The Clay Cole Show
|The Clay Cole Show|
Cole (left) with The Isley Brothers in 1962
|Also known as||Rate the Records
The Record Wagon
Clay Cole's Discotek
|Original release||1959 – 1968|
First broadcast on WNTA-TV (now WNET) in September 1959 as Rate the Records, within two months the format was changed, and an hour-long Saturday-night show was added. In the summer months, the show was expanded to an hour, six nights a week, live from New Jersey's Palisades Amusement Park, where Chubby Checker first performed and danced "The Twist". When WNTA-TV was sold in 1963 the show moved to WPIX-TV, where for five years it was successful, thanks to first-time guest appearances of The Rolling Stones (on a program with one other guest act--The Beatles), Neil Diamond, Dionne Warwick, Simon & Garfunkel, Richie Havens, Tony Orlando, Blood, Sweat & Tears and The Rascals. In 1965 the show was renamed Clay Cole's Discotek. Clay produced a full hour with just one guest, Tony Bennett. Clay's all-star, ten-day Christmas Show at the Brooklyn Paramount Theater holds the all-time box-office record for that theater.
Cole was the first to introduce stand-up comics such as Richard Pryor, George Carlin and Fannie Flagg to a teen audience. He was the first to produce a full hour of all-black performers, his historic Salute to Motown Unlike other teen music show hosts, Cole danced to the music he played on his shows; he was also unafraid to book lesser-known performers.
His memoir of the early years of rock and roll and live television, Sh-Boom! The Explosion of Rock 'n' Roll (1953-1968) has been published by Morgan James. Cole died on December 18, 2010.
- Grimes, William (24 December 2010). "Clay Cole, Host of Teenage Dance Shows, dies at 72". New York Times. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
- Grimes, William (26 December 2010). "Clay Cole; hosted teen show that drew rising musical stars". Boston.com. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
- Hinckley, David (21 December 2010). "Clay Cole, legendary 1960s rock 'n' roll teen guru who introduced Rolling Stones, dies at almost 73". New York Daily News. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
- "Clay Cole and the Paramount Theater". Brooklyn Music. 3 August 2009. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
- "Brooklyn Paramount". New York Theater Organ Society. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
- Weintraub, Bernard (16 February 2003). "Pioneer of a Beat Is Still Riffing for His Due". New York Times. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
- Hinckley, David (3 December 2009). "City traffic reports are cutting through the gridlock". New York Daily News. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
- Cole, Clay; Hinckley, David, eds. (2009). Sh-Boom!:The Explosion of Rock 'n' Roll (1953-1968). Morgan James. p. 318. ISBN 1-60037-639-8. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
- Thedeadrockstarsclub.com - accessed December 2010