Frankie Avalon https://danmurano.com/ en DICK CLARK AND AMERICAN BANDSTAND: THE EARLY DAYS https://danmurano.com/randomthoughts/dick-clark-and-american-bandstand-early-days <span>DICK CLARK AND AMERICAN BANDSTAND: THE EARLY DAYS</span> <div class="field field--name-field-biopic field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/default_images/rocci-175hx125w_0.jpg" width="125" height="175" alt="Rocci Fisch" title="Rocci Fisch" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/11" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Rocci Fisch</span></span> <span>Thu, 04/19/2012 - 21:32</span> <div class="field field--name-field-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field--item">2012-04-19</div> <div class="field field--name-field-main-content field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><ol> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>“<strong><em>America’s Oldest [Living] Teenager</em></strong>” died<span> </span><strong><em>Wednesday</em></strong>in<span> </span><strong><em>Santa Monica, Calif.,<span> </span></em></strong>of a heart attack at the age of<span> </span><strong><em>82</em></strong>.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span><strong><em>CNN</em></strong><span> </span>dragged<span> </span><strong>Larry King</strong><span> </span>out of the mothballs to talk about him. He remembers everybody.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span><strong>Clark</strong><span> </span>got the “<strong><em>teenager</em></strong>” moniker because of his perpetually youthful appearance (not sure who exactly penned the nickname). He later copyrighted it.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>The original “<strong><em>Bandstand</em></strong>,” as it was called in<span> </span><strong><em>1952</em></strong>, was first hosted by deejay<span> </span><strong>Bob Horn</strong>, who later was fired due to a drunk-driving conviction.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>After that, management at<span> </span><strong><em>WFIL-TV/Channel 6</em></strong><span> </span>(<strong><em>46th &amp; Market</em></strong>) in<span> </span><strong><em>Philadelphia</em></strong><span> </span>installed the clean-cut<span> </span><strong>Dick Clark</strong><span> </span>to take over the teen dance party show and renamed it “<strong><em>American Bandstand</em></strong>.” That was<span> </span><strong><em>1956</em></strong>.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>Originally the show was two hours! The first half-hour was local and then the show went national/<strong><em>coast-to-coast</em></strong><span> </span>on the<span> </span><strong><em>ABC Television Network</em></strong>.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>(Over the years the show was reduced down in length and went from daily to just<span> </span><strong><em>Saturdays</em></strong><span> </span>but back in the day it was a marathoner and something that kids hurried home from school to watch.)</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>The show was shot in black and white.<span> </span><strong><em>Color</em></strong>, when it came around, was too expensive and the cameras were unwieldy to use in the studio to follow the dancers around the floor.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>It opened with the song, “<strong><em>Bandstand Boogie</em></strong>,” which was a big band instrumental recorded by<span> </span><strong>Les Elgart</strong>. (Over the years various incarnations of it were used, including a vocal version by<span> </span><strong>Barry Manilow</strong>.)</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>(It always puzzled me why they used such a hard-to-dance-to song like that for modern teenagers. It seemed more attuned to the grownups.)</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>The opening shot showed dancers who were seen through a graphic map of the<span> </span><strong><em>United States</em></strong><span> </span>that surrounded them on the screen.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>Further into the open the map zoomed out to reveal more of the dancers who packed the floor.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>Eager teens.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>Then came<span> </span><strong>Clark</strong><span> </span>who stood at a high-up podium which resembled a bandstand.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>The show’s title was inscribed on a half-circle name plate with “<strong><em>American”</em></strong><span> </span>on top and “<strong><em>Bandstand</em></strong>” on the bottom which sat on the edge of the podium.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>A telephone sat on<span> </span><strong>Clark’s</strong><span> </span>left - the old ones with the curled cord. He was often seen using it after he introduced a record for the kids to dance to.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>Chances are he was probably talking to his long-time producer,<span> </span><strong>Tony Mammarello</strong>, or his director,<span> </span><strong>Ted Yates</strong>.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>On the walls behind him were cutouts that resembled<span> </span><strong><em>45 rpm</em></strong><span> </span>records, album covers, award plaques and other teen music memorabilia.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>To the right were<span> </span><strong><em>bleachers</em></strong><span> </span>where all the teenagers sat-just like in a gymnasium. Pinned to the side wall were high school pennants from the various schools in the area.