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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

American Bandstand

As mentioned previously I live with a man that can go for hours without saying a word.  Some days this can drive me to making phone calls just to hear a human voice.  If he has nothing that he feels is worthy of someone hearing he will not even acknowledge something I say.  So I spend a lot of time just talking to myself.  Next I will probably just read signs as we go down the road just to have some sort of live human sounds. Listening to talking mouths on the radio or listening to some sort of recorded music is not live human vibes.
Tonight as we returned from visiting Edna, we heard the news of the passing of Dick Clark.  My first memories of Dick Clark were every afternoon in our home.  Of course he was on the TV along with all the regulars on American Bandstand.  We young Texans knew the names of all the regulars that lived half a continent away in Philly.  The only regular's name I remember is Pat.  She was probably my favorite.  She had her appendix removed and was off the show for many days, possibly three weeks.  Every surgery was major in the 50's!

The Stroll
Under the guidance of the gifted dancers on Bandstand us country kids learned to bop, stroll, twist and hand jive.  We saw Ricky Nelson, Paul Anka, Annette of Mouseketeer fame, Connie Francis, Chubby Checker, Jerry Lee Lewis and all the big as well as up coming names.  Slow dances seemed to bring the crushes to light even at the Chambersville Elementary School Friday night hops. There were the Bandstand couples, maybe Arlene Sullivan with a guy named Kenny, maybe?

Me, circa 1959
The age spread between my older sisters and I melted as the young marrieds Margaret and Suzie would help me at the ripe age of about 11 perfect the moves seen on TV.  Pretty funny as Momma sat watching Margaret, Suzie and I dance in Margaret's house just off Hunt Street in McKinney.  For Margaret's 70th birthday I gave her an "American Bandstand" Memory book.  It had pictures and stories about all the crew!

And Bandstand's "Rate a Record" segment was the origin of the wonderful phrase, "It has a good beat and you can dance to it".   I was definitely a child of the 50's and 60's.  American Bandstand and Dick Clark were an influential part of my tween and teen years.   Maybe it is not so bad to have the quite in the present to reflect on past times and dream of future times.  To take a few moments to be thankful for that young man in Philadelphia that knew how to market rock and roll.

But just for tonight while Gene is quietly watching the Cardinal game with the sound on TV and with earphones on listening to them on the radio and surfing the net, I may just bring up a song on this computer and do a little strolling!  After all for those of you that know the Bandstand theme song and how it ended,  Bandstand, Bandstand!  May the American Bandstand spirit never end.
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