Saturday, April 28, 2012

Dick Clark - Part 6

Wrapping up our Forgotten Hits Dick Clark Tribute today with a few more of your most recent comments ... 

Gary Theroux, whose own one-on-one experiences with Dick Clark we shared with our readers earlier in this series, sent me this update regarding Dick Clark's health condition prior to his unexpected heart attack.  Sounds like there are more than just a few things that most fans DIDN'T know about his real state of health. 

Media hid Dick Clark's condition since 2004 stroke ... Publicist reported he was 'just fine' after devastating attack
4/19/12  - By Stewart Stogel 
NEW YORK – The death of Dick Clark on Wednesday marked the end of his courageous effort to recover from a stroke suffered in December 2004. His efforts to battle back to health were far greater than publicly known.
In 2004, this reporter was a producer at ABC’s “Good Morning America” and had been assigned to cover Dick Clark’s health crisis. 
Early in December, reports surfaced that Dick had been hospitalized in Los Angeles after suffering a “minor” stroke. 
His publicist, Amy Streibel, told reporters Dick was “just fine.” Some reports speculated Dick might even return to host his “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” show later that month. 
But we at GMA knew better. 
Word had surfaced at ABC that Dick’s condition was far worse than publicly reported. We even had doubts Dick would ever return to host his fabled show. 
Our challenge was to balance our obligations to report what we knew to our audience, while respecting the privacy of Dick’s family as they and his doctors decided how to handle his dilemma. 
Earlier in the year, Dick revealed he had diabetes. 
In the end, a decision was made by senior officials at “Good Morning America” to respect the family’s privacy. ABC brass huddled and Regis Philbin was selected to guest host “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” that year. 
Nothing was ever said about what we knew until now, after Dick’s passing. 
In November, 2005, we at ABC were pleased to learn Dick, after a difficult year of intense physical therapy, had all intentions to return to the studio facility just above Times Square to again host his annual show. 
But, just what would Dick do? His role on the show was a guarded secret. The program was a property of Dick Clark Productions, not ABC, so gossip at the network was rampant. In fact, most of the production crew at the Times Square facility worked for Dick, and they weren’t talking. 
Were they trying to hide something, or were they simply trying to boost TV ratings for Dick’s return? 
In retrospect, it was a little of both. 
Late in the afternoon of December 31, 2005, the GMA studio was sealed off as Dick’s team entered the building to prepare for the “broadcast of the year.” Photographers and paparazzi descended on the studio’s neighborhood, but ABC security and the NYPD kept them quite a distance away. 
Nothing was going to spoil the intense interest in Dick’s condition prior to his return to air later that evening.
But, inside ABC’s headquarters uptown, many staffers were able to “snoop” on the broadcast’s preparations as we watched several dress rehearsals on our internal TV system. 
We saw a frail, but determined, Dick sitting at the anchor desk looking like he was a captain on a battleship. He needed the assistance of a mechanical walker and the unwavering support of his wife Kari. His stamina was limited and he needed periodic rest breaks. 
While his physical recovery was obviously a work in progress, mentally he was ready and eager to return to the airwaves. 
And as the clock began its countdown to midnight, the broadcast began. But unlike past programs, that year’s “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” would open not with Dick but with Ryan Seacrest and actress Hillary Duff. Dick would make his return to television just prior to the ball atop Times Square being lowered. That spot, would be reserved exclusively for the nation’s “oldest teenager.” 
As the time approached for Dick to make his first public appearance in more than a year, his wife Kari hovered over him, powdering his face and reviewing the details of his speech to his TV audience. 
About 15 minutes before the ball dropped, Dick Clark made what many consider a miraculous return to network television. 
Speaking softly, but sternly, with a voice heavily slurred, Dick revealed just how serious his stroke had been, but how determined he was to work his way back to full recovery. 
In a way, it was sad to see what was once a vibrant radio voice now struggling to convey to his fans just how he felt.
It was a moving moment, bringing many inside the ABC Television Center to tears. Tears not of sorrow, but of respect for Dick’s fighting spirit. 
Though his appearance was brief — less than 30 minutes of a four-hour broadcast — the determination and the impact of Dick’s fighting spirit lasted well beyond that evening. 
I was in charge of producing GMA’s coverage of Dick’s return to TV. Rather than center on the difficult year of recovery, I opted, like Dick, to report on his future, rather than his past. 
To Dick, the news that needed to be reported was no matter how many roadblocks life may throw your way, with determination and love from family and friends one can achieve miracles. 
For seven subsequent years, Dick Clark gave us all miracles, and for that we can only say, “Thank you, Dick. Thank you for all the memories and inspiration.” 
Those will last forever. 

Hi Kent ...
This is Dick Clark talking about his contribution to "At The Hop"
This is the perfect time for our film!!!!!
John Madara
You know it REALLY is ... more awareness now than ever regarding the early Philly era of rock and roll!  (kk)

I've been reading your Dick Clark tribute this past week.  In the off chance you don't have any of this material, I have attached a few Dick Clark audio clips from my collection.
Steve Hotvedt
Hey KK ...  
I dedicated my show on Sunday night (4/22) to the memory of Dick Clark ... he was such a part of the music and rock and roll experience of us baby boomers ... I remember being glued to our TV set every Saturday afternoon watching "American Bandstand", mesmerized as I watched the bands, the kids dancing, and of course, the man himself.  This man did so much for the music of our generation.  
I was even able to incorporate some good stuff from your website (giving you full credit, of course!) on the program ... Thanks for all you do.  
Wow, between Levon Helm passing, Dick Clark passing, and the health issues of Robin Gibb this past week (although it is SO good to hear that he has come out of his coma) ... we have had to face the realities of three true icons of our era ...
It sucks getting old!  (wink*)
Moochas smoochas ... 
DJ Scarlett Hayze
Revolution Radio
June 28, 1965 ... and the premier of "Where The Action Is" ... 
It's one of those summer days I remember as clearly as last week (or more clearly). Paul's mention of that first show brought back memories of the hype leading up to the launch and the tremendous response from kids and teens across the USA. I was glued to the screen that day and watched as often as possible during its run.
David Lewis  

One thing I remember most about American Bandstand with Dick Clark is when I came home from school to watch it, there were some 2 or 3 girls dancing on there every day. Girls I kind of 'fell in love' with. What guy didn't. I can't really remember their names but one had the blonde hair, and another one had real black hair.

