Friday Night Forgotten Oldie: “And I’ll jump and hey, I may even show ’em my handstand”

Since the start of the summer, our Friday Night Forgotten Oldie weekly blog has been a series concentrating on 1967 and The Summer of Love. I sure hope you enjoyed it, and in case you missed it, the entire series is here.

This week we celebrate another milestone anniversary. Not 1967, but 1957.

The show that eventually became “American Bandstand” started at WFIL-TV in Philadelphia in 1952. Keep in mind that was a few years before rock and roll just started kicking up its heels.

The host of the show was Philadelphia radio personality Bob Horn. Dick Clark took over in the summer of 1956 and the show was a hit…locally.

The ABC network asked its affiliates how it should program its 3:30 p.m. time slot. Clark lobbied hard for Bandstand. The network agreed and “American Bandstand” went national on August 5, 1957, 60 years ago.

American Bandstand” had high school gym-like bleachers and that very memorable segment where teens out of the studio audience rated new records on a scale from 25 to 98. More often then not one of them responded, “It’s got a good beat, and you can dance to it.”

Regulars danced and displayed the latest clothes and hairstyles.

Big band leaders and brothers Les and Larry Elgart met Bob Horn, and Les suggested the two brothers record a theme song. After Clark became the host and the show went coast to coast, “Bandstand Boogie” that was co-written by the Elgart brothers became the theme.

And if you’re like me, you remember.

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Larry Elgart died just a few weeks ago, on August 29. He was 95.

In the 1960’s a young Barry Manilow was watching “American Bandstand.”

Then in the 1970’s after becoming a star Manilow couldn’t understand why the Elgart recording of “Bandstand Boogie” got replaced at the end of the 60’s by Mike Curb’s more contemporary “Bandstand Theme” laden with synthesizers.

Manilow along with lyricist partner Bruce Sussman sat down and added lyrics to Elgart’s music and recorded it retro-swing style.

Repeat: Manilow took the already recorded music and added the lyrics. The music was already there.

His remake became the new theme song for the TV show, lasting from 1977 to 1987.

We’re goin’ hoppin
We’re goin’ hoppin today
Where things are poppin
The Philadelphia way
We’re gonna drop in
On all the music they play
On the Bandstand (Bandstand)

Bandstand
Bandstand
Bandstand
Bandstand The Bandstand The Bandstand
(What d’ya know–Here on the show–ready to go–what a pro)

Hey I’m makin’ my mark
Gee, this joint is jumpin’
They made such a fuss just to see us arrive
Hey, it’s Mr. Dick Clark
What a place you’ve got here
Swell spot the music’s hot here
Best in the east, give it at least a seventy five!

Now for all you Joe’s here goes my American handstand
Because I’m on, because I’m on the American Bandstand
As we dance real slow I’m showin’ the guys in the grandstand
That I like my girl, but I love American Bnadstand

The singers’ croonin’
He ain’t the greatest but gee
My baby’s swoonin’
In front of all of TV
So if you tune in
You’ll see my baby and me
On the Bandstand (Bandstand)

And now we’re hoppin
And we’ll be hopppin all day
When things are poppin
The philadelphia way
And you can drop in
On all the music they play
On the Bandstand
Bandstand

And we’ll rock and roll and stroll on American
Lindy hop and slop, it’s American
Tune in, I’m on,
Turn on, I’m in, I’m on
Today (Bandstand)

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TV Show Host Dick Clark  with Singer Barry Manilow onstage at the 58th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on August 27, 2006 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)

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One thought on “Friday Night Forgotten Oldie: “And I’ll jump and hey, I may even show ’em my handstand”

  1. Pingback: My Most Popular Blogs (09/18/17) | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

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