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Larry Lehmer
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Fans of American Bandstand have long lamented the dearth of vintage footage from the premiere music program of the 1950s and 1960s. As this clip shows, Clark at one time posssessed a truck load of Bandstand films: As many insiders knew, the best way to get to Dick Clark was... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Bandstand Beat
You never know when or where your personal history will bubble up. Does this post by Scott at Haberblab sound familiar?: "At odd times all sorts of personal history comes swimming to the surface. Making me think 'Oh yes, I... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Passing It On
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“Don’t be too surprised if there’s an engagement announced by Arlene Sullivan and Joe Wissert. They got together a month ago, when Steve Brandt was in town and took the two of them to dinner. They’ve been seeing each other every night ever since.” - Bandstand Newsletter, 16 magazine, from... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2016 at Bandstand Beat
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Check out this photo. You probably have a similar photo somewhere in your family archives ... a mother and father surrounded by their children, all dressed up. And, just like any other similar photo, there's a story behind it. This... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2016 at Passing It On
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Random thoughts from the slow lane: Why is it that since vegetables are so good for you, industrial kitchens like those in schools and hospitals boil them into a foul-tasting, pasty mush? What's so special about an "Arnold Palmer?" Half lemonade and half iced tea adds up to a big... Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2016 at Life In the Slow Lane
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There were plenty of reasons for a teenager to watch American Bandstand. There was the music and the artists that performed it. There was the dancing and the teenagers who showed off the latest steps. There was also the fashion, which for some viewers was every bit as important as... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2016 at Bandstand Beat
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Once upon a time, in a time and place very far away, I was a disc jockey. OK, OK. Disc jockey may not be a totally accurate description of what I did, but I did sit in a small booth,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2016 at Passing It On
Dick Clark was fond of referring to music as "the soundtrack of your life." I like to think of family photos as windows into your life. The visual memories of our past are among the strongest memory triggers around. Thumbing... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2016 at Passing It On
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During the end of his stay in Philadelphia, Dick Clark was often seen toting a leather briefcase. When asked about its contents, Clark claimed it held the manuscript of a book project he was working on. The book, he said, would be a novel, all about a young man in... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2016 at Bandstand Beat
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Like millions of her 1950s teenage peers, Kathryn Sacchetti spent hours watching American Bandstand on television every weekday afternoon. Unlike the vast majority of those peers, however, she lived just a few miles from the Philadelphia studio where the show originated and knew many of the kids who were regulars... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2016 at Bandstand Beat
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Ivan DeBloise Combe was a 45-year-old critical success entering 1957. Seven years earlier, he and chemist Kedzie Teller had found that by combining sulfur and resorcinol in an innocent-looking cream, they had created a concoction that effectively fought acne. Trouble was, they had trouble marketing the cream, which they had... Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2015 at Bandstand Beat
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Did you know ... -- In the first 5 1/2 years after his marriage to Barbara Mallery, Dick Clark lived in a succession of rented apartments in the Drexelbrook complex. The couple's first apartment was a simple one-bedroom unit that cost $67 a month in 1952. They later moved to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2015 at Bandstand Beat
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If you wanted to be on American Bandstand, you had to follow certain rules. One of those rules was the age requirement - no one under the age of 14 and no one over the age of 18. Of course, rules are meant to be broken. Dozens - probably hundreds... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2015 at Bandstand Beat
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Questions: True or false: Dick Clark was the second choice to take over Bandstand after Bob Horn was fired. The first choice, Al Jarvis, turned down ABC on the grounds that the network wanted no black artists appearing on the show. Bandstand gave out several music awards for 1956. Elvis... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2015 at Bandstand Beat
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The kids who showed up at the Bandstand studio on July 9, 1956, just wanted to dance. But would they get the chance? What kind of music would this new guy play? That was the day Dick Clark took over Bandstand from Bob Horn. When Horn was at the helm,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2015 at Bandstand Beat
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American Bandstand pulled down some pretty amazing numbers during its Philadelphia run when it was America's top-rated daytime television program. No doubt Dick Clark had a lot to do with it, but an even bigger part of the show's success were those high school kids who bopped on screen every... Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2015 at Bandstand Beat
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In last week's post, I wrote about some of the non-dancing reasons that viewers tuned into American Bandstand. This week, I want to give a shout out to the kids who were, indeed, interested in the dancing. At its core American Bandstand was a teen dancing show, a very successful... Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2015 at Bandstand Beat
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American Bandstand's audience in its early years was mostly female, ranging from pre-teens to young housewives. Their reasons for watching varied. Some simply enjoyed the dancing or the music. Others were interested in the fashion exhibited by the dancing teens. Still others were interested in the hairstyles or the relationships... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2015 at Bandstand Beat
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Did you know? Here are a few facts about American Bandstand that you may have missed: WFIL-TV's Studio B (The American Bandstand studio) measured 80 feet by 42 feet, including the space taken up by the bleachers. High Society by Artie Shaw was the original Bandstand theme song, but was... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2015 at Bandstand Beat
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One of the biggest obstacles a writer faces when tackling a subject as well-known as American Bandstand is getting things right. A person might think that in the 63 years since Bob Horn's Bandstand first hit the air on WFIL-TV, there has been ample time for basic facts about the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2015 at Bandstand Beat
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American Bandstand, while highly rated and beloved among teens and young adult women, didn't have universal appeal. Disdain for the show was widespread among older generations that had grown up in the big band or crooner eras and had little use for rock & roll. Thus, it was not unusual... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2015 at Bandstand Beat
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“The Twist was a guided missile, launched from the ghetto into the very heart of suburbia.” That provocative quote about the world-wide sensation that was launched by Dick Clark on American Bandstand came from the book Soul On Ice by Eldridge Cleaver. As you might expect from a program that... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2015 at Bandstand Beat
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Saddle shoes, shoes with squashed heels.. Shoes were a big deal on American Bandstand. If a WFIL-TV cameraman wasn't zeroing in on a tight shot of a slow-dancing couple, odds were good he had his camera pointed down at the studio's concrete floor to concentrate on the action of a... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2015 at Bandstand Beat
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Did you know ... ... that although Alan Freed is often credited for coining the phrase "rock & roll," Philadelphia journalist Maurie Orodenker was a more likely source, having used the term as early as 1942 while working at Billboard magazine? ... that while Dick Clark was presenting a stage... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2015 at Bandstand Beat
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The Twist pretty much dominated the dance scene from 1960 through at least 1962. Dick Clark, of course, deserves much of the credit for his role in having Chubby Checker record the song then pushing it on American Bandstand, but the song (and dance) actually has its roots well before... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2015 at Bandstand Beat