August 6, 2014 |
People may not know it, but they see Celeste Morello's work all over Philadelphia: the tall blue-and-yellow historic markers that honor people, places, and events both famous and unknown. She doesn't cast the aluminum. Or paint the plaques. She doesn't drive the poles into the ground. Instead, she persuades the state to place them, or at least many of them, compiling an impressive win-loss record in a process that denies almost three out of four applications. Nearly 40 city markers - celebrating everyone and everything from John Wanamaker to American Bandstand - sprang from her efforts.
December 12, 2013 |
Carole Ann Scaldeferri Spada, 70, of Newtown Square, a regular dancer on American Bandstand from 1957 to 1961, died Sunday, Dec. 8, of congestive heart failure at a Springfield hospital. Her husband, Richard Spada, said Mrs. Spada was recovering from a minor stroke she had suffered earlier when she became ill on the way to church. She was taken by ambulance to the emergency room, where she died, her husband said. "When the doctor told me the news, I was heartbroken," her husband said.
October 23, 2013
WHEN Jerry Ross is inducted into the Philadelphia Music Alliance Walk of Fame on Thursday, he tells me, his mind will be on the stars. Not the stars whose music he has produced over a long career - Jay & the Techniques, Spanky & Our Gang, Jerry Butler, Dee Dee Warwick, the Duprees, the Dreamlovers, the Sapphires - but an astronaut named Jerry Ross (no relation). But more on that later. The earthbound Jerry was born in Philadelphia, in 1933, in time to be positioned for the musical explosion that would change America and the body of world music.
June 14, 2013 |
YOU CAN make the argument that any year between 1963 and 1969 was pivotal in our nation's history. For instance, '63 saw the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.-led march on Washington and, of course, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The Beatles arrived (and "American Bandstand" left Philly for Hollywood) in 1964, '65 marked the beginning of years of race riots and '69 included Woodstock and the Apollo 11 moon landing. But for sheer breadth and scope of epochal events - not to mention horror - 1968 has no rival.
February 22, 2013 |
Alexander Mauro, 89, of Upper Darby, a sandwich-shop owner who during the 1950s and '60s sang and played drums with the Mike Pedicin Quintet, died Thursday, Feb. 14, at his home. Mr. Mauro was the vocalist and drummer of the early rock-and-roll band, which performed in clubs and hotels in Philadelphia and New Jersey. He was the lead singer on "Shake a Hand," a hit for the group, fronted by saxophonist Mike Pedicin, in 1954 and 1957. Mr. Mauro performed the song on Bandstand in 1954, when the TV dance show was hosted by Bob Horn.
January 8, 2013 |
COMPETING FOR attention with Dick Clark could not have been an easy experience. But Leroy Smith was not to be discouraged. He had a message to deliver, and the crowds of young people who gathered outside the Philadelphia Arena for Dick Clark's American Bandstand were going to hear it. The Rev. Leroy Smith started his religious service as a street preacher, and the venue he chose to try to sell his message of faith was outside the Philadelphia Arena...
April 22, 2012 |
Former American Bandstand dancer Tommy "Crazy Legs" Davis leaned in to examine the enlarged pictures on the walls in Studio B, looking for himself in the photos that captured the Philadelphia heyday of the rock-and-roll dance party hosted by Dick Clark. Back then, Davis was a thin, 129-pound teenager from Roxborough with curly blond hair. On Saturday, he was an older version of himself with less hair and a few more pounds but the same love for the TV show and Clark, who died Wednesday in Los Angeles at 82. "My biggest thrill was dancing with Patti Page," said Davis, 70, of Jenkintown, who was a regular on the show from 1955 to 1957.
April 21, 2012 |
Hundreds of people gathered at the original home of "American Bandstand" in West Philadelphia on Saturday to recreate the televised dance party hosted by Dick Clark who died Wednesday. "My biggest thrill was dancing with Patti Page," said Tommy Davis, 70, of Jenkintown, who danced on the show from 1965 to 1967. "Dick pulled me down from the bleachers," Clark, 82, died in Los Angeles of a massive heart attack. He was 82. The death of the man affectionately known as the "world's oldest teenager" prompted scores of former dancers and "American Bandstand" fans to file into Studio B at the old WFIL-TV station.
April 20, 2012 |
Dick Clark made it cool to be an adult. Unlike other disc jockeys and entertainment personalities who tried to dress and talk like teenagers to gain their acceptance, Clark on TV was always as perfectly groomed and attired as any businessman, which is what he was. He didn't talk down to young people; he talked to them — about the music they preferred, the dances they liked, and sometimes whatever else was on their minds. Any parents who happened to glance up from their daily newspaper and notice the discussion on American Bandstand suddenly knew more about their children than they could get from any conversation they tried to elicit.
April 20, 2012 |
For seven years it was a hot spot of teenage American pop culture. From 1957 until 1964, Dick Clark hosted American Bandstand at the West Philadelphia studios of WFIL-TV, where thousands of teens dreamed of appearing on the hit show. But few actually got the chance to dance inside the nondescript building in the shadow of the Market-Frankford El at 46th and Market Streets. If you were one of those teens who yearned for your Bandstand moment, here's your chance.