Billing themselves as "from the streets of New York" (but in reality were Columbia University students) wore gold lamé, leather jackets, and pompadour hairdos. Sha Na Na performed a song and dance repertoire of classic fifties rock and roll, simultaneously reviving and sending up the music and 1950s New York street culture. Despite their image, they performed at Woodstock.
Bauman's popular Sha Na Na character, "Bowzer" (sometimes called "Bowzer J. Bowzer" and sometimes "Choo Wate"), was a gangly greaser in a muscle shirt. He was not in the group's original line-up.
Bauman started attending The Juilliard School at age 12 and is a magna cum laude graduate of Columbia University. After his heyday with Sha Na Na, Bauman was a VJ on the music channel VH-1 during its first two years.
He has appeared on several television series, such as Miami Vice, and has also done voiceovers for animated series, such as Animaniacs, and animated feature films, including My Little Pony: The Movie and The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones. He also hosted the Hollywood Squares half of the Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour. In addition, Bauman hosted The Pop 'N Rocker Game, a weekly syndicated rock 'n' roll game show, which launched a few weeks before the Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour premiered.
Jon Bauman Productions produced The Golden Age of Rock 'n' Roll, a ten-hour series for the A&E network.
Bauman, who now lives in Los Angeles, tours with his Bowzer and the Stingrays group at fairs, amusement parks, cruise ships, and conventions all over the world. They currently headline "Bowzer's Ultimate Doo-Wop Party."