The Clay Cole Show

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Clay Cole Show
Isley Brothers 1.Jpg
Cole (left) with The Isley Brothers in 1962
Also known asRate the Records
Talent Teens
Teen Quiz
The Record Wagon[1]
Clay Cole's Discotek[2]
Original networkWNTA-TV
Original release1959 (1959) –
1967 (1967)

The Clay Cole Show (1959–1967) was a rock music television show based in New York City, hosted by Clay Cole.


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".[1][3] 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.[1][2] In 1965 the show was renamed Clay Cole's Discotek.[2] Clay produced a full hour with just one guest, Tony Bennett. Clay's all-star, ten-day Christmas Show in 1960 at the Brooklyn Paramount Theater holds the all-time box-office record for that theater.[4][5]

Cole was the first to introduce stand-up comics such as Richard Pryor, George Carlin and Fannie Flagg to a teen audience.[1][3] He was the first to produce a full hour of all-black performers, his historic Salute to Motown.[1][3] 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.[1][3][6]

In 1968, at the height of his show's popularity, Cole left the show, unhappy with the shift in pop music to psychedelic acid rock and heavy metal.[1][3]

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.[7][8] Cole died on December 18, 2010.[1][2][3][9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Grimes, William (24 December 2010). "Clay Cole, Host of Teenage Dance Shows, dies at 72". New York Times. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d Grimes, William (26 December 2010). "Clay Cole; hosted teen show that drew rising musical stars". Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d e f 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.
  4. ^ "Clay Cole and the Paramount Theater". Brooklyn Music. 3 August 2009. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
  5. ^ "Brooklyn Paramount". New York Theater Organ Society. Archived from the original on 26 January 2011. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
  6. ^ Weintraub, Bernard (16 February 2003). "Pioneer of a Beat Is Still Riffing for His Due". New York Times. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
  7. ^ Hinckley, David (3 December 2009). "City traffic reports are cutting through the gridlock". New York Daily News. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
  8. ^ Cole, Clay; Hinckley, David, eds. (2009). Sh-Boom!:The Explosion of Rock 'n' Roll (1953-1968). Morgan James. pp. 318. ISBN 978-1-60037-639-9. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
  9. ^ - accessed December 2010

External links[edit]