“PARTY ROCKERS” is the latest in a long line of produced-in-Philly TV dance-party shows (many of which ultimately gained national distribution) dating to the earliest days of commercial broadcasting. Here’s a look at some of the others that are part of the local (and in many cases, national) pop-culture fabric:
The granddaddy of all TV dance-fests was inspired by the popular afterschool radio show hosted by WPEN-AM disc jockeys Joe Grady and Ed Hurst. It debuted on what was then WFIL-TV (Channel 6) in the fall of 1952 with Bob Horn as emcee. In July 1956, Horn, who had already been tied (but eventually cleared) to a teen pornography ring, was arrested for drunken driving. Upon his arrest (a conviction followed), he was removed from the show, paving the way for Dick Clark, who died last week at 82, to assume hosting duties. A year later, the renamed “American Bandstand” went national over the ABC network but remained based in Philly until production moved to Los Angeles in 1964.