Rock, Roll and Remember





The second medley in the concert is entitled Rock, Roll and Remember. It is subtitled “Salute to Dick Clark”. The arrangement was written by Ted Ricketts (see below) in 2012.





Richard Wagstaff Clark (1929 – 2012) was an American television and radio personality and television producer who hosted American Bandstand from 1956 to 1989. He also hosted five incarnations of the Pyramid game show from 1973 to 1988 and Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, which broadcast New Year's Eve celebrations in New York City's Times Square from 1973 through 1999 and again from 2001 through 2004.


As host of American Bandstand, Clark introduced rock and roll to many Americans. The show gave many new music artists their first exposure to national audiences, including Ike & Tina Turner, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Stevie Wonder, Simon & Garfunkel, Iggy Pop, Prince, Talking Heads, and Madonna. Episodes he hosted were among the first in which black people and white people performed on the same stage, and they were among the first in which the live studio audience sat down together without racial segregation.


Singer Paul Anka claimed that Bandstand was responsible for creating a “youth culture”. Due to his perennially youthful appearance and his largely teenaged audience of American Bandstand, Clark was often referred to as “America's oldest teenager” or “the world's oldest teenager”.


In his off-stage roles, Clark served as chief executive officer of the Dick Clark Productions company (though he sold his financial interest in the company during his later years). He also founded the American Bandstand Diner, a restaurant chain themed after the television program of the same name. In 1973, he created and produced the annual American Music Awards show, similar to the Grammy Awards.


The first song in the medley is titled “Bandstand Boogie”. It was written in 1954 by Charles Albertine, with lyrics by Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman added in 1975. Various orchestrations of the song were used to open and close the show for the entire 32 years of its run.





The second song in the medley is “Rock Around the Clock”. It is a rock and roll song in the 12-bar blues format written by Max C. Freedman and James E. Myers (the latter being under the pseudonym “Jimmy De Knight”) in 1952. The best-known and most successful rendition was recorded by Bill Haley & His Comets in 1954 for American Decca. It was a number one single for two months.


It was the first rock and roll record to top the pop charts in both the US and UK—Bill Haley had American chart success with "Crazy Man, Crazy" in 1953, and in 1954, "Shake, Rattle and Roll" sung by Big Joe Turner reached No. 1 on the Billboard R&B chart. Haley's recording became an anthem for rebellious 1950s youth, particularly after it was included in the 1955 film Blackboard Jungle. It was number 1 on the pop charts for two months and went to number 3 on the R&B chart.


The recording is widely considered to be the song that, more than any other, brought rock and roll into mainstream culture around the world. The song is ranked No. 159 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.


Although it was first recorded by Italian-American band Sonny Dae and His Knights on March 20, 1954, Myers claimed the song had been written specifically for Haley but, for legal reasons, Haley was unable to record it himself until April 12, 1954.


The original full title of the song was “We're Gonna Rock Around the Clock Tonight!”. This was later shortened to “(We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock”, though this form is generally only used on releases of the 1954 Bill Haley Decca Records recording; most other recordings of this song by Haley and others (including Sonny Dae) shorten this title further to its present form.


In 2018, it was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or artistically significant”.


The third song in the medley is “The Twist”. It was written and originally released in 1958 by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters as a B-side to “Teardrops on Your Letter”. It was inspired by the twist dance craze. Ballard's version was a moderate hit, peaking at number 28 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960. On the US Billboard Hot R&B Sides chart, the original version of "The Twist" first peaked at number 16 in 1959 and at number six in 1960. By 1962, the record sold in excess of one million copies, becoming Ballard's fourth million seller.





Chubby Checker's 1960 cover version of the song reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on September 19, 1960, where it stayed for one week, and setting a record at the time as the only song to reach number 1 in two different hit parade runs when it resurfaced and topped the popular hit parade again for two weeks starting on January 13, 1962. This would not happen for another song for nearly 59 years until December 2020, when Mariah Carey's “All I Want for Christmas Is You” reached the summit after previously topping in another separate chart run in December 2019.


In 1988, “The Twist” again became popular due to a new recording of the song by The Fat Boys featuring Chubby Checker. This version reached number 2 in the United Kingdom and number 1 in Germany. In 2014, Billboard magazine declared the song the “biggest hit” of the 1960s.





The fourth song in medley, “Don’t Worry, Baby” was released by the Beach Boys from their March 1964 album Shut Down Volume 2. Written by Brian Wilson and Roger Christian, Wilson’s lead vocal on the track is considered one of his defining performances, and he later referred to “Don't Worry Baby” as perhaps the Beach Boys' finest record. It was issued as the B-side of “I Get Around”, and charted separately at number 24.


