I was in high school when Dick Clark and his afternoon TV program, "American Bandstand," began being carried by the Houston ABC affiliated station, KTRK-TV. Less than three years before, Houston radio DJs Bill "Rascal" McCaskill (KREL-AM) and Paul Berlin (KNUZ-AM) had introduced to local teens what would soon be called "Rock and Roll."
Most weekday afternoons, my mom and I would sit in the family living room in front of the 21-inch black and white RCA TV and together watch "American Bandstand."
In 1957, a country-western singer, Bobby Helms, introduced two songs on American Bandstand, "Special Angel" and "Jingle Bell Rock." What was odd about this was the cross-over of a country-western performer into the world of rock and roll. He wasn't like Paul Anka or the Platters.
Both tunes are classics and continue to be played today, especially "Jingle Bell Rock" at Christmas time.
What both tunes do for me is they remind me of those afternoons my mom and I enjoyed together. I love thinking about them, especially at Christmas time.
And I suppose I should be honest by admitting that "Special Angel" reminds me of my 1957 girlfriend --- and it does -- but I'm not sure who she might have been. I do know for sure that she wasn't the one in 1958 after I had hit New Orleans for college at Tulane.
BILL CHERRY, REALTORS
DALLAS - PARK CITIES
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