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January 26, 2008

American Bandstand Memories

......."Let's Twist Again... Like we did last summer... let's twist again... like we did last year. Do you re mem ber when... thing's were really hummin'... let's twist again... Twistin Time is Here !"
How's that for memory ? Not on U Tube yet but I am working on it..LOL ! This was the song Chubby Checkers sang as he taught us all to do the Twist ...on American Bandstand.

I grew up during the same era as the Philidelphia teens of American Bandstand . Dick Clark always amazed me how he always stayed so young looking , even years later!...Jerry Lee Lewis sang "a whole lot of 'shakin going on" ."Hey Hey Paula" was a favorite of mine as well( as you may now be hearing) . I first saw Sonny and Cher on that show..as well as other now well known artists, like Buddy Holly and the Crickets, Jerry Lee Lewis, Gene Vincent, The Everly Brothers, , Jackie Wilson, Johnny Mathis, Chuck Berry, and the duo of Tom and Jerry—later to be known as Simon and Garfunkel. American Bandstand also propelled Fabian, Frankie Avalon, Bobby Rydell, and other pin-up boys( in our case, my bf, Janey.. and I put them inside our roller skate suitcases) , ... I was a "teenage wannabe". And, for me, the kids and singers on Bandstand were all I aspired to be.  The regulars were very good at dancing and even invented a few new dances .One of my favorites was "the stroll"( pictured) ...and we knew most all the dances back then. 
My best friend Janey and I memorized them all, dancing and 'shakin like crazy in the living room in front of the folks tiny TV , after school when Bandstand would be on the air...or we'd be glued to the TV set.. ...If we had just  we put as much effort into our studies as we did in seeing who was dancing that day!  There was a man known by the kids on bandstand as "Pops Singer" who ran the corner soda shop near by where they filmed bandstand out in Pa...Janey wrote him a letter about those that came to his store and asked if he knew any of the bandstand regulars? ..and he wrote back to her!...he Kenny Rossi( a dream boat!), Carmen , Arleen and others...can't remember all their names...but at the time I sure did..  The regulars weren't paid actors or dancers. They were real kids from Philly. Rushing home after school, we'd check out the latest dances, which dance couples were going steady (or breaking up), and which acts would lip-sync their latest hits .Sometimes new dances were added...guess they had a whole line of kids waiting to be dancers there with the regulars. .After the American Bandstand teens created the popular dance called the Bunny Hop, the kids began churning out new dances for every new beat. Following the Bunny Hop was the Stroll, a slow, simple dance, where two lines - boys on one side, girls on the other - faced each other,. They dragged one foot behind the other, shifting from left to right, then back again. The fun came when the couple met in the middle to strut down the aisle, all eyes on them. Dick Clark suggested to the Diamonds that they create a song specifically for the dance. The Diamonds struck gold with "The Stroll"...


I recently saw a musical movie on Tv about a young girl wanting to be a Bandstand Dancer..and had a good laugh..I was so much like that girl wanting to dance like the regulars did!
...and like the kids on Bandstand, we wore plaid skirts, neck scarves, and had ivy league saddle shoes with bobby socks. Going steady was an ultimite goal, so we thought..oh to have "his" ring , that you could wrap angora yarn around!
Oh what wonderful memories of those fabulous bandstand days ! 

 RIP Dick clark, you will always be fondly remembered
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