August 15, 2011

American Bandstand part 2: The memories linger after a half century

Click on photos to enlarge

Shown here are:

* Dick Clark.

* Famous Bandstand couple Arlene Sullivan and Kenny Rossi on the cover of Teen magazine in 1959. Behind them is Pat Molittieri, another viewer favorite.

* Dick Clark interviews Bobby Rydell.

* America's favorite television dancing couple, Justine Carelli and Bob Clayton.

* Frani Giordano, one of the Bandstand regulars


Arnie Galeota
I was one of those Bandstand junkies. I learned how to dance well enough not to make a fool of myself just by watching that show.

My favorites were Frani Giordano and Arlene Sullivan. Justine was too pretty and seemed a little aloof to me. Pat Molittieri was the one with the big personality. Kenny Rossi was the cool guy. Bob Clayton seemed aloof to me also, so he was perfect for Justine.

Not being a star athlete with no practices to attend, my afternoons were taken up with that show but only after my afterschool visit to Whalen's drug store on the corner of Hempstead Turnpike and Division Avenue. I never bought anything so I was quickly asked to leave. I rarely made it past a 15 minute visit. Life was so simple then.

Marilyn Monsrud Frese
Always rushed home to see AB. We would learn the dances watching the show, and it was always a big deal to see what Justine was wearing. You would see so many of the girls in similar outfits the next day: cardigan sweaters buttoned up backwards with the scarf or white collar at the neck, a pleated skirt, a different hair style.

But looking at her photo now, I see someone who looks so much older than I remember her looking! I think we all looked like our mothers back then. Dresses and skirts and garter belts and stockings everyday to school! What were we thinking?

Joan Bartels Signorelli
I loved American Bandstand. Every day after school a bunch of us girls would go to each others' homes to dance, Philly style, of course. That was how we learned the Lindy. My friends included Sue Bova, Paula Vogt and Donna Allison. Those were the best times, watching American Bandstand.

I don't remember any of the names of the young people on the show, however, we all certainly had crushes on most of the boys. That's why it was such fun seeing Hairspray, a blast from the past.

Frank Barning
I was into the music and live performers on Bandstand. Some of the songs had to be sanitized to be on the show. For example, the recording of Lloyd Price's "Stagger Lee" was considered too violent, so the version he sang on the show was cleaned up.

My wife thinks that Ryan Seacrest is the Dick Clark of the 21st Century.


Anonymous said...

Kathy Stalhman Zinn '63 wrote....American Bandstand spawned so many shows and movies, of which I think of "Happy Days" and "Hairspray" were two of the best. They not only had the nostalgia and "The Beat" of the times down right, they also did some commentary on the times." It's more than a little scary, though, to see Dick Clark resurrected every New Year's Eve. Where are "The Kids" now? The racial issues of AB. were interesting, as far as performers, music, and finally, "kids" went, which is so well addressed in "Hairspray", amazingly, in a fun way.

Frank Barning said...

Dick Clark passed away on April 18, 2012. He was cherished and appreciated by some many people. Yes, he was part of the soundtrack of my youth. I raced home from junior high to watch American Bandstand.