(Soundbite of song “Bandstand Boogie”)
Mr. CHARLES ALBERTINE (Singer): (Singing) We're going hopping, we're going hopping today, where things are popping, the Philadelphia way, we're gonna drop in on all the music they play on the bandstand, bandstand…
DEBORAH AMOS, host:
Recognize that? Dick Clark hosted the TV show “American Bandstand” for three decades. Once called America's oldest teenager, Clark is now 77 and he recently suffered a stroke. His immense collection of rock and roll memorabilia is up for auction today and tomorrow in New York City.
NPR's Margot Adler reports.
MARGOT ADLER: From Buddy Holly to the Supremes, from Michael Jackson to Madonna, many artists made their network debut on “American Bandstand.”
Mr. DICK CLARK (Former Host, “American Bandstand”): Welcome aboard. It's Saturday afternoon “American Bandstand” with a very special salute today.
ADLER: Before the auction, Arlan Ettinger, president of Guernsey's Auction House, sat in his office surrounded by Bob Dylan's harmonica, Elton John's shoes, Paul McCartney's guitar, and a white tasseled poncho that looked very familiar.
Mr. ARLAN ETTINGER (President, Guernsey's Auction House): Legendary Janis Joplin. Doesn't get too much better than that.
ADLER: I pause in front of a handmade guitar in a worn travel case.
Mr. ETTINGER: Duct tape on it to hold it together.
ADLER: That's Bo Diddley's?
Mr. ETTINGER: That is indeed Bo Diddley, and you can see a picture right there of Bo Diddley handing this very guitar to Dick Clark.
ADLER: There are autographed shoes of Fred Astaire, hair clippings from Elvis, even Dick Clark's famous slim white microphone. Over the weekend many of the items were on display at the Time Warner Building in Manhattan. Those who came to look were filled with nostalgia. Marge Cotton Mayon is from Nashville and said all this music was part of her life.
Ms. MARGE COTTON MAYON (Observed Display): Fats Domino and Chubby Checker and The Beatles and Elvis, and we love them all. We all had that big hairdo, you know, with all that Spray Net?
(Soundbite of laughter)
Ms. MAYON: And we danced and rock and roll was fun.
Mr. MILT TAYLOR(ph): Well, I watched Dick Clark since I was a little kid. I was five years old when it started.
ADLER: Milt Taylor from Philadelphia said he was amazed at how much Beatles material was in the collection. The auction of Dick Clark's rock and roll memorabilia, almost 1,000 lots, runs through tomorrow. There are no minimum bids, and some of the proceeds will go to a foundation that raises money for research on cancer and AIDS.
Margot Adler, NPR News, New York.
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