Hello. I am a dance historian and NYU professor researching televised teen
dance programs of the 1950s and 1960s.
I am particularly interested in Tulsas Dance Party and
would be interested in hearing from anyone affiliated with the program
dancers on the shows or any behind the scenes people such as
directors. cameramen, and production assistants.
Im also interested in hearing from any African Americans who may have
danced on the shows and getting their perspective. I welcome any reminiscences,
memories, or anecdotes.
I'm a native Tulsan and love this site. Much to my utter surprise..I am
"featured" as a dancer on the Dance Party photo along with my girlfriend
(red hair).Think this was in '68 or the 8th grade. I am the one with sport
coat probably dancing the bugaloo that I just learned at Pink Barn.
How about Dance Party on KOTV Saturday afternoons with the Pepsi Dancers
in their white gogo books dancing on pedestals?
And who can forget dance lessons at the Pink Barn or Skilly's? Or Boot's
Drive In at 17th & Sheridan; Miller's Drive In on Admiral?
(from Guestbook 5) Rex Brown said:
I'm surprised you have no mention of Dance Party!?!
A Saturday morning American Bandstand-wannabe sponsored by Pepsi. It was
on KOTV and, I believe, it was hosted by Clayton Vaughn? (actually, Clayton
stuck with the news department...webmaster) They had this great logo
of a chick doing the go-go salute. Far out, man.
(from Guestbook 45) Terry N. Burcham said:
Anybody remember the Rogues V Band featuring I.J. Ganem and
Randy Ess.... I used to play the bass in that group... What a great
time at all the Pepsi dances and experiences of playing on Dance Party....
The Battle of the Bands at Oertle's parking lot... What a wonderful time
in our highschool years .. 64-68...
My brother Alan was the bass player in "Randy Ess and the Invisible Band"
in the late 70s/early 80s...and Randy's band, "Tulsa" more recently. Left
is a still of Randy with the Rogues V.
The "Rogues V" also featured Jamie Oldaker (Essence, Eric Clapton,
(from Guestbook 67) Bard Coats said:
I played Bass Guitar in the Rogues V with Randy Ess, I.J. Ganem & Jamie
Oldaker. Terry Burcham's comments about the band are accurate. I was very
fortunate to know and play with these guys. They're all still full-time musicians
and I'll treasure the work we did in the mid-60's.
(from Guestbook 102) Rodney Lay said:
Great Page! Just wanted to let you know that my band and I worked the "Dance
Party" on KOTV for about a year back in the mid-60's. The host then was Mike
Flynn. We used to play a lot of "sock-hops" for KAKC at the Cimarron Ballroom,
Cains Ballroom and the Continental Arena. It was at those hops I met (Leon)
Russell Bridges, Johnny (J.J.) Cale, David Gates (Bread), Gary Busey and
Gailard Sartain. Back in the 60's, KAKC also hosted an appreciation night
at Oertles Shopping Center parking lot using our band. The police reported
that 110,000 people attended. It is still the record for a concert held in
Tulsa, as far as I know. Those were great times and I'm proud to be a part
of Tulsa's entertainment history.
Rodney Lay (Rodney and the Blazers)
(from Guestbook 104) Jimmy Mosby said:
May 1966 I played Dance Party, THE Band was Roger Wayne and the Clique. We
were a three-piece rock and roll band. I was still in high school. Playing
Dance party was a gas...
(from Guestbook 114) Becky Hobbs said:
I played DANCE PARTY several times back in the mid-60's with my all-girl
band, FOUR FACES OF EVE from Bartlesville. Lee Bayley was the host and we
had big fun! I'm still rockin' after all these years!
Today, Becky is a very successful songwriter and performer. You can read
more about her at her web site:
I was unaware of the "(Tulsa TV) Memories" location and am happy to
restore a link to the city.
Needless to say, after doing morning drive for KAKC during the late 60s and
doing "Pepsi's Dance Party" at the same time, Tulsa is one my fondest memories.
I was recently interviewed (at Channel 8 in Dallas) for the upcoming KOTV
50th program and was asked if I missed the city. Let it be known...I miss
the city and I miss the people. I am still indebted to Dick Schmitz for
hiring me at KAKC and Steve Hope for lining me up with Pepsi. I left
Tulsa in '71 for Los Angeles where I ran a company programming 300+ radio
stations, then ran a company for the Disneys in Dallas, then formed my own
company to consult radio stations nationwide and am still doing that. In
Tulsa I helped put K107 on the air, put Magic99 on the air, and worked with
KRMG when they returned to #1.
In addition to programming radio stations I do limited voice work...if you
call the city of Dallas chances are it will be me talking to you if put on
hold...or Nations Bank..and others. It would be nice to hear from any of
you who were part of the great years in Tulsa.
