Motor City Radio Flashbacks

Where Detroit Radio Plays On

SATURDAY NIGHT BEECH-NUT SHOW WITH DICK CLARK

March 28th, 2014
DICK CLARK’S SATURDAY NIGHT BEECH-NUT SHOW, THE LITTLE THEATER, NEW YORK CITY 1958

DICK CLARK’S SATURDAY NIGHT BEECH-NUT SHOW, THE LITTLE THEATER, NEW YORK CITY 1958

 

The Dick Clark Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show was Dick Clark’s second attempt at a prime time show. His first, a prime-time version of American Bandstand, ran only 13 weeks. The Beechnut Show was much more successful lasting almost 3 years.

Dick Clark's Beech Nut Show debuts on ABC-TV, February 15, 1958

Dick Clark’s Beech Nut Show debuts on ABC-TV, February 2, 1958

The Dick Clark Saturday Night Beechnut Show was broadcast live Saturday nights from the Little Theatre in New York City. Every weekend, Dick Clark commuted from Philadelphia to NYC to do the “Beechnut” show. There was actually two shows done each Saturday. The first was a rehearsal show where the artists could sketch out their performances and Clark could line everything up. This would have a different audience then the second show which was the one that was televised.

Beechnut Gum was actually picked up as a sponsor for the third episode to the conclusion of the show’s run. The artists that appeared usually “lip-synched” to their records. Very few actually performed live.

This is the only show to be able to make the claim of having Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper as guests (though on different episodes). All three were killed together in a plane crash on February 3, 1959.

Amazingly, Elvis Presley and Ricky Nelson, two of the biggest stars of the period, never appeared on the show. The first show aired on February 2, 1958 with guests Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Willis, Johnny Ray and the Royal Teens. The final show aired on September 10, 1960. MORE . . . .

Jan and Dean makes an appearance on ABC-TV's Beechnut Show, June 25,1960

Jan and Dean makes an appearance on the ABC-TV Beechnut Show, June 25, 1960.

Addendum: For our second installment four video posting of ‘Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show with Dick Clark,’ on MCRFB (August 6, 2013), go here.

Above information provided by TV.com. For the complete 1958-1960 Dick Clark Beech Nut Show summary and artist-appearance listing for every show, go here to TV.com.

Motor City Radio Flashbacks will be showcasing many of these *rare* Dick Clark video presentations here on this website from time to time. In this third installment, we present four video classics (below) from the Dick Clark Beech-Nut show as was first broadcast on national television during that memorable late-’50s rock and roll era:

Big Bopper (September 20, 1958). Paul Anka (September 12, 1959). Sam Cooke (March 14, 1959). Jackie Wilson (March 21, 1959).

Beech-Nut Chewing Gum: sole sponsor for Dick Clark’s Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show over ABC Television 1958 – 1960

Beech-Nut Chewing Gum: sole sponsor for Dick Clark’s Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show over ABC Television 1958 – 1960

Dick Clark Beechnut Show logo

‘PAMS’ LEADER MEEK MAKES TOP 40 JINGLE . . . DECEMBER 2, 1967

March 25th, 2014

MarqueeTest-2From the MCRFB news archives: 1967

Meek Gave Top 40 Radio Its Identity

 

 

 

 

 

Dallas — Bill Meeks, Pams’ President, didn’t invent top 40 radio, but it’s quite likely that top 40 radio wouldn’t be where it is today if there hadn’t been a Bill Meeks. Meeks helped give top 40 radio its zing . . . its identification.

Bill Meeks in 1958 (Photo courtesy PAMS Productions)

Bill Meeks in 1958 (Photo courtesy PAMS Productions)

Meeks, a musician at home on saxophone, clarinet, of flute, got into the jingles-producing business while serving as air personality and salesman with KLIF here in 1947 . . . “the first jingles I ever heard of,” he said. He remembered one of those jingles as slashing on TV: “No worn-out old-time movies, no picture tubes to fail . . . ” It should be pointed out that Gordon McLendon, head of KLIF, was one of the pioneers in top 40 radio.