In a strange sort of way, Dick Clark has become part of my DJ story.  Several years ago, I submitted to the Dale Patterson web site "Rock Radio Scrapbook" some air check tapes I had of Bill Ballance (KFWB), Jimmy O'Neil (KRLA), The Real Don Steele (KHJ) and a few others from the early and mid 1960s.  Then, as a joke, I sent him one of my own show on KTEO, San Angelo, TX from 1963.

To my surprise, he loved the idea of having a small-time radio check, showing the fun it was out in the "flyover country".  So he posted it and listed me on the "1963 Air Checks" part of his web site.  So there I am, in the #2 spot on the listing, right between Murray The K at #1 and Dick Clark at #3.  As I tell folks, it is the highlight of my broadcast career, Murray, Dick and me.
Not a day goes by that I don't give thanks that for a short few years, I was one of those guys "playing all the hits all the time" on real Top 40 radio stations.  It never got any better than that!
Jim Southern

More Wages Of Spin news ...

As you know, we've been talking about "Wages Of Spin" since before the rest of the world even knew it existed.  There's more than one side to every story ... as well as to EVERY person ... and producers Shawn Swords and Paul Russo have done their best to present some little known facts about what REALLY went on behind the scenes back in the early days of Philly Rock And Roll.  It's a MUST SEE for any music fan of this era ... and I believe now with Dick Clark's passing, more people than ever will be inclined to check it out.  

Here's a YouTube promo clip ...
And the full length DVD feature is now available through ...  

Producer / Director Shawn Swords also tells us that "Wages Of Spin" has been archived in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Archives now, too.  It'll soon start airing regularly on PBS stations all over the country ... and you can order your OWN copy (with additional footage) through the website address above.
Scroll back to Thursday's posting to find the links to read our original reviews of this film from 2008. 

Kent - 
Thanks for all your help with all our projects the last several years.
Best Wishes -

Filmed primarily in the Wildwoods, "Wages Of Spin" is a true account of the mighty Dick Clark and the Payola Scandal.

I had the pleasure to Executive Produce this film with the "Fabulous" Director, Shawn Swords.
Thanks again for all your support.
Look for this film to be Nationally Televised real soon!
Paul Russo
This is a VERY well-done film, featuring testimonials from many of the artists who were there at the time.  It also serves as a historical document of times ... as, truth be told, this is the way the game was played back then ... As stated the other day, Dick Clark became a very powerful player, virtually overnight ... and quickly advanced and diversified his career into any number of avenues made available to him.  Did this please everybody?  Clearly not.  Were a few rules broken in the process?  Absolutely.  Was Clark able to walk away from the whole payola scandal virtually unscathed, while other HUGE disc jockeys like Alan Freed lost literally everything in the process?  Yes, he was.  But when it's all sorted out, there probably isn't another person on the planet who did as much to advance the acceptance and popularity of rock and roll music than Dick Clark.  Does this "good" outweigh ALL of the bad?  Honestly???  In MY mind, it definitely does.  But that opinion (shared by nearly all of you who took the time to write in this week as part of our special Forgotten Hits Dick Clark Tribute) only makes this film that much more compelling.  Try to catch it on PBS next month ... or pick up your own copy through the PBS website!  (kk)

Kent ...
One good turn deserves another.  
You sent me a Dick Clark e-mail.  
I'm sending you a Dick Clark e-mail.
Dick Bartley's Weekend Classic Countdown was a Tribute to Dick Clark and American Bandstand this past weekend.
Frank B.
And did you see Dick Bartley's comment in Forgotten Hits the other day?  We even ran a classic picture of the two Dicks together (I'm referring to Bartley and Clark, of course ... and NOT my previous employers!!!)  kk

And, speaking of "classic countdowns", here comes a letter from a reader who remembers when Dick Clark sat in for Casey Kasem on American Top 40 ... Clark also had his own weekly countdown show for quite a few years.  (You'll also find an interesting topic for discussion at the end of this letter ... something some of our Forgotten Hits Readers may want to weigh in on in the weeks to come ... once things return back to semi-normal around here again!)   

Hey Kent,
Back in the 70s, I religiously listened to Casey Kasem's "American Top 40" on Sunday nights. I used to intentionally wait until 7 pm, to head back to college, so I could listen to the show on my car's am radio. As a broadcasting major, I regarded Casey as the MAN!  Once in a great while, he would take a night off, and have a guest host fill in on his program. On March 25th, 1972, Dick Clark was that guest host. I must have been busy that night, because I completely missed it, but heard about it later.
Lately, a local radio station here has been playing reruns of "American Top 40" on Sunday mornings, and I thought maybe the show with Dick Clark filling in, would have been featured, because of his passing. Well, it wasn't, so I'm wondering if someone has a recording of the show, or at least some snippets for us to hear.
There is one question I always wanted to ask Dick, if he appeared on a call-in talk show, but never got to. "What do you think would have happened to American popular radio, or pop radio around the world, had John Lennon not formed The Beatles?" What do YOU think?
- John LaPuzza
GREAT idea for a series, John!  Of course, no one can say for sure ... but I think the general consensus was that music needed SOME kind of shake-up in late '63 / early '64.  That's had gotten pretty bland on the dial (with The Singing Nun closing out the year in the #1 spot!)
It's a bit open-ended however ... it was the original American Rock And Roll Scene that prompted British youngsters to pick up guitars and form their own bands ... so might a DIFFERENT British band ultimately led the revolution?  Might Surf Music or The Motown Sound had an even greater impact than they already did?  We could speculate forever ... but we'll never really know for sure.  It might be a good topic, however, just to have some of our readers and deejays weigh in on this.  Anybody interested???  (kk)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Dick Clark - Part 5

More fascinating Dick Clark stories today ... from some of the deejays who crossed paths with him over the years ... as well as other acquaintances.