(from Guestbook 23) Lowell Burch said:
I like Hanson, too, but it was really good to see Lee Bayley's letter and
picture. I was a teen when the show was on and all the local bands and kids
went down to be on it. The production value was really decent for a local
(color pictures courtesy of KOTV's Art Director Adam Trickey and Web Site
Producer Steve Warren)
(from email, 6/14/2000) Lee Woodward said:
Many people who come to this site seem to have fond memories of our old friend
and TV Director Supreme...Ralph Bardgett. I am attaching a photo of
him and myself on the set of "Dance Party." Ralph was cooler than a cameraman
we had named "Cool Breeze" (Lawrence Leathers). Ralph could direct
anything and did. He was of course underpaid like the rest of us.
To just get off on a side-bar, I have read some entries about how KOTV couldn't
afford this and that. Let me tell you this: if KOTV were making the money
now that was coming in back then, they would be featured in the Wall Street
Journal. The entire Corinthian chain was bought with the proceeds from KOTV.
All the money was going to New York. A lot of it to pay for the "Air Heads"
who were thinking up new ways to kill local Tulsa TV. Don't ever forget,
loyal subjects, it was they that wanted Lionel dead. And they succeeded!
(KOTV is now owned by Griffin Communications...Webmaster)
Back to the the picture, Ralph and I are checking the mail from some giveaway
on Dance Party! I'll send some of my co-hosts later.
the early 1960s: Edie Washburn, Lee Woodward and contest winners. Courtesy
(from Guestbook 51) Bill Van Burkleo said:
I remember KOTV Dance Party. I think that I was the first "Favorite football
player". I still have the trophy they gave me. My sister Connie used to dance
on that show and then went to Dick Clark's dance party and danced there some.
Those days got me interested in television and while playing professional
football in Canada I produced and directed TV in Canada. I then came back
to Tulsa and was one of Tulsa Cable Television's first employees as their
sports and special events director. Probably would still be in Television
but went back to school and now practice Emergency Medicine.
(from Guestbook 51) Lee Woodward said:
Good to hear from Bill Van Burkleo. He is one of a few "Dance Party" attendees
I remember from my period of hosting that show. I'm glad you were smart enough
to get into medicine, Bill!
(from Guestbook 163) Barton Webster said:
Was on KOTV Dance Party a lot, did some modeling for Clarke's on it late
50's, early 60's. Hello to Tom Shepard, Gailard, and all old friends from
(from Guestbook 31) Noel Confer said:
There have been mentions of the dance show on KOTV. The first host was Chris
Alexander, aka Chris Lane. I'm in touch with him in L.A. He's still in
the biz. The KTUL "Dance Party" was hosted by Buddy Hamilton, now
known as Hank Hamilton in L.A. where he was a big time ad man, producing
and writing TV spots. The KAKC D.J, Bill Walker, is still producer
in L.A. I worked for him on one show when I first went back to Calif.
(from Guestbook 122) Don Norton said:
Jack Alexander, a KOTV announcer in the l950s, died in Texas late
last year, according to his son. Incidentally, Jack joined the staff before
Chris Lane Alexander came on the scene, so that's why Chris became "Chris
Lane" on the air.
(from Guestbook 40) Jeannie Moore Crabtree said:
Hello, I danced on Party Line with Chris. Every Saturday afternoon my mother
& grandmother would take my sister & I with some of our friends.
When it went off the air, they had a dance at Cain's Ballroom. They called
a teen rock & roll singer every week. I got to talk to Tommy Sands.
(from Guestbook 32) Chris Lane said:
Hi everyone! What a pleasure it is for me to perhaps be able to contact old
friends and colleagues. I first worked at KOTV and from there was asked to
join KAKC as a DJ.... became program director there, and from that, became
national program director for Lester Kamin, who owned KAKC, KIOA,
Des Moines, and KATR, Corpus Christi. From there a career of broadcasting,
telecasting, and film work. I retired circa 1996. My wife, Lorna, is an ESL
teacher at the high school level. I look forward to hearing from you.
In answer to Guestbook 31, Noel Confer, wishing to have more names
of the first top 40 station in Tulsa, KAKC:
Other folks were: DJ Bud Curry, Frank Lawrence, who was sales and on the
air, Don Hughes, news, and from Altus, Oklahoma, Roy Cordell, sales manager.
The last I heard of Roy, he was in Bend, Oregon. Kelly (and I cannot remember
the first name because we referred to him on air only as KELLY -- shame on
me) who later owned radio stations in 2 or 3 Oklahoma markets. Bill Alred,
of sales, and Bob Hoth, who was General Manager after John Pace left. We
also as a promotion backed Anita Bryant for the Miss Tulsa contest.
She won that and we sent two busloads of listeners to Oklahoma City for the
Miss Oklahoma contest, which she won. She later, of course, ran for Miss
America and was assisted by Don Cherry's (the recording artist) wife, who
was a former Miss America. She was a runner-up, and her career went from
2/14/2000: Sadly, we received word from Noel Confer
that Chris passed away today. Chris' wife, Lorna
(firstname.lastname@example.org), would love
to hear any anecdotes you have about Chris' life and career.