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>The dancers were often identified in a<span> </span><strong><em>roll call</em></strong>, where they’d say their first names, their age and where they were from:<span> </span><strong><em>North Philly</em></strong>,<span> </span><strong><em>South Philly</em></strong>,<span> </span><strong><em>Upper Darby</em></strong>, etc. . .</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>Those kids from<span> </span><strong><em>Philadelphia</em></strong><span> </span>were the best dancers around - better than in<span> </span><strong><em>Baltimore</em></strong>-if you ask me.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span><strong>Buddy Deane’s</strong><span> </span>(“<strong><em>The Buddy Deane Show</em></strong>”) dancers couldn’t hold a candle to those kids from<span> </span><strong><em>Philly</em></strong>.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>The<span> </span><strong><em>Top Ten</em></strong><span> </span>records of the day were displayed on a<span> </span><strong><em>sandwich board</em></strong><span> </span>with<span> </span><strong><em>cardboard slide-ins</em></strong><span> </span>which had the hit songs printed on them (<strong><em>1-10</em></strong>) and which were revealed by<span> </span><strong>Clark<span> </span></strong>when he did the<span> </span><strong><em>count-up</em></strong><span> </span>from the bottom to reveal the<span> </span><strong><em>#1 hit</em></strong>.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>There was a dress code: The boys wore ties and suits and sports jackets and the girls wore dresses and skirts - no blue jeans or other casual wear.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>People from all over came to the show but<span> </span><strong><em>Bandstand<span> </span></em></strong>had its “regulars,” who rapidly became “<strong><em>stars</em></strong>” in their own right.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>Favorites were<span> </span><strong>Bob<span> </span></strong>and<strong><span> </span>Justine</strong>,<span> </span><strong>Arlene<span> </span></strong>and<strong><span> </span>Kenny</strong>,<span> </span><strong>Joanie Buck<span> </span></strong>and<strong><span> </span>Jimmy Peatross</strong>,<span> </span><strong>Frani Giordano</strong>,<span> </span><strong>Pat Molittieri</strong>,<span> </span><strong>Bill Cook</strong>, sisters<span> </span><strong>Carmen<span> </span></strong>and<strong><span> </span>Ivette Jiminez</strong>,<span> </span><strong>Carole Scaldeferri</strong>,<span> </span><strong>Mary Beltrante</strong>,<span> </span><strong>Frankie Vacca</strong>. (<strong><em>Italian<span> </span></em></strong>anyone?)</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span><strong><em>16 Magazine</em></strong><span> </span>often featured the show’s most popular dancers on their covers with stories inside covering all facets of their young teenage lives.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>Most of the couples on the show were the standard boy/girl combination but many times girls danced together as they used to do sometimes parties back then outside of the<span> </span><strong><em>TV</em></strong><span> </span>show, often in their basements.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>Mostly the kids<span> </span><strong><em>jitterbugged</em></strong><span> </span>and the camera stayed wide and panned the floor. Often the regulars gravitated to the same positions each day so viewers would get used to where they’d normally dance. (<strong>Justine<span> </span></strong>and<span> </span><strong>Bob</strong><span> </span>were always on the left of the screen.)</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>Some of the dancers were camera hogs.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span><strong>Clark</strong>, it’s been reported, would often tell the director to turn off the red<span> </span><strong><em>on-air lights</em></strong><span> </span>on top of the cameras so that the regulars wouldn’t know which camera was “<strong><em>hot</em></strong>” and therefore couldn’t “<strong><em>play</em></strong>” to it, like they were<span> </span><strong><em>prima donnas</em></strong>.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>The black and white cameras had<span> </span><strong><em>turret lenses</em></strong><span> </span>(usually three) that were awkward and unwieldy. Camera operators had to switch lenses as the director called for different shots on the live broadcast, all the time keeping their eyes on what they were shooting and their fellow cameramen.</li> <li>. . . Those guys really had to maneuver.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>The director (<strong>Yates</strong>) used<span> </span><strong><em>close-ups</em></strong><span> </span>for the slow dances and<span> </span><strong><em>longer,<span> </span></em></strong>“<strong><em>wider lenses</em></strong>” for the fast dances.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>The program was integrated and blacks were not relegated to special days, as sometimes occurred on other dance shows.<span> </span><strong><em>Bandstand</em></strong><span> </span>was unique in this respect.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span><strong><em>Rate-a-Record</em></strong><span> </span>was a feature of the show in which two or three teens would give a numbered score between<span> </span><strong><em>35<span> </span></em></strong>and<strong><em><span> </span>98</em></strong><span> </span>to new releases. The keeper of the numbers was another teen who had to do the math and average the three scores.