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Larry Lehmer
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Ironically, it wasn’t one of the nationally known deejays who was responsible for accelerating the pace of payola in the music industry in the late 1950s. While much of the initial attention was focused on Dick Clark at American Bandstand in Philadelphia or Allan Freed and his myriad operations from... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Life In the Slow Lane
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For most of the 1960s, Len Brown held what would be a dream job for many men around his age - writing copy for baseball cards distributed by Topps Gum Company, the biggest hobby card company in the world at the time. Working at Brooklyn-based Topps seemed inevitable for Brooklyn... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Bandstand Beat
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Smartphones are sneaky little devils. They arrive all shiny and new, full of promise. The phone does everything you ask, and more. You tell your friends about your phone. They say how lucky you are. Soon your phone is a good friend, too, and you're seldom apart. It's a lovely... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Life In the Slow Lane
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Nov. 11, 1959 Fabian Forte woke up to one of the biggest days of his life. He’d come a long way in the months since he hung around Politano’s candy store in his South Philadelphia neighborhood or delivered medicine to ailing neighbors in his part-time job for Bob Grobman at... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2015 at Bandstand Beat
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Before Dick Clark entered the record business, he asked his bosses at WFIL-TV if that was OK. Roger Clipp said he could go ahead, as long as his outside business interests didn't interfere with his duties on American Bandstand. For his first venture, Clark turned to American Bandstand's first sponsor,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2015 at Bandstand Beat
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I'm thinking of buying a new phone. A cell phone. So what, you might be thinking. Everybody does that. Maybe so, but for me, it's an agonizing decision. I have a cell phone already. So does my wife, Linda. Indeed, we're on a shared plan, one of those that gives... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2015 at Life In the Slow Lane
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Thursday, November 12, 1959 [The scene: Bookbinder's restaurant in Philadelphia. Dick Clark and Tony Mammarella are having dinner with their wives, Fabian and the winner of a "dinner with Fabian" contest, a teenage girl and her parents. Earlier in the week, Clark had been summoned to ABC-TV president Ollie Treyz'... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2015 at Bandstand Beat
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I love Iowa Public Television. (Well, except for those annoying "Festivals," when it preempts its generally outstanding programming and replaces it with not-so-outstanding programming interrupted by long periods of public begging.) But I digress ... I love Iowa Public Television and am proud to say Linda and I support it... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2015 at Life In the Slow Lane
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On October 14, 1959, Dick Clark awoke with the knowledge that he was finally positioned where he always hoped he'd be - atop the entertainment mountain. With the launch of his World of Talent program three weeks earlier, he was the only TV personality to be seen on a national... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2015 at Bandstand Beat
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In the fall of 1959, life was very interesting for Dick Clark. He and his wife, Barbara, were preparing to move into their first house together, the first Dick Clark Caravan of Stars hit the road that September and Clark added a Sunday night show to his busy schedule, The... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2015 at Bandstand Beat
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Remember when CNN was launched in 1980? I do. Founder Ted Turner promised 24-7 coverage of world events until the end of time as we earthlings know it. Well, here we are 35 years later, and CNN is still pushing electrons through trillions of miles of coaxial and fiber-optic cables... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2015 at Life In the Slow Lane
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As Dick Clark settled in to his new role as host of Bandstand in the summer of 1956, he proceeded with caution. Given his comparatively tame lifestyle, there was little chance he'd succumb to the same temptations that had brought Bob Horn's career to such an unseemly end. But what... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2015 at Bandstand Beat
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1959 For the first two weeks that Dick Clark was busy filming Because They’re Young in Hollywood, American Bandstand viewers were fed taped programs that were recorded earlier in the summer. Guest hosts took over the show on August 17 and continued until Clark’s scheduled return on Sept. 7. As... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2015 at Bandstand Beat
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Once upon a time there was a TV station that liked to call itself WFIL-adelphia. Every afternoon it showed movies. Bad movies. The station people wanted to change. They asked some radio people to move their show to TV. The radio show was popular with teenagers, who sometimes danced in... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2015 at Bandstand Beat
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So what do you do if Aunt Gertie dies and leaves you with a trunk full of memories? Her memories. After all, she thought so much of you that she entrusted you with the eternal care of many of her... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2015 at Passing It On
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Contests were popular in 16 magazine. In many issues, readers were invited to select their Top 10 favorite celebrities from a couple dozen or so that were pictured. It was not unusual to see photos of American Bandstand regulars among the choices, alongside Elvis Presley, Fabian and Annette Funicello. At... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2015 at Bandstand Beat
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I wrote earlier this week about Pat Molittierri's dismissal as an American Bandstand regular for writing a column in 'Teen magazine. Dick Clark wasn't fond of 'Teen, but he was fine with plenty of the other fan magazines around, particularly 16. You'll be able to read plenty about Clark's cozy... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2015 at Bandstand Beat
Have you written a letter lately? A personal letter, that is. Not a letter of complaint. Not a thank you note. Not a Christmas letter. And not an electronic one. A real, honest-to-goodness, pen-to-paper retelling of details of your life... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2015 at Passing It On
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It should not have surprised Dick Clark that one of American Bandstand’s most popular dancers would pop up in a magazine aimed at teenagers. Teen magazines were hot in 1959 and no teens were hotter than those Bandstand kids that most of America could watch from the comfort of their... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2015 at Bandstand Beat
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When Dick Clark was growing up, he found a hero. He didn't have to look far. He was right across the room, in the bedroom they shared. Bradley Clark was everything Dick Clark wasn't as World War II unfolded, well beyond their comfortable home in Mount Vernon, N.Y. Dick Clark... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2015 at Bandstand Beat
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Summer, 1956 In the weeks following Bob Horn’s arrest, WFIL executives wrestled with every decision related to Bandstand. Two things were clear, however — Horn was out and the show would go on. Despite Horn’s skills as a hit-maker and his authoritative on-air persona, he was far from a beloved... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2015 at Bandstand Beat
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Bob and Justine. Kenny and Arlene. Eddie and Bunny. These are just a few of the better known couples who regularly appeared on American Bandstand. There are many more, of course, but today I want to reflect on some people who once stood in the Bandstand spotlight but are not... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2015 at Bandstand Beat
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It was obvious to Bandstand’s young viewers that the dancers were the true stars of the show. To non-regulars who attended the show, the camaraderie among the regulars was abundantly clear. “Some of the regulars back then just seemed like they were, what’s the kind word to say, snobbish?” says... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2015 at Bandstand Beat
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American Bandstand has never been quite able to elevate from its small-screen glory to full feature film status, although it's come close in some cinematically curious ways. For one thing, there was National Bandstand on Grease (which also featured Rydell High). Then there was the Corny Collins Show in Hairspray,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2015 at Bandstand Beat
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As Bandstand’s popularity with viewers grew, it went through the growing pains of success. For Hank Latven, it meant new duties. Latven was a relative newcomer to the WFIL-TV staff in 1953. The ex-Marine had returned to his native city after attending college in Alabama and was lucky enough to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2015 at Bandstand Beat