When Meeks began selling some of his jingles to other radio stations, “an odd thing began to happen. These stations began to climb in ratings.” In 1951, Meeks started Pams. That first year of business, Pams did $300,000 worth of business. Meeks expects to close out 1967 with more than $1.5 million in business. Some of these will be new logos for all four of ABC’s new networks. Meeks was in town last week working on the project. In addition, he is branching out of the pop music field to also specialize in R&B and country music formats. Pams tailored the jingles used on WVON (R&B) in Chicago; the station climbed to No. 1 in a recent general Pulse audience survey and, as Meeks put it, “We were there when it happened.” Meeks is also going into the TV field on a larger basis.

Started In 1936

Meeks entered the radio business in 1936 with WRR in Dallas playing with a kid band called the Humdingers. The late Ben Riddle was a member of the band.They had a Sunday show on the station called “Primrose Parade” sponsored by an oil company. Then Meeks entered North Texas State. He continued to perform, substituting with bands like the Light Crust Dough Boys and the Cass County Kids. It was about this time he met McLendon, who encouraged him to become a KLIF salesman. KLIF had two salesmen, Meeks and a man named Bruce Collier. Meeks said he had Collier’s phone tapped “so I’d know who his clients were, I had to . . . he was really a slick salesman.”

While selling advertising, Meeks was also a deejay. At one point he had a CBS show starring one of his bands — the Circle Five Ranchhands — that originated out of Houston (the band would drive down from Dallas every Saturday). He also had a live show with a band doing a daily remote from a Dallas used car lot.

Employs 33

Today, Meeks operates a firm employing 33 (most of whom are professional musicians) and keeps two studios in Dallas busy. To illustrate the flexibility of his staff members, Rick Sklar, program director of WABC in New York, and Walter Schwartz, then general manager of WABC, once saw Pams’ Tommy Lloyd at work in the studio on trumpet. Later the same day, they saw and heard Lloyd playing in a band at the State Fair. That night, visiting the local LeVee nightclub, Schwartz and Sklar were surprised to see Lloyd , this time playing in a club band. He then saluted WABC right in the middle of “Sweet Lorraine,” by playing the WABC logo.

Meeks said that the turning point for Pams was in 1960 when he came up with a variable logo recording method to allow the various logos of stations to be recorded over the same big band instrumental, giving every station its own big band sound.

Besides having jingles packages in every major market in the United States, Pams products are in countries like Australia, Great Britain, Canada, Hawaii, Mexico, and South America. The firm just completed logos for the new BBC pop music programming service in England. END.

– By CLAUDE HALL

The legendary PAMS office and studios in Dallas. PAMS: Production, Advertising and Merchandising Service

The legendary PAMS facility with office and studios, Dallas. PAMS: Production, Advertising and Merchandising Service (Photo courtesy PAMS, Dallas)

(Information and news source: Billboard; December 2, 1967).

A WKNR CONTACT NEWS PRESENTATION: DETROIT 1966

March 24th, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Official WKNR personality profile card for news director Philip Nye (Courtesy keener13.com)

Official WKNR personality profile card for news director Philip Nye (Courtesy keener13.com)

WKNR CONTACT NEWS: ‘AN ELECTRONIC DIARY OF ONE YEAR’

“These are the events of our time and of our place. WKNR News presents the sounds and voices of 1966. As they were gathered and reported by the WKNR news staff. For WKNR News this is Philip Nye.”

A WKNR CONTACT NEWS PRESENTATION: DETROIT 1968

March 24th, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Official WKNR personality profile card for news director Philip Nye (Courtesy keener13.com)

Official WKNR personality profile card for news director Philip Nye (Courtesy keener13.com)

WKNR CONTACT NEWS: ‘AN ELECTRONIC DIARY OF ONE YEAR’

“… And so it went in ’68. An incredible year in an incredible age. There were many things we would change but we can’t. Those who lived through this time will remember. For WKNR News this is Philip Nye.”

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