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>Sometimes it wasn’t an easy feat and<span> </span><strong>Clark</strong><span> </span>was seen more than once jokingly banging his head up against the wall when the score keeper couldn’t do the arithmetic.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>It’s from this segment of the show that the expression “It’s got a good beat and you can dance to it,” came about, often said by the young judges when they liked one of the reviewed song contenders.</li> <li><strong>. . .<span> </span></strong>The musical guests (<strong><em>teen idols)</em></strong><span> </span>appeared right on the dance floor (no stage) and were often introduced by<span> </span><strong>Clark<span> </span></strong>who sat in the bleachers along with the kids, often holding up a picture or an album of said entertainer.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>All of the performances were<span> </span><strong><em>lip-synched</em></strong>, nobody sang<span> </span><strong><em>live</em></strong>.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span><strong>Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon</strong><span> </span>(“<strong><em>Tallahassee Lassie</em></strong>,” “<strong><em>Palisades Park</em></strong>”-on<span> </span><strong><em>Swan Records</em></strong>,<span> </span><strong><em>1959</em></strong><span> </span>and<span> </span><strong><em>1962</em></strong>), interviewed by phone on<span> </span><strong><em>CNN</em></strong>, said that he had just spoken to<span> </span><strong>Clark<span> </span></strong>about a month and a half ago and that he sounded good.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>They talked about<span> </span><strong>Cannon’s</strong><span> </span>book (now in paperback), “<strong><em>Where the Action Is</em></strong>,” the title a takeoff of<span> </span><strong>Clark’s<span> </span></strong>on-location music/variety show of the same name which ran on<span> </span><strong><em>ABC</em></strong><span> </span>from<span> </span><strong><em>1965</em></strong><span> </span>through<span> </span><strong><em>1974</em></strong>.<strong>Clark<span> </span></strong>did the introduction to the book.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span><strong>Cannon<span> </span></strong>sang the theme for the show: “<strong><em>Action</em></strong>” (<strong><em>Warner Bros.</em></strong>,<span> </span><strong><em>1965</em></strong>)</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span><strong>Cannon</strong><span> </span>was also one of many<span> </span><strong><em>Italian-Americans</em></strong><span> </span>who appeared on<span> </span><strong><em>Bandstand</em></strong><span> </span>(<strong><em>10 times</em></strong>) through the years.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>His real name was<span> </span><strong>Frederick Anthony Picariello</strong>. Others in that “<strong><em>contingent</em></strong>” included<span> </span><strong>Frankie Avalon</strong><span> </span>(<strong>Avallone</strong>) and<span> </span><strong>Fabian<span> </span></strong>(<strong>Forte</strong>),<span> </span><strong>Bobby Rydell</strong><span> </span>(<strong>Ridarelli</strong>),<span> </span><strong>Bobby Darin</strong><span> </span>(<strong>Waldon Robert Cassotto</strong>) - all<span> </span><strong><em>Philadelphia</em></strong><span> </span>kids who appeared frequently on the show.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span><strong>Connie Francis</strong><span> </span>(<strong>Concetta Rosa Maria Franconero</strong>) was another favorite of<span> </span><strong>Clark’s</strong>, appeared many times and debuted “<strong><em>Who’s Sorry Now</em></strong>,” her first hit (<strong><em>MGM Records</em></strong>,<span> </span><strong><em>1958</em></strong>) on<span> </span><strong><em>Bandstand</em></strong>.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span><strong>Chubby Checker</strong><span> </span>sang and danced and got his start on the show with<span> </span><strong><em>The Twist<span> </span></em></strong>(<strong><em>Parkway Records</em></strong>,<span> </span><strong><em>1960</em></strong>). The record and dance took off, swept the nation.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span><strong>INCIDENTALLY.</strong><span> </span><strong>Dick Clark’s</strong><span> </span>wife<span> </span><strong>Kari<span> </span></strong>gave<span> </span><strong>Ernest Evans</strong><span> </span>the stage name “<strong>Chubby Checker</strong>,” likening him to a “<strong><em>junior</em></strong>”<span> </span><strong>Fats Domino</strong>, the very popular , multi-hit<span> </span><strong><em>rhythm and blues</em></strong><span> </span>singer.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>As in<span> </span><strong>Fats</strong><span> </span>(“<strong>Chubby</strong>”)<span> </span><strong>Domino</strong><span> </span>(“<strong>Checker</strong>”).</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span><strong>Dee Dee Sharp</strong><span> </span>sang “<strong><em>Mashed Potato Time</em></strong>”-<strong><em>Cameo Records</em></strong>,<span> </span><strong><em>1962</em></strong>), which became a huge hit and spawned a dance craze but when the song came out<span> </span><strong>Sharp</strong><span> </span>really didn’t know how to do the dance, couldn’t get all the moves down.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>In some performances of the song/dance she was shot by the<span> </span><strong><em>TV</em></strong><span> </span>cameras without showing her feet.