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Celebrity Party (1963)



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Credited cast:
Freddy Cannon ...
The Challengers ...
Himself - Host
Dick and Dee Dee ...
Judy Doll ...
Herself - Miss Teenage America
Jack Jones ...
Herself - Co-Host / Dr. Pepper Girl


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tv special | See All (1) »







Release Date:

30 November 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dick Clark's Celebrity Party  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Filmed at Bob Marcucci's Spanish-style villa off of Sunset Plaza near the Sunset Strip. Robert Phillip "Bob" Marcucci (February 28, 1930 - March 9, 2011) was a personal manager at Chancellor Records and Robert P. Marcucci Productions. He discovered and managed the careers of Fabian and Frankie Avalon, amongst others. The 1980 movie, The Idolmaker, is loosely based on his life in the record industry. See more »


I Can't Make My Heart Say Goodbye
Written by Lou Dinning
Performed by Donna Loren
See more »

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User Reviews

A wonderfully entertaining time capsule of the era
23 September 2004 | by See all my reviews

On the surface, this grainy old kine scope (copies of which are hard to find, firms specializing in vintage TV videos are one's best bet) might seem to be nothing more than residue of an extended commercial for Dr Pepper.

But don't let that fool you. Beneath the surface lies a wonderfully entertaining shadow of a lost era in America. This forty-five minute long television special -- sponsored by Dr Pepper and originally broadcast on ABC on November 30, 1963 (somewhat awkward timing, being just a week after the J.F.K. assassination) -- is an absolutely fascinating time capsule of the early 60's.

Set in an unnamed "home in Hollywood," (which was actually Frankie Avalon's house in Bel Air), the show is hosted by Dick Clark and Dr Pepper's newly-hired beautiful 16-year old "spokesmodel," Donna Loren.

The guest list crams in a choice sample of the teen idols, Hollywood stars and pop icons of 1963. In attendance are many cast members of the AIP "Beach Party" series, including Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello (who sings "Promise Me Anything" from Beach Party), Dick Dale, John Ashley and then spouse Deborah Walley. Shelley Fabares and Paul Peterson show up, as do Wayne Newton, Connie Stevens, George Hamilton, Jan and Dean (who are at their high water mark here, enjoying the popularity of their recent #1 smash "Surf City"), Bobby "Boris" Pickett ("The Monster Mash") and even "Miss Teen America," who appears complete with her crown.

Over the course of the program, Dick does his usual brief, well-intentioned but transparently promotional "interviews" with all these people; both Avalon and Funicello buzz a bit about the "upcoming sequel" to Beach Party, Annette intriguingly reinforcing to Dick "I'm still under contract to Mr. Disney, but non-exclusively." Dick Dale makes the most insightful comment of the evening when Clark asks him "Dick, are you still with the surfing craze, and the wild and wonderful sound California music?", to which Dale responds "oh, you better believe it Dick, I'll never give it up."

One other short but interesting "interview tidbit" occurs when Dick briefly interviews Jackie DeShannon about her singing role in an upcoming new film called Surf Party. Jackie seems almost apologetic when responding to Dick's questions about the movie, which was one of the first "clones" of Beach Party. That's not surprising, given DeShannon had limited musical numbers and screen time in this low budget, comparatively weak attempt by MGM to jump onto the emerging "pop surfing musicals" bandwagon.

In addition to Annette's musical number, we're treated to performances by April Stevens and Nino Tempo ("Deep Purple"), the Challengers (who play "Albatross," an impressive surf instrumental), Dick and Dee Dee ("Turn Around") and Trini Lopez ("Kansas City").

Host Donna gets to perform twice during the show, her first piece being a little ditty called "I Can't Make My Heart Say Goodbye." While the genre of the song – a Tammy-Wynette-ish, tear-jerker country ballad – is somewhat dated even by 1963 musical norms, the number is still a striking demonstration of the impressive vocal and stage technique of the sixteen year old ingénue, one that attains a standard far above her years. Later on in the show, we're treated to a second performance, where she sings out by the pool (on a unusually cold L.A. night; the poor girl must have been freezing, you can see her frosty breath with every note) while playing the piano, backed by the Challengers, in a soulful, rockin' version of "Bill Bailey." Throughout the whole program she's at her giggly adolescent best; one can only imagine the thrill the young beauty was feeling during her first true "starring" appearance on national TV.

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