>>>Music Icon Dick Clark Dead at the Age of 82!
Clark’s agent confirmed the news in a statement that the 82-year-old TV legend, who brought rock and roll into the American living room, died of a massive heart attack this morning.
This saddens me to no end. Certainly I wasn't a good friend of Dick Clark's but knew him and met him a few times, one being the opening of "PAUL REVERE'S KICK'S" Nightclub in Reno circa '92 (When I was a morning staple on KWNZ-FM). I was personally invited by Paul Revere and Dick to attend the opening ceremonies. Dick helped his friend Paul financially with the undertaking, and I got to sit down at a table with the two of them for nearly an hour, I didn't say much, I was in so much awe of Dick Clark ... WHOA! He was a Gentle-man, a tremendous showman and did so much for the music, radio and television industries. Dick Clark was a GIANT in our industry and will be dearly missed! 
"Wild" Bill Cody

Hi Kent,
Despite his massive success at like, everything, Dick Clark had a real heart for radio, and a kind appreciation for radio people. He did weekly radio right up until the stroke, I believe. I carried his AC Top 40 show in Fort Wayne back in 2003 and he cut custom drops "I'm Dick Clark and you're listening to ... " for every one of our personalities. A big star does not have to do that. Dick did.
In 1995 he did a live interview with me when I was doing mornings in Columbus and he was launching a restaurant chain there. He was touting the restaurant opening and a marvelous family act of three young brothers. I cannot for the life of me remember their names. They were amazingly talented, yet defied format classification, but Dick simply believed in them, so it was them in studio and Dick on the phone.
I recall calling the restaurant and telling the girl there that I was Fabian. It was a good old fashioned, good natured prank that Dick loved so much. A great show, and great fun. I felt as if I'd been anointed by the radio gods. I still have my custom Dick Clark drop somewhere. Someday I'll find it and smile.
Jim Shea

Here's my Dick Clark story ...
We had just come offstage from jointly introducing Jan & Dean in concert at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Anaheim, 1986. I was supposed to be wearing chinos and a Hawaiian shirt like Dick, but United Airlines lost my luggage so I ended up wearing the same suit and shirt and tie for two days!
Dick Bartley

I grew up looking forward to Saturdays and American Bandstand.  I would always 'rate a record' and see how my scores compared to the kids on the show.  In the 1990s, I got my nerve up to call Dick Clark's offices to see if he would talk to me on my radio show for a few minutes.  I was amazed to learn that his personal  secretary was from Wisconsin. After a nice conversation with her I was talking to the man himself!  I was extremely nervous ... however, he made me feel at ease when he started asking me questions about radio, which he said was his first love.  He called me by my first name several times during the interview which made it seem like he had known me for a long time.  Even though it was a brief 15 minutes for him it was a major hi-lite in my small town career that I will never forget.  He was a class act.

Phil Nee - WRCO  

I remember fondly the summer of 1957. I lived in Lawrence, Ma, and my day consisted of playing baseball every morning beginning at 9 am, breaking for lunch or what they called a tonic (pop or soda) at noon and playing ball or swimming after lunch. Then we would go home, eat and get in our Legion baseball uniforms and go play our game. But that summer had a new addition! We would all gather (about 25 guys and girls) at 3:30 pm at Maryann sometime - or - other's house because they had a 21 inch TV set and we would watch American Bandstand for an hour and a half. What a great time I had ... partly because of the girls ... but mostly because of the great atmosphere created by Dick Clark and American Bandstand. Everyone picked out their favorite girl or boy (mine was Justine -- yikes, was she hot and a little older!). We'd also pick our favorite dancers (Pat Molitere and Harvey something) and favorite couple (Kenny and Arlene). How do I remember such stuff? Because it was so much a part of my 13th summer! Such wonderful memories.

I was fortunate to meet Dick Clark and interview him in 1979. He was appearing as part of a lecture series at the University of Rochester. He was to be on stage from 8 to 10 but the response was so great that it didn't end until around 11:15. Then he thanked his hosts and signed autographs. Jack Garner from the Democrat and Chronicle was to interview him first at the auditorium location and then I was supposed to interview him at the U of R studio. It was around midnight when Jack started his interview and I figured mine was toast as his assistant had told me that Dick had a 6 am flight out of Rochester. I hung around hoping to get a quick sound bite, but Dick, against the wishes of his assistant, insisted on doing the interview. It was one am when we began and he got into it and we did a 35 minute interview. He could easily have brushed me off and I certainly would have understood if he had. It's something I'll never forget as not all of my early heroes have been so nice. He was certainly a part in many of our early years.

God bless Rock and Roll and Dick Clark.
Danny Guilfoyle
PS -- I didn't hold back in my interview. I asked him how he escaped the payola scandals and he said it was because he didn't take money but paid money as part owner of record labels, which he was ordered to divest.

Dick Clark and Dick Clark Productions gave me American Bandstand archive footage Free of Charge to be included in my Philly Pop Music documentary via the help of former Bandstand dancer Bunny Gibson.
Also Jeff James at Dick Clark Media Archives was very helpful with Bunny Gibson choosing the clips that included Dick and Bunny on American Bandstand that Jeff sent me for our documentary.
Dick also sent me a personal note via mail in support of our documentary.
Over the past few years we did communicate via email and he was very encouraging in regards to my efforts about the documentary I have been in production with, Philly pop Music, The Lost Pioneers.
Dick was a Pop Icon.
Back in the mid 60's I went to one of his shows on Steel Pier in Atlantic City featuring The Supremes plus Jan & Dean. Shook his hand and the artists right at the foot of the stage. Amazing days for Pop Music.
You can view clips of American Bandstand, Dick Clark and Bunny Gibson in our Promo Trailer here:
May Dick rest in peace. 