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>The kids not only<span> </span><strong><em>jitterbugged</em></strong>; they did the<span> </span><strong><em>stroll</em></strong>, the<span> </span><strong><em>bop</em></strong>, the<span> </span><strong><em>Bristol Stomp</em></strong>, the<span> </span><strong><em>Chalypso</em></strong><span> </span>(cha cha + calypso), the<span> </span><strong><em>strand</em></strong>, the<span> </span><strong><em>pony</em></strong>, the<span> </span><strong><em>fly</em></strong>, the<span> </span><strong><em>hully gully</em></strong>, the<span> </span><strong><em>watusi</em></strong>, the<span> </span><strong><em>continental</em></strong>, the<span> </span><strong><em>bunny hop</em></strong>, the<span> </span><strong><em>rock-a-conga</em></strong>, the<span> </span><strong><em>South Street</em></strong>, more.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>It was<span> </span><strong><em>1964</em></strong><span> </span>and the show was getting bigger.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>And time to leave the<span> </span><strong><em>City of Brotherly Love</em></strong><span> </span>and move to<span> </span><strong><em>Los Angeles</em></strong>, the “<strong><em>entertainment capital of the world</em></strong>.”</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>The show had gone big time.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span><strong><em>L.A.</em></strong><span> </span>was happening.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span><strong>Clark</strong><span> </span>was branching out and doing more shows and the network was interested.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>The<span> </span><strong><em>West Coast</em></strong><span> </span>was much more casual, reflecting the laid-back<span> </span><strong><em>California</em></strong><span> </span>lifestyle.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>The<span> </span><strong><em>Bandstand</em></strong><span> </span>dancers were different now, anonymous.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>The dancing itself was more free-form; everyone did his or her own thing.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>It wasn’t as good as it was back in<span> </span><strong><em>Philadelphia</em></strong>.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>Times changed.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span><strong>UH . . .</strong><span> </span>“<strong><em>Because They’re Young</em></strong>”-<strong>Dick Clark’s<span> </span></strong>first movie in which he played a young high school teacher trying to make a difference in the lives of his students. Released by<span> </span><strong><em>Columbia Pictures</em></strong><span> </span>in<strong><em>1960</em></strong>.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>“<strong><em>Because They’re Young</em></strong>” was also the movie’s title song which was performed by<span> </span><strong>Duane Eddy<span> </span></strong>(<strong><em>His ‘Twangy’ Guitar</em></strong>) and<span> </span><strong>The Rebels</strong><span> </span>(<strong><em>Jamie Records</em></strong>,<span> </span><strong><em>1960</em></strong>) and who had a cameo part in the film.</li> <li><strong>. . .</strong><span> </span>And<span> </span><strong>Bobby Rydell’s</strong><span> </span>“<strong><em>Swingin’ School</em></strong>” (<strong><em>Cameo Records</em></strong>,<span> </span><strong><em>1959</em></strong>) was featured prominently in the movie’s soundtrack.</li> </ol></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/195" hreflang="en">Dick Clark</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/249" hreflang="en">Larry King</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/250" hreflang="en">American Bandstand</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/251" hreflang="en">Tony Mammarello</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/252" hreflang="en">Ted Yates</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/253" hreflang="en">Buddy Deane</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/254" hreflang="en">16 Magazine</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/255" hreflang="en">Fabian</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/256" hreflang="en">Bobby Rydell</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/257" hreflang="en">Bobby Darin</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/258" hreflang="en">Frankie Avalon</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/259" hreflang="en">Connie Francis</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/260" hreflang="en">Chubby Checker</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/261" hreflang="en">Dee Dee Sharp</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/262" hreflang="en">Duane Eddy</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-random-logo field--type-image field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Random Logo</div> <div class="field--item"> <a href="/randomthoughts/dick-clark-and-american-bandstand-early-days" hreflang="en"><img src="/sites/default/files/default_images/ROCCI-Random-nuheader.gif" width="540" height="99" alt="Random Logo" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=87&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="3S0Fa81zNAUTJAdk1ddlPTY_sYuU6gOX9ofwNCMwtsU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 20 Apr 2012 01:32:03 +0000 Rocci Fisch 87 at https://danmurano.com