Recalling early days of rock 'n' roll on local TV | Department of Media Arts
March 3, 2015

Recalling early days of rock 'n' roll on local TV

Sump'n Else -- Buschardt and SaulsBud Buschardt and Sam Sauls present the story of a top-rated local television bandstand show that originated in Dallas. Bandstand shows could have happened anywhere in the world where there was a television station, teenagers, a disc-jockey and pop music. The teenage advertising market was very important during this period of music history.

The Sump'n Else Show began on September 26, 1965, and ran until January 26, 1968. That time was known as "the British Invasion" years where a majority of pop music and fashions came from England.

The show was hosted by Ron Chapman who later became a National Radio Hall of Fame morning personality on KVIL, then KLUV in Dallas. Chapman considered the stars of Sump'n Else to be four high school girls who danced on risers above the studio dance floor. Local and national pop music bands were also featured on the weekday late afternoon show.

Sump'n Else originated live from WFAA-TV's remote studio in NorthPark Shopping Center. The show started, and NorthPark opened, 50 years ago this year.

The book offers details on how Sump'n Else was like, but yet differed from many of the other bandstand shows that originated in the U.S., England, Australia and many other countries. Research and planning of the book began in 2006. There are books available on national bandstand shows but this is one of the first to take the reader behind the scenes of a local show.

Buschardt was unit manager-floorman-assistant director at the Dallas studio of WFAA-TV in NorthPark Center. Now Buschardt shares his personal memories of that bygone era in a fascinating, detailed format in the new e-Book and tabletop music/television history book, The Sump'n Else Show.

Nationally, ABC-TV's American Bandstand with Dick Clark opened up avenues for local stations to produce their own bandstand shows. Television brought to the small screen the earlier days of dancing in school gyms where sock hops were born.

The Sump'n Else Show followed the 1964 success of WFAA-TV's Saturday night lip-synch show for teens and their parents that starred Dallas/Fort Worth area teenagers. Sump'n Else was designed for the teen audience because fast camera movements, video switching to the beat of the music and special effects did not appeal to most adults.

The show had new music, dancing, fashion, contests, food, and "The Little Group" -- a group of four girls dancing on a platform off the dance floor. The original group included Calleen Anderegg, Delpha Teague, Joan Prather and Kathy Forney -- and the book includes updates on where they are and their accomplishments.

Show host Ron Chapman later made tremendous impacts on audiences of radio stations KVIL and KLUV. This is the only book that tells Chapman's story from his beginning high school days in the entertainment business through his successes at KLIF, WFAA-TV, and KVIL until his retirement from KLUV.

National guest music stars like Paul Revere and the Raiders, Herman's Hermits, The Monkees, and The Righteous Brothers made appearances on the show. Local area musicians including The 13th Floor Elevators, The Five Americans, Southwest F.O.B., The Novas, Scotty McKay, Kenny & The Kasuals, Those Guys and many more were also featured guests on Sump'n Else.

Sump'n Else book signing.There are pages of great old photos and lists of songs that were played on the show. The book includes details about NorthPark stores in 1965, the studio location, and other shows that were televised or taped from there. Buschardt also lets readers in on the station staff and their jokes.

Sauls was the driving force behind the creation of the book since he believed this piece of television history needed to be documented because his research showed that not much information was available on local television bandstand shows. Both Sauls and Buschardt had the desire and hope to correct some of the misinformation now on the Internet about the show.

The Sump'n Else Show is not only for those who remember the show and the era of television bandstands, but it is also for a curious younger generation that might have only heard about Sump'n Else from their parents or grandparents, or have read about it on the Internet. Although the show was based in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, readers from other areas might reflect back to the television bandstand show that aired in their hometown.

About the Authors

  • Bud Buschardt

    A Houston native, Buschardt is an Adjunct Professor in UNT's Department of Media Arts where he has helped educate tomorrow's broadcasters for more than 40 years. He has been an on-air personality, a radio consultant, a radio/television producer and writer, and is a record collector. Bud has a home studio and a music library of more than 200,000 records, tapes and CDs. In 1977, he received a screen credit for music research on Columbia Pictures' The Buddy Holly Story.

    For Buschardt, it began right out of The University of Houston in 1963 when, armed with a Radio-Television degree, he was fortunate to join WFAA-TV. His second week there found him working on the studio crew covering the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Then in 1967, long before MTV existed, he produced the first concept music video to be shown in North Texas. His interest in radio from college days led to hosting the first regularly scheduled oldies show in Dallas/Fort Worth. The show 57 Nostalgia Place aired Sunday nights on WFAA-AM. It was there that Buschardt became known as the "musicologist" of Dallas/Fort Worth. In 1981 he moved to KVIL-FM for a 10-year stay as producer and host of the KVIL Oldies show. He joined ABC Radio Networks in 1989 to host Night Train, the Saturday Oldies Show and eventually became program director of the Stardust (later Timeless) format. He retired from ABC in 2007 and was inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame in 2010 where he now serves as a chairman.

  • Dr. Samuel Sauls

    Sauls received the "Educator of the Year" award from the Texas Association of Broadcasters in 2014. He has been in the field of education for more than three decades. He served as a lecturer, assistant professor and associate professor at the UNT, where he taught alongside Buschardt for more than 15 years before being named associate chair and director of graduate studies for UNT's Department of Media Arts. During some of his time at UNT he also managed the campus radio station, KNTU-FM.

    Now retired, friends and colleagues still remark on his wit, humor and very approachable style which nurtured and encouraged hundreds of broadcasting students. Sauls holds Associate, Bachelor of Arts, and Master of Arts degrees in Radio, Television and Film and a doctorate degree in Higher Education Administration with a business minor. He is also the author of several college text books.

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