You've heard of them and maybe you've even attended one and danced the night away. Sock Hops. How did they get their start?

It all started as early as 1944. Dances were organized by the American Junior Red Cross to raise funds during World War II.

By 1948, it had become a fad of American teenagers. You often found them in school gyms or cafeterias. Kids would take off their hard-soled shoes so they wouldn't leave skid marks on those floors or the varnished floors of school gyms. So they would dance in their socks; hence, Sock Hops.

The popularity of sock hops coined the phrase "Bobby Soxer"; which described the fans of traditional pop music. 

Music was provided from vinyl records either by a dee jay or from a live band. In later years, "hops" became strongly associated with the 1950s and early rock and roll. You may remember the 50's classic "At the Hop" by Danny and the Juniors.

In later years with the popularity of sneakers, the practice of removing shoes to dance was dropped. From then on a sock hop was generalized with teenagers.

And now you know.

Westley Isbutt