitted to the galleries for the Extra, with dance pictures, to
many years, until in 1913 the aid the March of Dimes.

INTERMISSION AT 1946 J-HOP-Brief time-out by Tommy
Dorsey gave J-Hoppers a chance to look at The Daily's J-Hop
Extra, formerly distributed at the dance.
creasingly beautiful and elaborate"the days of long strings of light
decorations. Back at the turn of bulbs to the present revolving
the century, professional decora- spotlights. It used to be the cus-
tors used untold miles of blue and tom to turn off most of the lights
yellow bunting and tried to con- and follow couples around the
real the gym rafters with ropes floor with a calcium spotlight. One
of smilax, floral bells and huge night a calcium light exploded.
balls that burst to shower flow- The two men who extinguished
ers on the dancers. the blazing bunting were "ap-
In the 1920's, each dance was plauded to the echo."
planned around a theme, with Of equal importance with the
such results as in an eskimo vil- decorations, at early J-Hops, were
lage with icebergs and igloos for the refreshments. Suppers were
booths; springtime Japan, com- served until the impossibility of
plete with cherry blossoms and keeping the food hot became too
lanterns; a Dutch town with apparent. Punch and cakes be-
windmills, and a medieval setting came stand-bys, and one commit-
with suits of armour guarding the tee announced proudly that as a
booths. feature attraction their lemoi-
Modern Hues ade would be kept cold with froz-
Most recent dances have been en lemonade, eliminating the di-
"ultra - modernistic" with such luted beverage which had been
color schemes as burgundy and the fate of other J-Hoppers.
gold or wine and green. Big Bands
Careful attention has always Following a policy of securing
been paid to lighting effects, from what is generally thought to be



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