Saturday, April 01, 2006

Hey, It's RJ!

Dick Clark's American Bandstand is probably the "gold standard" for all TV dance shows. It started here in Philly back in 1957 and stayed here until 1964 when Dick moved the show to Los Angeles until it's demise in the 1980s. If it were true that he sold his soul to the devil, he got a bum deal. Dick Clark's show didn't last forever, he had his health problems of late, and the restaurant in King of Prussia where I and some of my co-workers sometimes did lunch is no more.

Since then, there have always been dance shows on the tube. Most of them were laughable in my humble opinion, whether national or local. Remember Denny Terrio's Dance Fever? Perhaps you do, but probably not because it's one you've grown nostalgic over. Another show for the TV junk heap.

OK, does anyone remember RJ's Hollywood? RJ (real or alleged real name Ron Joseph) was a local host back in the 1970s. There were a number of kids from the neighborhood who would dance on the show on Channel 29 (WTAF then, now WTXF), my sister included. Whether she'll want to admit it or not, I don't know. Sometimes we'd rather forget our past. Then again, it's just my opinion. I never liked that dance type music. Back in my teens, I had strange friendships that somehow worked. One of my best friends would indulge in smoking pot often while we hung out, I never touched it. Other friends who I hung with regularly were disco fans, with their designer jeans, gold chains, and velour shirts. I listened to rock, wore Lee's and Wrangler's, and non-descript T-shirts. They said disco would rule and rock would die. Of course, history proved them wrong. They missed RJ's show by a few years. Would they have danced on that program if it had still existed during their time? I don't know. Would they have admitted if they did? I doubt it, I know I wouldn't have. Every so often someone brings back bad memories with the question "Do you remember when you..." This would be one of those times. Back in that era, there were no VCRs. Maybe that's a good thing, saving a generation of kids from blackmail tapes as they ramble through their adult lives and careers.

Photo borrowed from the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia website at
http://www.angelfire.com/tv2/broadcastpioneers/rj.html

AND YOU MAY REMEMBER...
There was another show that came on in the mid to late 70's on Channel 6 in the late afternoon, in the spot now occupied by Oprah and her annoying gabfest. They were big on playing KC and the Sunshine Band and Wild Cherry's greatest hit (Play That Funky Music, White Boy). Can you remember the name? I can't, so no, this isn't a trivia question, I'm just grasping for an answer.

2 comments:

Brian said...

Some bad dreams never end. Kevin K. tells me that this guy's still around and provided a link to his website at http://www.rjforever.com/. He still has a show on at 2:00 on Saturday morning.

Humorous note. One of the neighborhood guys is found in one of the photos both at RJ's site and at the link I provided. Photos do survive forever on the Internet. I'll be nice and not identify the guy I'm referring to. Thanks K for pointing it out.

Brian said...

Ha! My sister stopped by for a visit tonight. I had asked her if she remembered the show and if she's admit to dancing on it if anyone had brought it up.. Yes, she remembered, and NO, she would never tell anyone she was on it.

This goes to confirm my thoughts that the old local dance shows are the 70s equivalent of today's kids posting stupid videos on the internet of themselves playing air guitar, with light sabres, or reciting a song singing that everyone's gay (no lie, I saw it on IFilm.com). Maybe those who are loners have an advantage, they'll never have these things come back to haunt them later in life.