My condolences to his family and friends.
George Manney

Well Hello Kent, and GREETINGS from the banks of the Colorado River in LAUGHLIN, NEVADA! 
It’s been a long time (way TOO long, and, sorry) since I’ve submitted any news or information to FORGOTTEN HITS. But, upon learning of the death of television and music legend DICK CLARK, I decided it was, finally, time to chime in again with a cool little story about my own brief encounters with the immortal music man.
I never really got to know Dick Clark personally, but did go to a couple of parties hosted by him back “the day.” One in particular has a great story attached to it. It was 1978, and Dick owned a house on the beach in Malibu. It was at the eastern end of Malibu Cove Colony Drive (not to be confused with the infamous Malibu Colony, which is a few miles east on this stretch of the coast, where PCH runs east and west). My parents had a rented apartment in a beachfront complex just east of Malibu Cove in a tiny and secluded beachside neighborhood known as Latigo Cove adjacent to Pacific Coast Highway. (The nearby stretch of PCH has appeared in scores of movies and TV shows as a location that stars are driving on in Malibu coast.) My folks rarely used the apartment, and gave me a key to the place. I was in my mid-20’a then so, needless to say, I took advantage of the digs as often as I could.
At the time, I was co-producing THE SUNSET BOMBERS (a punk rock band with Doug Fieger as one of its members) and tons of radio and television commercials for CASABLANCA RECORDS and a couple of other major record labels. The infamous ARTIE WAYNE was representing me as a spot producer and selling my services to other major labels in L.A. Things were going pretty well for me back then, but it was also pretty crazy. One weekend Artie and I drove out to my parent’s Malibu apartment just to get away from all the madness of the band and the biz and my Hollywood digs (a very cool little house just off of the real street named Melrose Place).
I’m not sure of the exact date or even the month, but, to the best of my recollection, it was in the spring of 1978 (April or May). Artie and I arrived at the beach on a Friday afternoon and decided to take a walk on the beach with my cool dog, a white German Shepard named Lester. Dick Clark’s pad was just around the bend of Latigo Point. When we made the turn on to Malibu Cove Colony stretch of beach, we noticed there were lots of people hanging around on the beach adjacent to Dick’s house at the end of the road. As we got closer, it was obvious there was a big party going on. I told Artie that I believed that this was Dick Clark’s house, and I could see Artie’s mouth begin to water. We looked at each other and nodded. Let’s crash this thing! I sent the dog on his way (Lester was an incredible dog who fared very well on his own, could find his way home and never strayed.) Artie and I wandered up to the house and joined others on the beach that were going in and out of the house, then casually joined others and made our way up the stairs into the home.
There were lots of people inside, drinking, laughing and partying. We found a couple of drinks and grabbed them, so as to look like we belonged. Within a couple of minutes we found ourselves standing right next to Dick, who was holding court with a handful of his guests, laughing and trading barbs.
Fortunately, it was an informal bash, so, as under-dressed as we were, we didn’t appear too out of place in our shorts and flip-flops! There were a few other musicians there, so we did kind of fit in. Artie, who, of course, knew just about anyone who was in the music business back then (and was a master at convincing folks that he knew THEM as well) stepped right up to Dick and confidently put his hand out.
“Dick!” Artie exclaimed. “Great to see you!” Dick looked confused and didn’t appear to recognize Artie (and probably was wondering if he was even invited to the party). Without missing a beat, Artie says his name, and then something (which I can’t remember, but I think it was about New York) to establish to Dick how he knew him. Dick’s look of bewilderment turned to a broad smile (as Artie had saved him from an embarrassing moment of not knowing who he was). Next thing you know, Artie is chatting it up with the living legend, mentioning many names of people in New York and Hollywood that they both knew. Then Artie introduces Dick to me, and I did my best to act worthy. Artie jumps in and tells Dick that I’m a hot-shot record-ad producer and that all the labels in town are scrambling to hire me to produce all their record album spots! Dick did his best to act impressed, while I, humbled by the presence of the almighty host of Bandstand and Rockin’ New Years Eve, fumbled for the right words to add to Artie’s glowing praise about my work. I think I said something like, “Oh, it’s not all that. I’m just a fledgling ad-man who happens to like music.” Dick laughed and said something like, “We need more guys like you in the business. Keep it up, kid!”
Artie, Dick and I chit-chatted for a few more brief minutes about the current music scene, the disco world (which was at its zenith then), Neil Bogart, Robert Stigwood, the movies and television. Then Artie mentions a few projects he was involved in and suggested that he and Dick get together for lunch! Dick seemed interested,and then graciously excused himself and wandered off to mingle with other party guests. In retrospect, it really was an amazing five minutes with one of the reigning rulers of the entertainment world, and Dick really did make us feel important for the brief time we spent with him.
After disengaging with Dick, Artie and I gave each other a quick high-five and then, safely ensconced in this cool soirĂ©e as “legitimate” guests, made the rounds ourselves, sampling the bountiful offerings of food and libations. We moved from one group to another, and Artie boldly introduced himself to dozens of other party guests as if he’d known them for years! I did my best to look and act cool myself, but, in reality, I was, for the most part, taking it all in, dumbfounded by the dumb luck of just being there.
We hung out at Dick’s bash for about an hour as the sun set, then exited down to the sand on the same stairs we climbed to get in. Walking on the beach back to the apartment, Artie and I shared a whole lotta’ laughs as we mused about what a great “party-crash” we had pulled of. But Artie was not nearly as impressed with it all as I was, telling me how easy this shit was. He said the key to successfully crashing an event was in looking like you totally belonged there from the get-go. It was advice I never forgot, and I have to admit, used it to wrangle my way in to many other parties and events in the years to come! (The technique worked especially well at Malibu parties, many of which spilled out onto the sand from beachfront homes, as Dick’s party did.)
Even when I was invited to an event, I remember hiding my invitation and still trying to “sneak in” without showing the invite, as I did with Artie. Those were the days, my friend!
I can’t recall whether Artie ever got his meeting with Dick Clark. But, the story doesn’t end there. Fast forward about six years later, to early 1984. Thanks, in part, to Artie’s very effective representation, my career was on the fast-track and I was able to afford to rent my own weekend beach apartment in Malibu. As fate would have it, I ended up renting an apartment in the very same complex where my parents had rented back in the 70’s. Dick Clark had sold his house in Malibu Cove Colony by then and moved to a bigger place close to Paradise Cove, a few miles west. Little did I realize, however, that I was destined to run into Mr. Clark once again, at another party miles away from Malibu beach.