Deriving from Wilson's obsession with the Ronettes’ 1963 hit “Be My Baby”, “Don't Worry Baby” has a similar musical structure, but different subject matter and production approach. The lyrics portray a young man who agrees, in a fit of bragging, to a drag race, much to his regret, and is subsequently consoled by his girlfriend with the song’s title phrase. The song was originally offered to the Ronettes, but was rejected by their producer, Phil Spector, leaving Wilson to produce it for his own band. On the recording, all of the Beach Boys played their own instruments.


“Don't Worry Baby” has appeared in several critics' rankings lists, including Spin’s “100 Greatest Singles of All Time”, Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”, and Pitchfork’s “200 Greatest Songs of the 1960s”. Cover versions have been recorded by many acts, including the Bay City Rollers, B.J. Thomas, and Ronnie Spector. Thomas’ version outperformed the sales of the original record, reaching number 17 in the U.S. and number 1 in Canada. The Beach Boys rerecorded the song with Lorrie Morgan for their 1996 album Stars and Stripes Vol. 1.





The fifth song in the medley, “Rockin' Robin” (originally released as “Rock-In Robin” on the Class Records 45 single) was written by Leon René under the pseudonym Jimmie Thomas, and recorded by American singer Bobby Day in 1958. It was Day's biggest hit single, becoming a number two hit on the Billboard Hot 100, and spent one week at the top of the R&B sales chart. Michael Jackson recorded his own version of the song in 1972, which also achieved success.





The sixth song in the medley, “Y.M.C.A.” is associated with the American disco group Village People. It was written by Jacques Morali (also the record’s producer) and Victor Williams and released in October 1978 by Casablanca Records as the only single from their third studio album, Cruisin’ (1978). A medley with “Hot Cop” reached No. 2 on the US Billboard Dance Music/Club Play Singles chart, while the song reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1979, placing behind both “Le Freak” by Chic and “Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?” by Rod Stewart. Outside the US, “Y.M.C.A.” reached No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart around the same time, becoming the group's biggest hit. It has sold 12 million copies worldwide.


The song remains popular and is played at many sporting events in the US and Europe, with crowds joining in on the dance by spelling out the four letters of the song's title via arm movements.


In September 2000, “Y.M.C.A.” was used as the Space Shuttle wake-up call on day 11 of STS-106. In 2009, “Y.M.C.A.” set a Guinness World Record when over 44,000 people danced to Village People’s live performance of the song at the 2008 Sun Bowl game in El Paso, Texas.


“Y.M.C.A.” is No. 7 on VH1’s list of The 100 Greatest Dance Songs of the 20th Century. In 2020, “Y.M.C.A.” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. In its official press release, the Library noted that “back in its heyday, ‘Y.M.C.A.’ was a hit around the world, going to No. 1 on the charts in over 15 countries, and its ongoing popularity is evidence that, despite the naysayers, disco has never truly died”.





The final song in the medley is a reference to Dick Clark’s twenty-nine years of hosting a celebration of New Year’s Eve in Time Square, New York.


“Auld Lang Syne” is a popular Scottish song, particularly in the English-speaking world. Traditionally, it is sung to bid farewell to the old year at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve. By extension, it is also often heard at funerals, graduations, and as a farewell or ending to other occasions; for instance, many branches of the Scouting movement use it to close jamborees and other functions.


The text is a Scots-language poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 but based on an older Scottish folk song. In 1799, it was set to a traditional tune, which has since become standard. The poem's title may be translated into standard English as “old long since” or, less literally, “long long ago”, “days gone by”, “times long past” or “old times. Consequently, “For auld lang syne”, as it appears in the first line of the chorus, might be loosely translated as “for the sake of old times”.





Arranger Ted Ricketts (b. 1945) is a highly creative music professional with national and international experience producing and directing live and recorded music. In his 24-year tenure as Music Director and Producer for Walt Disney World, Ted contributed to hundreds of stage shows, parades, concerts and atmospheric instrumental and vocal groups for Walt Disney World Resort, Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris. In addition, he produced recordings in major cities in Europe, Asia, Canada and the United States.


As an innovative composer, arranger and orchestrator, Ted's commissioned and published works have been heard on television, commercially produced albums, in Walt Disney theme parks, and performed live throughout the world. Mr. Ricketts holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Masters of Arts in Music from California State University at Long Beach. Early in his career, he served as Assistant Director of the marching band and concert band at Long Beach City College. At the high school level, Ted was Director of Music at Pacifica High School in Garden Grove, CA.


In recent years, Ted has been a college instructor in Commercial Music Arranging at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. Ted has recently relocated to Los Angeles, where he is currently a freelance music director, producer, composer and arranger.


The music for Rock, Roll and Remember was provided for the band by Mary Bartley.