American Bandstand pulled down some pretty amazing numbers during its Philadelphia run when it was America's top-rated daytime television program. No doubt Dick Clark had a lot to do with it, but an even bigger part of the show's success were those high school kids who bopped on screen every weekday afternoon.
I've found many examples of this as I've researched Bandstandland. Here are a few:
Regular Joe Fusco said a friend once wore a sweater backwards on the show. The next day, Fusco saw boys waiting in line for the show with their v-necks facing the wrong direction. "We set the trends for everything!" Fusco said.
Sisters Carmen and Ivette Jimenez received numerous bus tickets in the mail attached to invitations to visit fan's homes. So the sisters went to Michigan and Indiana and they traveled all over Pennsylvania. "One day on the show, I said I always wanted to milk a cow," Carmen remembers. "Next thing you know, I'm in York, Pennsylvania milking cows with a fan's family." (From 215 Magazine, Winter 2008, “Dancing In the Dark”)
“Young Kenny Rossi was making a record in Nashville when, in the hallway of the recording studio, he bumped into “The King of Rock ’n’ Roll.” “There were a lot of people around him,” Rossi said. “I was so excited. I mean, there was Elvis Presley. So I said, “Hey Elvis.” He turned around and looked at me. He stepped closer and said, “Hey you’re Kenny Rossi. How are you doing, man?” (From Main Line Today, January 2004):
Did you know ... that Earl "The Pearl" Monroe, the NBA Hall of Famer who once rocked the gym at John Bartram High School where he was a classmate of Patti LaBelle, was a doo-wop singer as a youngster and once appeared on the Mitch Thomas Show?
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.