It was December of !984. It had been a colossal year in L.A. and the whole music scene. MTV was in its second year. The Summer Olympics brought a magical aura to the city which lingered late into the fall. My own career was now at its peak, and I was producing an endless stream of record album ads. To coin the age-old phrase, life was good. One of my good friends at that time was an artist named Bobby Sheen (best known as the lead singer in Bob B Soxx and the Blue Jeans and background singer on lots of other Phil Spector productions in the 60’s and 70’s). Bobby, in turn, was good friends with Larry Klein (no relation to me) who was (and still is), a close confidant of Dick Clark and the lead producer for Dick Clark Productions.
Dick Clark’s American Music Awards show had become red-hot since it’s inception, and the 1984 show was just a week or so away. Another good friend, artist / songwriter DWIGHT TWILLEY was also having  a very successful year himself (with a hit single and album on EMI-America Records). I had introduced Dwight to LES GARLAND at my home a few months before. Les was the  program director of MTV back then and, thanks to the well-timed introduction, Dwight’s 1984 single, GIRLS, became a huge MTV video hit So, what does Dwight have to do with the story. Well, since he was at the peak of his popularity that same year, Dwight was asked to appear on one of the first MTV live concert shows. This, and all of his other media exposure, lead to Dwight being asked to appear as a presenter on the 1984 American Music Awards.
During this time, I was anxious to attend every “A-list” event I could, so I asked Dwight if he could get me tickets to the AMA telecast. Dwight told me that each presenter was only allocated a few tickets so he probably couldn’t get me any. The people I knew at the record labels I was working with similarly couldn’t come through, as the AMA’s were a red-hot event that year. Coincidentally, I ran into Bobby Sheen and mentioned how badly I wanted to go to the AMA’s. Bobby offered to call his friend Larry and see if he could get tickets for me. He actually came through, and managed to get me tickets to the telecast, along with tickets to the after-party and a VIP access pass. Dwight had told me that there was going to be a big pre-telecast party as well, but invites to this were very hard to come by and Dwight said he couldn’t get me on “the list” for this bash.
I was determined to do it all. Armed with tickets to the awards show and after party, I decided to be bold, and use the “crash technique” I had learned a few years earlier with Artie to get in. The party was at some swanky hotel ballroom (I can’t remember which one) and I showed up a bit late, when I knew people would be swarming to get inside. It didn’t take much to talk my way in. All I had to do is mention Larry Klein’s name and say that I was his brother, Joe! Okay, maybe not the coolest thing to do, but, what the hell, it’s just a party I am trying to crash! What harm will it do?
I flashed my ID and, VOILA, I was in! It was clear sailing from that point on. I soon ran into Larry Klein and introduced myself, using Bobby’s name as an ice-breaker with him. Then I mentioned that I was a pal with Dwight, one of the presenters. So, Larry warmed up quickly and we had a nice “shmooz” for a couple of minutes before moving on.
Less than five minutes later, wouldn’t you know it, I ended up face to face with Dick Clark! He had just finished talking with a small group of people when he turned around quickly and practically bumped into me. I remember how Artie had done it, so I just extended my arm and fearlessly introduced myself. Dick had that same perplexed “Do I Know You?” look on his face that he had when Artie introduced himself to Dick a few years before. But it quickly disappeared when I reminded Dick that I had met him at a party at his Malibu beach house about six years earlier, along with Artie Wayne. Amazingly, Dick remembered (or at least SAID he remembered) meeting me. He remarked about what a great party that was. He asked me how my career was going, and how Artie was doing. He said to say hello to Artie and then moved on.
This was the second and, sadly, the last time I ever encountered the great Dick Clark, but will always remember what a smooth and gracious man he was. A real pro of the highest degree.
I tried to initiate a relationship with Larry Klein, hoping to get some promo announcing or production work from Dick Clark Productions. We had a short chat at the party and we exchanged business cards. He told me to call him (no email or texts back in those days), which I did, and we actually set spoke and set up a meeting. Unfortunately for me, Larry canceled at the last minute and the meeting never got rescheduled. That’s show biz.
Meanwhile, back at the beach, a couple of years later I learned that my new neighbor in Malibu was none other than BRIAN WILSON, who was then under the care, and control, of Dr. Eugene Landy (which became the subject of much controversy in the late 80’s). The house Brian lived in was just down the little private road from my apartment in Latigo Cove, in between my place and Dick Clark’s former home. Every time I walked past Brian’s house, I thought about walking the same route with Artie and ending up at Dick Clark’s party. I never actually encountered Brian, but did spot him from a distance wandering on the beach in his bath robe a couple of times. It was having Brian as a Malibu neighbor that, in part, inspired me to write the song CHRISTMAS IN MALIBU in 1988. I recorded a cover of Wilson’s immortal SURFER GIRL with the same group in 1989, which was never released, but was featured on the Forgotten Hits blog a few years ago.
Sadly, my friend, the very talented Bobby Sheen, passed away himself back in November of 2000.
On the Dick Clark Productions company blog on the day of Mr. Clark’s passing, the company’s CEO, MARK SHAPIRO, wrote, “Dick Clark was an American institution. He was able to replicate the magic he brought to American Bandstand, not once but several times, through The Golden Globes, New Year’s Rockin’ Eve and thousands of hours of programming in almost every genre imaginable. He was the first of his kind — a pioneer, entrepreneur and creative visionary who bridged and cultivated the music scene with traditional show business. Dick Clark entertained and touched the lives of several generations. He is truly irreplaceable and will be greatly missed by the employees of our company and millions of fans worldwide."
It’s a cruel irony how the passing of those we so admire serve to conjure up so many cool memories, from so many, of the bygone days of “the business.” To be sure, the 60’s and 70’s were the golden years. The excesses of the 80’s, in their own ways, were memorable as well (despite the drawbacks resulting from all of the “sex, drugs and rock and roll.”) In a time where there were no digital cameras or smart phones to capture all the craziness as it occurred, memories are all we now have of those wild days. Way too many of those memories are hazy and clouded, but, on the flip-side, so many others are vivid ... and cherished.
I hope that the few memories I’ve shared here were enjoyable, and sparked many similar recollections with the class of FORGOTTEN HITS! Who could ask for a better tribute to a true industry giant that was DICK CLARK.
Moving to the present, there has been lots going on in Laughlin lately that should be of interest to the FH community, not the least of which is an appearance this weekend by the incomparable ENGELBERT HUMPERDINCK! Many other great artists from the FORGOTTEN HITS era have appeared on the river in the last couple of years and many more are appearing in the weeks and months to come! Stay tuned and I’ll send a comprehensive update very soon!
Meanwhile, to all those we’ve lost, rock on forever and a heartfelt THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES that will NEVER be forgotten!
\\\Joe Klein\\\

