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Larry Lehmer
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It was just 46 years ago ... It seems like yesterday but it was, indeed, November 1973 when I tried to launch a career as a rock music syndicated columnist. I was just a couple months on the job as... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2019 at Passing It On
One tennis racket (Jack Kramer model) One tennis racket (Pancho Gonzalez model) Seven tennis balls Twenty six years and this is it? The sporting legacy of a young American male? Apparently so. They were the only athletic items among the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2019 at Passing It On
I love lagniappes, those unexpected little extras that sometimes tumble your way, like, for example, the complimentary sliver of cake you get at the end of a meal at the locally popular restaurant, Simon's. Then there's the opposite of lagniappes, those unexpected little extras that sometimes tumble your way and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2019 at Life In the Slow Lane
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 Aug 1, 2019 at Bandstand Beat
I’ve had heaven on my mind lately and for no apparent reason. As far as I know, there’s no life-or-death crisis looming in my immediate family. Nothing like that with my best friends, either. I’m at the age where the death of contemporaries is no longer as shocking as it... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2019 at Life In the Slow Lane
This was the day Dick Clark officially replaced Bob Horn as the host of Bandstand, the Philadelphia teenage dance show that would become American Bandstand 13 months later. Clark was greeted by protests on that first day by Bandstand regulars who hated to see Horn go. One of those regulars... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2019 at Bandstand Beat
It's 5 a.m. I should be sleeping. But I'm wide awake. My mind is spinning. Why? Jabberwocky, that's why. It came to me as I slept. Jabberwocky. That's what's going on. It's plain as can be, to me, in the foggy limbo betwixt subconscious and conscious. I stumble towards my... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2019 at Life In the Slow Lane
At least 4.1 percent of my Facebook friends are dead. And that's just the ones I know about. I shouldn't be surprised. In real life, people are born, live their lives and die. Relationships function in much the same way. Someone enters your life, interacts a while, then leaves your... Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2019 at Life In the Slow Lane
Dick Clark was recovering nicely after the payola hearings wrapped up in 1960. The popularity of "The Twist" was sweeping across the country as Clark was learning that his idyllic marriage may be crumbling. We pick up the story in this excerpt from "Bandstandland": "In an article in TV Radio... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2019 at Bandstand Beat
A common refrain on cable news these days is that Democrats are reluctant to try to impeach Donald Trump because they fear the backlash suffered by Republicans in 2000 after their failed effort to oust President Bill Clinton. The impression is that the Republicans suffered greatly since their impeachment charge... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2019 at Life In the Slow Lane
Here's another excerpt From Bandstandland: "As good as Dick Clark was in his role as the amiable host and as relevant as the music he played was to his young audience, American Bandstand would have failed without the ebullient, energetic, teenage dancers that lit up the screen every weekday afternoon.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2019 at Bandstand Beat
Dear Aaron, Meghan and Bret, Today, instead of teaching others how to write a legacy letter, I’m writing one of my own. On this day before Earth Day 2008, I want to share with you some of my wishes for... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2019 at Passing It On
Many people in the record business were running scared in late 1959. There was a lot of buzz that the quiz show scandal that had dominated headlines would soon morph into a full-fledged Congressional inquiry into the music industry. Those fears were about to be realized when Oren Harris, chairman... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2019 at Bandstand Beat
Bandstand Flashback: April 1953 Dick Clark and American Bandstand had a good friend in TV Guide. In fact, you might call the magazine a member of the family. TV Guide debuted in April 1953, about six months after Bob Horn's Bandstand hit the air. TV Guide was owned by Triangle... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2019 at Bandstand Beat
The wait is over -- Bandstandland: How dancing teenagers took over America and Dick Clark took over rock & roll -- is here. As listed on the publisher's website, here's a recap of what the book is all about: American Bandstand, one of the longest-running shows in television history, spotlighted... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2019 at Bandstand Beat
Dick Clark and his wife had just moved into their first brand new house when ABC-TV president Oliver Treyz asked him to come to New York for an important meeting in early November 1959. When he arrived, Clark was surprised to find ABC-Paramount president Leonard Goldenson and several other network... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2019 at Bandstand Beat
In June 1959, American Bandstand regular Pat Molittieri found herself in an awkward situation when Dick Clark learned that her immense popularity had earned her a special spot with one of the era's most popular magazines. Cashing in on one's Bandstand popularity was a no-no in Clark's book. We pick... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2019 at Bandstand Beat
From the beginning, WFIL-TV management knew that the biggest factor in Bandstand's popularity wasn't the host or the music played. It was the kids who took over the dance floor every weekday afternoon. We pick up the story with this excerpt from Bandstandland: "[Bandstand host Bob] Horn built the show’s... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2019 at Bandstand Beat
In late 1958, Dick Clark decided to give "Try Me" by James Brown a spin on American Bandstand's Rate-a-Record segment. The song bombed. Although Clark's ability to predict a hit wasn't perfect, he had an uncanny ability to turn an apparent losing situation into a winner, as shown from this... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2019 at Bandstand Beat
Dick Clark's ascension to hosting duties of popular Philadelphia teenage dance show Bandstand was made possible by original host Bob Horn's transgressions. We pick up the story after Clark had been on the job just a few months before Horn again popped into the news: "On October 23, 1956, [original... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2019 at Bandstand Beat
Within six months of its network debut, the success of American Bandstand had established Philadelphia as a major center for rock & roll. This excerpt from Bandstandland picks up the story: "Having successful national labels like Cameo and Swan in [Philadelphia] proved crucial to the success of Bandstand, which depended... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2019 at Bandstand Beat
American Bandstand was given a short trial run by the ABC network before committing to a permanent spot on the 1957 fall schedule. They also gave the show some financial help to get started, but not very much. This excerpt from Bandstandland picks up the story: "It didn’t take Dick... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2019 at Bandstand Beat
Here's another excerpt from Bandstandland: Background: After Dick Clark took over Bandstand in 1956, Philadelphia's already active music scene got even busier. "That meant that salesmen like Gunter Hauer and Joe Beiderman could fill the trunks of their cars with records and head out to the 50-60 stations they had... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2019 at Bandstand Beat
Here's another excerpt from Bandstandland: Background: When Dick Clark succeeded Bob Horn as host of WFIL-TV's Bandstand in 1956, he was not well known to the show's audience. Here's a bit of Clark's pre-Bandstand biography: "When he wasn’t listening to big band music on a wind-up Victrola posted in the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2019 at Bandstand Beat
Here's another excerpt from Bandstandland: Background: Bandstand and its host, Bob Horn, enjoyed phenomenal success in its first 3 1/2 years on Channel 6, WFIL-TV, in Philadelphia. In mid-June 1956, Horn capped a controversial four-month-long "Name That Lion" contest by naming its winner: "[Bandstand host Bob] Horn was on a... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2019 at Bandstand Beat