“Dance Party” in San Francisco

When I say it’s “Mashed Potato Time,” what comes to mind? If you are thinking Dee Dee Sharp instead of a dinner plate, then you know an early 1960s dance craze. Here is a refresher:

Many of us learned the hot new dances from the show, “American Bandstand.” The afternoon show first aired in Philadelphia in 1952. Dick Clark became the host in 1956 and ABC picked up the show, airing it Monday through Friday, in 1957. It was on a weekday schedule until 1963 when it moved to once a week on Saturday. The final ABC show aired September of 1987.

Our own version of “Bandstand” was called “Dance Party.” In San Francisco, starting in 1959, Dick Stewart hosted the show through 1963 in the old KPIX studio on Van Ness Avenue.  Here is a Web site devoted to Dick and the show regulars. There are wonderful photos and updates:

The regulars on the show included a young woman named Barbara Burrus. She tried to join the dancers when she was 13-years-old. Host Stewart told her she was too young. She was chosen as a regular dancer when she was 14-years-old. Fast-forward to 1967, then 21-year-old Barbara became Anne Randall, a model, actress and Playboy’s Miss May. She also married then-divorced Dick Stewart. Here are her memories of “Dance Party” and some great photos.

And here is Playboy Bunny Anne Randall in a 1968 commercial for Coppertone suntan lotion:

Today, Dick and Anne live in Sun City, Arizona. Richard Eugene (Dick) Stewart is an author of a novel. Here is his Web site:


Best wishes,