Music to Remember: Dick Clark’s Summer Caravan of Stars

The high-pitched shrieks of teenage girls must have been heard all over Davenport on September 1, 1964. That was the night that  Dick Clark’s Summer Caravan of Stars made a stop at the RKO Orpheum Theatre (now the Adler Theatre).

It was a night to remember for many young hearts to be sure.

Dick Clark was not able to join the tour that summer, but girl groups The Dixie Cups and The Crystals, singer and songwriter Gene Pitney, R & B singer Major Lance, and Fabiano Anthony Forte who was better known as Fabian took the stage that night.

Two shows were scheduled for September 1st. The first show went off at 6:00 p.m. and the second at 8:30 p.m. Main floor tickets at the first show were $2.50 and $2.00 for the balcony. Prices went up for the 8:30 show with main floor tickets running $3.00 and balcony $2.50.

The show nearly went on without Fabian after he was stopped for speeding by the Rock Island Police Department as he drove in a rented white Cadillac automobile. Patrolmen Wilbur Lartz, Harold Schaab and Leonard Garrison clocked Fabian going 46 miles an hour in a 30 mile an hour zone on 6th Avenue in Rock Island on his way to the show in Davenport from the Quad-City Airport.

They reported he was a very courteous young man.

Later, the newspaper estimated his ticket to probably cost him $21 as the normal speeding ticket at that time was $1 for each mile per hour over the speed limit plus $5 court costs. Fabian’s court date was set for September 18th, but the courts let it be known he was not expected to appear. It’s possible they released this information in the hopes of preventing a crush of teenage girls on the courthouse steps!

But Fabian did eventually appear  at the concert.   The Times-Democrat reported on September 2, 1964 that 14 acts in all performed their popular hits with Fabian as the emcee of the evening. He  also performed a few of his past hits as well.*

Dick Clark’s Summer Caravan of Stars would visit Davenport again, allowing local teenagers the chance to see in person the popular music artists  frequently featured on Mr. Clark’s weekly American Bandstand television show. Mr. Clark did emcee at some of these shows and also appeared in the Quad Cities to promote other ventures over the years.

Dick Clark passed away on April 18, 2012. We are sure many adults are able to look back at their teenage years and remember with fondness Mr. Clark, his American Bandstand television show, and the music he presented to us for so many decades.

Thank you for the good times, Mr. Clark.

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* By that point, he had retired from singing to focus on his movie career –at the ripe old age of 21.

(posted by Amy D.)

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