I have attached a few things I could glean from my old tapes off Bandstand and Action that we taped off our TV back in the 65 - 68 era.  It was always a great alternative to record things off Bandstand or Action besides just being fun to watch.  My dad put a direct patch to the speaker wire in so that quality was pretty good for the time.  The worst part was hauling the 25 pound reel to reel from downstairs where we taped off radio up to the TV set in living room and then back down again!  Haha. 
Still, it was great to watch "Where the Action Is" during school lunches at home, even though Mom wanted to see Art Linkletter more often.  Action had its regulars like the Raiders, Knickerbockers, Robbs, Hardtimes, Steve Alaimo, Tina Mason and the 5 Americans (to a lesser extent) often.  The theme songs changed over the years some.  Bandstand started with the Les Elgart "Bandstand Boogie" and then gave way to the little heard Mike Curb "Bandstand Theme" soon followed by the Barry Manilow vocal version.  "Action" started with Tommy Boyce's "Let's Go Where the Action Is" theme, but it was quickly dropped for FH reader Freddy Cannon's GREAT "Action" 45 as its theme.  That song REALLY fit the show great.  It was followed by a 70's version that I have taped off air but do not know the title or artist.
Dick's "Caravan of Stars" is another memory for many.  Often, local bands got their shining moment with the stars during the stops in their towns.  Local Coachmen here in Lincoln got to be on stage with Peter & Gordon, Jackie DeShannon and others when the Caravan rolled through Nebraska.  The Mob's James Holvay recanted stories to me of his times in 64 backing groups on the Caravan tours too.  That's how he hooked up with Brian Hyland on the bus to write 2 songs Brian recorded later. 
Dick Clark touched us all in many ways we might not realize.  Here's a few taped highlights from our old reels you probably won't hear anywhere else.  First, Dick plays FH buddy Davie Allan's "Blues Theme", commenting that it was one of the fastest rising (songs in the country).  This was an odd statement when you check the Billboard stats to find this record was all over the country for the spring / summer / fall of 1967!!  It ran the Hot 100 from April 15 - September 30, 17 weeks on Hot 100 peaking at #37.  Next, the Top 10 board from late 1965.  I always loved countdowns and the orchestra build up to number one was always exciting as he pulled the slats to uncover the songs.  Obviously, it was a great week of music and often, the top 10 had a surprise or two from Dick's personal picks.  Yeah, we had our own charts, but Dick got to present his on TV!!  There was usually a surprise or two in his Top 10.  Next, we have the outro of "Where the Action Is" promoting the next day guests.  Here, Hawaii's "Spirits" get their five minutes of fame as appearing on Dick's next show.  You did not have to be a big star to get on Bandstand, and that's another great thing about Dick Clark. Next, Bobby Rydell was a featured guest on Action and Dick always had different settings for his shows (aircraft carriers, different city parks, arenas, the beaches) that added interest.  Here, Rydell took his loungy sound to a yacht!  Next, a fun moment to hear Dick giggling like the worlds' oldest teenager having fun in counting down a summer of 66 Top 10 board on the beach.  Note he also skews towards his guests as he sticks the Association in at #10 with "Along Comes Mary" even though it was well on its way out of the charts, but fits his format to use in the top 10.  Note, the surprise #1.  Probably a guest on the next week show, if I remember right?  Moments Dick Clark gave that could be multiplied by thousands if we only knew to save these things. 
Clark Besch

Really cool to hear so many of our Forgotten Hits artists pop up in this clip ... Bob Lind, Peter Noone (and Herman's Hermits), Davie Allan, Freddy Cannon ... cool, too, to hear the #1 Songs, none of which actually ever made it to #1 on the Billboard Chart!  (lol)  John "Records" Landecker played Freddy Cannon's "Action" the other night ... man, what a GREAT record that is!!!  And did you check out Paul Evans' cool Bobby Rydell story the other day?!?!?  Amazing!!!  (kk)

Well, the tributes I've seen have been good, bad and often the same clips.  The amazing thing is how BAD the sound quality is on many clips from Bandstand.  How many times have you seen the "Twist" video with swishy internet sound not even good enough for youtube??  Heck, my old over modulated tapings on reel as a kid sound MUCH better than what TV is playing!  Anyway, here's some Dick Clark audio.  A few Bandstand themes and local Chicago action.  I sent this in before, but here's my WLS hero Ron Riley giving Dick his pick of local heroes, the Ides of March with "You Wouldn't Listen"!! 

