The situation facing Clark that summer was described in an August 16, 1973, Rolling Stone story about Clark written by Ben Fong-Torres. In the story, Fong-Torres quotes another (unnamed) radio announcer who was also on the WFIL staff in 1952. The announcer said Clark had been hired as a summer replacement announcer.
"[Clark] was the second of two guys hired," the unnamed announcer said. "After the summer, they had to drop one of them. Normally, the first one would have stayed, but he used to do a network feed from the Epiphany Church, and every time he did it, he'd mispronounce it as the Epi-fanny Church. So they fired him for that, and Dick got to stay."
Clark, of course went on to have a fabulous career in Philadelphia for the next 11 1/2 years.
Even though Clark had re-established himself in Los Angeles by 1965, several of his old Philadelphia connections popped into the musical mainstream in an unlikely way after Barry McGuire stirred things up a bit with his late-summer apocalyptic anthem, The Eve of Destruction.
John Madara and David White, two of the co-writers of At the Hop, teamed with WIBG announcer Ray Gilmore to write an answer record to McGuire's song called Dawn of Correction. When they couldn't find someone to record the song, Madara, White and Gilmore became the Spokesmen and recorded the song themselves. The Spokesmen's song was quite successful, reaching as high as No. 36 on the Billboard charts.
Less well-known is that Tony Mammarella, who produced Bandstand from the very first days of the Bob Horn era through the early network years before being taken down by payola, also produced an answer record to McGuire's song. Mammarella co-wrote The Eve of Tomorrow with another early Clark associate, Bernie Binnick.
Here's the Spokesmen's song:
And here's Mammarella's song:
Author Larry Lehmer is writing a book about the Philadelphia years of American Bandstand. The book is called Bandstandland. It has lots of details about the show you've never read before. If you have any stories about American Bandstand or Dick Clark that you'd like to share in the book, contact Larry.