Frankie Avalon. Fabian. Annette Funicello. Bobby Rydell.
These words were music to my ears growing up. A great guy named Dick Clark was the man who brought me these experiences that I still fondly remember many years later. American Bandstand was hugely popular with teens…even more than Jersey Shore. I would rush home from school in New York to watch my faves doing the Bunny Hop, the Bop, the Slop, the Twist, the Hand Jive and the Stroll. The teenage dancers in Philly became national celebrities. On each show, they would give their names, schools and city. The girls wearing dresses and boys wearing suits became familiar names during our school gossip sessions.
My parents took me to New York City to the weekly Dick Clark show. Once, he threw ping pong balls in the audience, and I caught one! I probably still have it stashed away with all the American Bandstand memorabilia that I bought and my 45s (Hold Me Tiger! And Venus!).
This was a special time in America. Think “Mad Men” but better. No crimes. Doors left unlocked. No one said the “F” word (out loud anyway). Graffiti did not exist. If you had a tattoo, you probably served in WWII. People said please and thank you. And there was no rush hour.
It was great. But then, no one would be reading this post either! Dick Clark you will be sorely missed but thanks for the memories. They are priceless. RIP.