This clip is EXCELLENT!!!  I honestly don't remember you sending it to me before ... but how cool to catch an episode of "American Bandstand", only to find Chicago's own Ides Of March being featured on the program ... by way of a telephone call from Ron Riley, evening disc jockey on WLS in 1966.  (I sent a copy of this clip to Jim Peterik of The Ides Of March ... who never even knew this happened!!!  He was blown away ... now if only somebody could find the VIDEO for this event!  lol)  kk

>>>Hi Jim!  Got this from a Forgotten Hits Reader today ... Especially timely with the passing of Dick Clark this week ...But here, thanks to Ron Riley of WLS, are The Ides Of March and "You Wouldn't Listen" ... on American Bandstand!!!  (Introduced by Dick Clark himself!) VERY cool! (kk)
Wow!    This is beyond cool.  We never even knew!  Wish we had the video, too.  
Thank you so much, Kent, for bringing this lost moment to life.  Who got it to you?  I'd like to thank him or her.  Thanks sooo much for sending!  
The clip came from Clark Besch, who has literally THOUSANDS of these vintage musical artifacts in his collection, most of which he personally taped off the radio or television at the time.  He's done a number of CD compilatiosn and is a regular contributor to Forgotten Hits ... and ... best part of all ... he believes that he may have some VIDEO of this landmark Ides moment, too!  (And, it turns out you met him several years ago at a Bob Stroud / Cryan' Shames function ... Clark sent the photo below ... taken by FH Reader Marlene O'Malley ... to share with our readers.)  kk

The FAB 4??  Well, who's the geek 2nd to left?  Anyway, here's a shot FH member Marlene took in September, 2006.  From left, my great friend, Bob Stroud of the Drive, then, there's me, then the late great Mark Eskin (of New Colony 6) and the guy who thought "You Wouldn't Listen" but we did anyway, Jim Peterik!
I DO have the video (somewhere) and would be happy to send it to him.  It was SO great to meet him in 2006 on my visit to Chicago and chat with him about the obscure songs he had a hand in.  What was cool is that he had no problem remembering all of them!  From singing parts of Chase's "Run Back to Mama" (he sang lead and wrote it) to the Ides' Kapp 45 "Nobody Loves Me" (he sang me the parts HE sang on the record) to my conversation about how their first WB single, "One Woman Man" should have also been a hit and talk of Saturday's Children and Survivor, too.  It was a great 15 minutes crammed with questions and great answers.  He was great and even sang "Roller Coaster" with Bob Stroud onstage for me!!  The Ides story DVD is well worth having as well.  Not sure if still available of not, but worth seeking out. 
That IS a great DVD ... and I think you can still order a copy through The Ides Of March website ... where (from what I understand) this clip of Ron Riley introducing the band to the nation on American Bandstand will ALSO soon appear!  (kk)

Looks like The Ides have a number of summer dates already lined up ... one of the best bands you'll see live ... so catch 'em if you can!  (kk)

Thanks so much to Clark for the amazing recovery of a sweet moment in time. The Ides are blown away - we did not even know we were featured on Bandstand in that era - and Ron Riley, too!  
Of course finding the video to it would be epic!  And thanks for all you do to keep those great days alive.  We are putting the soundbyte on asap.  

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dick Clark - Part 4

Not ALL of the Dick Clark press has been positive ... there's still a world of controversy swirling around a recently produced documentary "Wages Of Spin", exposing some of Dick Clark's early involvement with The Philly Music Scene of the late '50's and early '60's ... as well as his role in the payola scandal of this era.  Earlier this week, footage of some of Clark's behind-the-scenes dealings ran on "Entertainment Tonight" ... and The Philadelphia Inquirer had quite a few "less than flattering" words to say about Clark this week as well, and his reluctance to give back to the city where he first made his name (and fame and fortune.)

FH Reader Clark Besch tells us that while most of the media played up all of the pluses of Clark's long and successful career, a few did delve into the controversy raised by this film. (FH Reader Howard Kaylan of The Turtles posted a note on his Facebook page warning that he wouldn't tolerate any "Dick Clark Haters" posting to his site ... and that's all very well and good ... but Forgotten Hits has ALWAYS prided itself on showing BOTH sides of the story when they exist ... and letting the readers and the fans draw their own conclusions.)

Today's comments talk a little bit about the other side of Clark's reputation ... (he once proudly proclaimed "I'm a whore for a buck"!!!) ... as well as sharing a few more personal one-on-one memories and reflections.

On the other hand, there is NO denying Dick Clark's success in diversifying his career beyond the scope of hosting a nationally televised teenage dance hop!  At one point in time, Clark's production company had television series running on all three major networks ... and a few more in syndication!  He seemed to have the touch of gold when it came to music and television franchises.  It's probably fair to say that some of the disparaging remarks may hold just a hint of jealousy, too, by some of his less-successful peers.

Charlie Gracie, Jr. (whose Dad had his own run in with Dick Clark back in the '50's ... and ultimately had to sue Cameo Records ... with whom Clark had some "silent partner" holdings ... over back royalties due him ... only to then find himself "blacklisted" from radio and television) asked that I present a fair and accurate, unbiased account when talking about Dick Clark's career ... and we have certainly attempted to do this.  (Otherwise, what would be the point of today's piece?!?!)

In addition, tomorrow we'll take a look at the dee-jay side of Dick Clark's career ... we heard from a number of jocks who have either interviewed Clark over the years ... or been helped by him in some capacity ... simply put, most have nothing but the utmost admiration for all that he accomplished and acknowledge that he was ALWAYS willing to lend a helping hand to some young disc jockey just starting out trying to make a name for himself.  I think you'll find it all fascinating reading ... as our special Forgotten Hits Tribute to Dick Clark continues.  (We'll be winding things down by the weekend ... so if you have any additional comments, stories or memories to share, get them in to me PRONTO!!!)  kk

Monday's edition of Entertainment Tonight promised to feature BOTH sides of Dick clark, no doubt delving into the "Wages of Spin" issues.  You might want to clue people in to watch.  The hour weekend episode was a great tribute to him.  Monday brings the other side.
Unfortunately, I didn't see either ... but again we leave it to our readers to draw their own conclusions.  Meanwhile, "Wages Of Spin" has been airing quite regularly of late on PBS outlets across the country ... and the film is now available for home video purchase, too.  This controversial documentary was produced several years ago by our FH Buddies Shawn Swords and Paul Russo and spent the better part of four years making the rounds on the film festival circuit.  It shows (in pretty good detail) the OTHER side of The Bandstand Era, exploring Dick Clark's involvement with other companies in the Philly area ... as well as presents an overview of the infamous payola scandal and how Dick Clark walked away from the controversy virtually unscathed.  Well worth watching, Forgotten Hits has been helping to promote this film since 2008.  In fact, here are links to two earlier reviews we ran on our website way back when):
You can purchase the film here: ...
Or check out other links provided by Character Films ...
"Wages of Spin" Cast: 
"Wages of Spin" Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Archives:

