Edited for reading and clarity

By Eddie Kelly

B” GROUP (1959 – 1961):  There were so many Regulars during this time and too many to mention.  Forgive me!  Frani and Carole really came into their own during this time. Carmen & Ivette came on the scene like a tornado. The girls with the streak.  The viewers also loved Mike BalaraPat “The Queen of the Hop’, Peggy, Jimmy, Joan, Barbara, Walt, Janet, Tex, Billy, Mary, Steve, Susan, Frank, Norman, Joyce, Myrna and so many others.


This group could never be compared to the “A” Group. As sad as this is, I found this group and some of the crossovers from the “A” group to be competitive, jealous, prejudiced and many disliked each other.


The Regulars always monitored each others mail.  One time, a male Regular all of a sudden received a large amount of mail. It was unusual for him to receive that much mail and bought a lot attention to himself. We later found out that he placed his name in the pen pal section of a teen magazine. It was very embarrassing for him. I was there the day Pat found her mail in the trash.  I think it was her last day on the show.  She was extremely upset with Dick.  I think mail that was meant for  other Regulars was also going in the trash.


I feel the show affected many of us due to the instant celebrity. Being teenagers, we were at a very vulnerable age.  We were so disliked in Philadelphia, and so loved everywhere else.  Dick certainly did not like everyone.  He did have his favorites. The dance contests on American Bandstand were ultimately a popularity poll. I feel the votes for the contests were never counted.  Manually?  Are you kidding? I think we all knew Dick chose the winners and the order in which they won. I am not saying the winning couple did not deserve to win. Great for them.  They deserved something in return for their dedication to the show.

On the set. Dick Clark is at the podium.

Dick made sure a lot of us from group B were called back from the camera when we were on set – favorites were allowed hog a lot of camera time.  We all loved hogging but there had to be a limit. Our group(B) spent more time in the back compared to the “A” & “C” Group. In April 1961, there was a major exodus of Regulars after the Pony Contest. Dick came up with a great number of excuses to let us all go. The reason? Not completely sure and we will never know, but I think he was preparing the American Bandstand viewership for the move to California.