Seven years earlier, he and chemist Kedzie Teller had found that by combining sulfur and resorcinol in an innocent-looking cream, they had created a concoction that effectively fought acne. Trouble was, they had trouble marketing the cream, which they had named Clearasil. They literally had to give free tubes of the stuff to retailers to keep Combe's company afloat.
In late 1957, however, Combe -- who was a neighbor of Oliver Treyz, the ABC-TV executive who was responsible for bringing American Bandstand to the network -- was referred to Dick Clark. Clearasil became American Bandstand's second national sponsor (after Cheerios) and sales took off. By the time Combes sold his company to Vicks in 1960, he was a very wealthy man. He went on to devolop Just For Men, Sea-Bond, Vagisil and Grecian Formula, He died at age 88 in 2000.
Did you know ... the No. 1 song on Bandstand the day Clark took over was Stranded In the Jungle by the Jayhawks?
Dick Clark was a notorious skinflint when it came to paying talent. From the book, Rock ’n’ Roll is Here to Pay: “DJs were naturals as concert promoters. They had unlimited access to the promotional power of radio, daily contact with managers and artists and were in many cases celebrities in their own right. [Alan] Freed, [Dick] Clark and [Murray] Kaufman and all the other djs paid their acts virtually nothing. Freed seldom paid a headliners more than $200 a week, and Frank Barsalona, head of Premier Talent, reports that Clark was even worse.”
From Dick Clark's 1958 Annual Yearbook: “The Circle Dance created a lot of excitement as it developed from jitterbugging ... Now the Stroll is even being taught in dancing classes throughout the nation. ... A slowed-down version of the Bunny Hop is this new one, The Walk.”
Author Larry Lehmer is putting the finishing touches on 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.