SHARING SOME PICS WITH DICK CLARK -- who amassed a fortune through his tenure as host of American Bandstand ... which began with his association with CAMEO (later Cameo - Parkway) RECORDS and CHARLIE GRACIE! Mr. Clark's passing truly marks the end of an era!  As an on-air talent, he probably had few equals in his field for half a century. 
First, from 1957: CHARLIE GRACIE (left), Philadelphia's first R&R star with DICK CLARK (Center) and songstress, JODIE SANDS (right), at the premiere of the Warner Bros. R&R movie, JAMBOREE! at the Stanton Theater in Philly (Nov. 1957).  Clark and a slew of well known djs from around the U.S. Canada and Europe appeared in the film -- which also starred Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Charlie Gracie. 
Clark was a 'silent' producer of the film ... in fact, he was a 'silent partner' in numerous recording industry ventures including the Cameo - Parkway, Chancellor, Jamie and Swan record labels. Those facts were brought to light in the Congressional Payola Hearings of 1959 - 1960.  I, Charlie Jr., gave a copy of this pic to Clark in 1997 -- as it was one that he did not have in his collection. He signed my copy "To the two Charlie's:" (Sr. and Jr.) when my dad appeared at the 40th anniversary of American Bandstand that year.   
ALSO seen in this pic are: Kal Mann (songwriter and co-boss at Cameo), Bob Marcucci (owner of Chancellor Records) and Peter De Angelis (co-boss and A&R man for Chancellor), both of whom managed Frankie Avalon and Fabian.

THE SECOND PIC show DICK CLARK and CHARLIE GRACIE at the 40th Anniversary of American Bandstand in 1997.  Charlie's hits on the Cameo (later Cameo - Parkway) label included Butterfly (#1), Ninety-Nine Ways (#11) and Fabulous (#16) in 1957, and these were the label's first successes. As a result of his tenure as host of American Bandstand, Clark amassed a fortune in subsequent years ("vertically and horizontally" Clark ) as a 'silent partner" with many labels. One of his early windfalls came through collecting royalties on BUTTERFLY, a million-selling #1 song for Charlie Gracie along with a cover version recorded by Andy Williams. The song was actually written by Bernie Lowe and Kal Mann, with a few lyrical changes by Charlie Gracie.
The documentary WAGES OF SPIN is a must watch for music buffs and those interested in the Bandstand Era. Many Public Television channels around the USA will begin airing it again in  mid-May ... along with the newly updated edition of CHARLIE GRACIE: FABULOUS!  Home DVD versions (with additional footage not shown on PBS) are available through the PBS website.
Charlie Gracie, Jr.

I'd been thinking about Dick Clark's contribution to the music we call rock and roll since I heard the news Wednesday afternoon. The cynic in me says if there was a buck to made, he went after it. However, the music lover in me says that he loved the music, too. He made sure that popular music of ALL genres was played on Bandstand. I can recall seeing Merle Haggard on the show. Moreover the show wasn't about Dick Clark. He was the messenger. Some of us may not like an act or a song, but Dick made sure we at least heard it. He gave the performer their shot at the brass ring. So for the time being I'm putting the cynic in me back into his little cubby hole and say an era has past with both Don Cornelius and now Dick Clark having spun their last record. It's kinda sad that a piece of our youth is gone.

I was just reading comments on Both Sides Now chat line about how Dick Clark could be known to fire people on a production just for being in the wrong spot, but also could edit live shows on the fly without problem.  It reminded me of when he hosted Farm Aid III here in Lincoln in the 80's and the show looked to run long and he made Joe Walsh cut a song or two so that they could get the "This Land is Your Land" group sing-along in at the end of the national broadcast at 10 PM.  This, of course, infuriated Joe Walsh and he made some comment onstage after the event and came back to perform AFTER the show had left the air!  Still, when looking at the video tape later, Dick made a seamless production.  Somewhere I have an audience tape of the Walsh post-concert!!  As Billy Joel once sang in the "Entertainer", "If you're gonna have a hit, ya gotta make it fit, so they cut it down to 3:05".
Clark Besch  

Many years ago ... when Forgotten Hits was brand new ... somewhere between 2001 and 2002 if I had to guess ... I began to put together a series on Dick Clark for the newsletter.  This predates the release of "Wages Of Spin" by at least four or five years ... in fact, I had absolutely no idea that anyone else was working on a similar project at the time.  My purpose was more of a historical mission to gather the facts about the early days and continued success of "American Bandstand".  As such, I gathered statements from a number of people and dee jays who had worked with Dick Clark over the years and started to assemble something that I hoped would ultimately lead me to an interview with the man himself.
After a couple of months, I started to get letters from some of the folks who had shared their stories with me, advising me to just "put this on the shelf" ... while nobody flat out retracted anything they said, they all advised against my ever publishing it, hinting that there were some "very powerful people" around who could make my life pretty miserable if any of this stuff ever got out.
While I hesitate to call ANY of these communications outright "threats" or "warnings", I will admit that it was made pretty clear to me that it would be in my best interests to just abandon this project all together.
Naturally I had mixed emotions ... on the one hand, I felt that I must have really been on to something ... something not necessarily "for public knowledge", perhaps ... but something nevertheless.  On the other hand, the last thing I needed then (or now!) was somebody (anybody!) coming after me for something that I was putting together simply as a labor of love of this music.  Needless to say, I put the series away for awhile (it was unfinished anyway) in an effort to think about it again at a later date ... and with a clearer head!
I never had to worry about revisiting it ... three subsequent computer crashes saw to that ... and anything (and EVERYTHING) I had ever complied has long been lost to the Cyberspace Gods that control lost and damaged hard drives for all eternity.
My guess is that now that Dick Clark is gone ... and now that "Wages Of Spin" has proven that you CAN expose some of this stuff (as long as you've got your facts straight) ... SOMEBODY out there will write the definitive book on the comings and goings of Mr. Dick Clark.  (In fact, I'll bet several are already in the works as I type this!!!)
It won't be me ... but, quite honestly, I can't wait to read it!!!  (kk)