For the first two weeks that Dick Clark was busy filming Because They’re Young in Hollywood, American Bandstand viewers were fed taped programs that were recorded earlier in the summer. Guest hosts took over the show on August 17 and continued until Clark’s scheduled return on Sept. 7.
As he had done the year before, Clark allowed the guest hosts just one day each on the national stage. He started with Al Wolfe of WFBG in Altoona, Pa., host of a local program called Dance Time, and ended with Don Robertson of Asheville, N.C.
For most of these one-time Bandstand hosts, it was the highlight of their professional careers, an achievement often noted in their obituaries decades later. Such was the case even for Owen Forrester, the youthful host of Dance Party in Atlanta, Ga., who went on to become a federal judge.
The more entrepreneurial of the Bandstand subs capitalized on their fleeting fame. Like Chuck Arnold of WISN in Milwaukee, Wis.
Arnold was slated to take over the Bandstand mike on Friday, August 28. In the weeks leading up to his appearance, Arnold held a contest, inviting teens to write in 50 words or less why “I want a Bandstand day in PA with CA.” The winner would accompany Arnold to Philadelphia and appear on the show. The next 200 runners-up would receive free records and Dick Clark’s autograph.
Francie Hurwitz, a 13-year-old, was the lucky winner and made the trip accompanied by her mother.
“It was over 100 degrees in Philadelphia while we were there and I remember joking with Chuck and my mother that first prize was three days there and second prize was a week,” Hurwitz recalled. “The producers almost didn’t allow me on the show because I was a month short of the 14 year old age requirement.”
But Hurwitz was allowed in and was sitting in the famed American Bandstand bleachers when a flustered Arnold introduced the day’s first record — Bobby Rydell’s Kissin’ Time — as Lorraine. Despite the mistake, Arnold was graced with the headline “Dick Clark’s Fans Squeal Over Chuck” in his hometown newspaper. ￼
 Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, March 22, 2013.
Excerpted from Bandstandland © 2015 Larry Lehmer
Photo: Chuck Arnold