Clay Cole

THE CLAY COLE SHOW LIVE ON STAGE

1960s Television legend CLAY COLE returns, in his first stage show appearance in 40 years, featuring the original "JERSEY GIRLS" and YO! VINNY and his house-rockin’ show-stopping ‘New Wop’ band!

Available 2010 Season Clay Cole is back! An old friend returns! A new face from the 1960s, to shake up the 2010 concert season, with an all-new, first-rate, free-wheeling, fun-and-funny 90-minute revue. Clay and his company of ten top singers and musicians will take you back to his legendary days at the Brooklyn Paramount, Palisades Park and celebrate the Clay Cole Show’s 50th Anniversary (Clay Cole signed-on New York City TV in September 1959 to 1968) In larger venues, with Clay as MC, we can easily augment the show with ‘special guest stars’ and groups, to expand the production. The Clay Cole Show will be the hot new attraction for 2010 with Denise, Bernadette and Linda, the original JERSEY GIRLS and the one and only YO! VINNY and his explosive BRONX WANDERERS!

THIS SHOW IS EXPLOSIVE AND CAN FILL ANY VENUE. CLAY COLE IS AN OLD "FRESH FACE" AND TV LEGEND THAT BROUGHT MOST OF THE 50'S AND 60'S ICON ARTISTS INTO YOUR LIVING ROOMS FOR THE FIRST TIME ON HIS HIT SHOW, "THE CLAY COLE SHOW"

HE HAS DECIDED TO COME OUT OF RETIREMENT AND RECREATE THE EXCITEMENT OF HIS HIT SHGW LIVE ON STAGE.

THIS COUPLED WITH "THE ORIGINAL JERSEY GIRLS", "YO VINNIE" AND "THE BRONX WANDERERS PLUS SURPRISE ORIGINAL NATIONAL RECORDING ARTISTS ARE SURE TO FILL ANY VENUE.

In 1959, New York City was still the epicenter of rock ‘n’ roll – The Brill Building song-writers, subway a cappella groups, mom-and-pop record labels, the Apollo and the Copa.

I signed on to host of 'Rate the Records" on September 10, 1959, WNTA Ch 13 - (now PBS-WNET), but that rigid format was quickly abandoned to accommodate a more free-wheeling style, on a program called 'The Record Wagon'. Within two months, the show's popularity prompted Ch 13 to add a Saturday night hour, a timeslot I dominated for the next nine years.

In the summer months, the show was expanded to a full hour, six nights a week, live from Palisades Amusement Park, where Chubby Checker first performed and danced The Twist, Brian Hyland introduced The Itsy-Bitsy Bikini and the first of many annual Miss American Teenager was crowned.

1960 was a busy year; I was now on-the-air "live" seven days a week, the first to take a rock 'n' roll show" to the Catskills (Dion and Linda Scott at the Concord), recorded my first Roulette single, appeared in Columbia Pictures "Twist Around the Clock," sang and danced in a stage productiuon of "Flower Drum Song," headlined the first of many shows at the Apollo, and broke box office records with my ten-day, all-star Christmas Show at the Brooklyn Paramount Theatre.

When WNTA's licence was sold to a public broadcasting foundation, the show moved to WPIX-Ch 11, where for the next five years it was wildly successful, thanks to first-time guest appearances of the Rolling Stones on a program with one other group, the Beatles, Neil Diamond, Dionne Warwick, Simon & Garfunkel, Richie Havens, Tony Orlando, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Lovin' Spoonful, Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, the Young Rascals and a full-hour with just one guest, Tony Bennett.

In the mid-Sixties, the Clay Cole Show became the first stop for the British Boy Bands; the Moody Blues, Gerry & the Pacemakers, the Dave Clark 5, Yardbirds, Animals, Who, Doors, and Herman's Hermits were among the many groups who stopped by. "New York was home to The Ed Sullivan Show and The Clay Cole Show and when we first came to America, we were told we must do Clay Cole and Ed Sullivan," said Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits. "Trouble is, we didn't know which was which."

I was also first to introduce stand-up comics such as Richard Pryor, George Carlin, and Fannie Flagg to a teen audience; the first to produce a full hour of all African-American performers (our historic Salute to Motown); first to introduced music video clips and disco. (Clay Cole’s Disk-O-Tek aired in 1965, a full twelve years before Saturday Night Fever).

At the height of the show's popularity, I walked away in 1968. Channel 11 erased all the historic tapes in a cost-cutting move; only one tape is known to exist, from a 1958 show, "Al Rucker & The Seven Teens" broadcast on WJAR-TV, Providence, RI.

The Early Years: I was a New Year's baby, born in the early hours of January 1, 1938 in Youngstown, Ohio as Albert Rucker, Jr. I bcame a juvenile radio and stage actor, and in 1953, at 15 became the host of a long-running (1953-1957) Saturday night pop-music television show on WKBN and WFMJ. In 1957 I came to New York City, first as an NBC Page, then a production assistant on the troubled quiz show Twenty-One and a TV host at WJAR-TV in Providence, RI. In 1959, when I was contracted to Ch 13, producers changed my name to Clay Cole, a distant relative.

The Clay Cole Show (1959-1968) was unique among TV's rock 'n' roll studio dance shows, witty and stylish with a sophisticated New York point of view. It was Clay's youth (21), his fully-integrated studio audience and dancing ability that set him apart. The Rolling Stones rehearsal 1964: Bill Wyman was the old-man of the group at 28, Brian Jones was 22, Mick was 21 and Charlie Watts was 23. ( I was 26.) Bill Wyman arrived late, huffing and puffing that he “had been on the wrong side of a police barricade.” Clay Cole presents The Beatles vs The Rolling Stones’" pulled the highest rating in our history ( “the ratings went through the roof,” reported Variety ) -- prompting Ch 11 to repeat the hour on three different nights, with equally high numbers. By the time the Rolling Stones returned for their second appearance in May 1965, they were clearly on their way to being “the greatest rock and roll band of all-time.”

Video Clip - 1958
1958, Providence, R I
Video Clip - 1985
Interviewe with 'Cousin' Bruce Morrow
Palisades Park 1960
Raw, silent, 8mm film clip of The Clay Cole Show
David Hinckley 1
David Hinckley 2
Clay Cole on YouTube