High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Lights....... Camera....... Action Kids! Part 2 of My Series, The Big Picture!

The Action Kids, the resident dance troupe on
Dick Clark's series Where The Action Is,
were the most exciting dancers on
television in the Sixties.

You're talkin' to the U.S. Male and
I admit that most of my attention was
focused on the female Action Kids -
so cute, so cool, so California casual chic!

Girls who watched Where The Action Is
loved the female dancers, too.

They practiced the Action girls' dance moves,
got tips on trendy clothing styles and
learned a valuable lesson. Girls who
project a wholesome, squeaky clean
image command admiration and respect.

The Action Kids performed their own custom
choreographed variations of the Pony, the Swim,
the Monkey, the Skate, the Mashed Potato,
the Boogaloo, the Watusi, the Temptation Walk,
the Locomotion, the Jerk and other popular dances.

The sequence you are about to watch is
challenging and covers a lot of real estate.
Essentially, The Action Kids become a dancing
flash mob. Watch this wonderful performance
and you'll understand why The Action Kids kept me
glued to my TV set every weekday for two years.

 "Summer in the City" - The Lovin' Spoonful 
 (August 1966, highest chart position #1) 

The Action Kids included:

Lesley Evans

Pete Menefee

Jill Gordon

Ted LePlatte

Mike Williams

Roberta Tennes

Roger Minami


Jerilyn Stapleton.

During season one of Action in 1965,
Steve Ciro, Joy Ciro and Jimmy Hibbard
were also members of the dance squad.

Steve Ciro

At that time they were known as
Steve Ciro and The Action Kids.

Steve and Joy Ciro can both be seen in the
picture above at the rear of the group in
front of Paul Revere and the Raiders.

For decades the only Action Kid
I knew by name was Jeri aka
Jeri Lyn aka Jerilyn Stapleton,
my favorite member of the
Where the Action Is cast.

Photo courtesy The Monterey County Herald

In my Holy Grail picture above, Jeri is the petite
brunette in yellow at the left end of the row.

I recently identified the blonde in the middle
as Roberta Tennes. The brunette in orange on
the right side is Lesley Evans who was also a
choreographer and did some singing on the show.

Roberta, a vivacious Barbara Eden look-alike, danced in the 1967 Elvis Presley movie Clambake and played a chorus girl in the 1970 film The Only Game in Town. Appearing with Roberta in both motion pictures was dancer and future acting star Teri Garr.

In 1964, Laura Petrie look-alike Lesley Evans danced
along with Teri Garr in the Elvis vehicle Kissin' Cousins.

After her stint on Action, Lesley landed an acting part in
a December 1969 episode of Here's Lucy. Lesley also appeared in three episodes of the TV series M.A.S.H. playing a different nurse each time.
In 1975 Lesley played a secretary in the Warren Beatty movie Shampoo.

According to the website, Action Kids dancer Jill Gordon was married
to drummer Jim Gordon who played on many Paul Revere
and the Raiders sessions.

Now let's enjoy a few more videos that show
off the def dance routines of The Action Kids.
Blondes Roberta and Jill, mainstays of the Kids'
classic lineup, are seen in the picture below.

Roberta and Jill get the bulk of camera time in
this video of a performance by the garage band
? (Question Mark) & the Mysterians.

 "I Need Somebody" - ? (Question Mark 
 & the Mysterians (December 1966, 
 highest chart position #22) 

The Action Kids' fab four, Jeri Lyn, Lesley,
Roberta and Jill, are featured prominently in
the next clip, a high energy workout backing
Count Five, the teen garage band from San Jose.

A stunning closeup of smiling Roberta and her
trademark French-cut bangs occurs at the  :30 
mark of the video. Dancing behind Roberta is her
blonde cohort Jill. Be sure to catch brunettes
Jeri Lyn and Lesley as they emerge from the pack
and get their groove on in front of the band
beginning at the  1:10  point of the clip!

 "Psychotic Reaction" - Count Five 
 (October 1966, highest chart position #5) 

Here's a beach performance by Captain Beefheart
and His Magic Band. Throughout the vid you'll catch
glimpses of Lesley and Roberta groovin' behind the
band while Jeri plays in the sand with children.

 "Diddy Wah Diddy" - Captain Beefheart 
 and His Magic Band (April 1966, uncharted) 

Please click at the  6:45  point of the next vid and enjoy
more great moves from The Action Kids as Tommy Boyce
sings a medley of hit songs that he wrote. Lesley and
and Jill are the featured dancers during Tommy's first
two songs. The team of Jeri and Roberta enter the
picture on the third song at  8:55. 

 Tommy Boyce 
 Medley: "Peaches and Cream," 
 "Come a Little Bit Closer" and "Action" 

"Searching for My Love" by Bobby Moore and the
Rhythm Aces was a big line dance hit at the Shady Dell.
The shuffle paced Chicago soul gem was also tailor made
for The Action Kids. Please click at the  5:00  mark and
behold Lesley on the left, Jeri Lyn on the right and
Roberta in the middle behind Bobby Moore. Lesley steals
the show in this video, doing what appears to be a
combination of the Skate and the Boogaloo and
looking like she's sliding on Teflon. Mesmerizing,
gravity defying moves like Lesley's must have
had young Michael Jackson taking notes.

 "Searching for My Love" - Bobby Moore 
 and the Rhythm Aces (August 1966, 
 highest chart position #27) 

 Shady's Official Findings: 

Jerry Blavat's Yon Teenagers 
defined cool dancing
on the East Coast. 
Big boss line and right on time!

Don Cornelius' Soul Train Gang 
defined cool dancing
in the Midwest. 
The hippest trip in television!

The Action Kids reigned as the  
coolest dancers on the West Coast. 
 Combining boy and girl next door 
physical attributes, warm, accessible, 
endearing personalities and clever, 
imaginative dance moves, theirs was
the ultimate expression of what it
meant to be young in the Sixties!

Sometimes a picture doesn't tell the whole story.
There are some disturbing facts not revealed in this
photo or in any of the other pictures in this series
or in any of The Action Kids' videos you'll see.
Learn a shocking truth next time in Part 3.

Have a Shady day!


  1. Amazing videos! The Action Kids are amazing! I really wish that they still aired these shows on TV.

    1. Hi, Jessica Marie! Thank you for being the early bird today, birthday girl. I'm happy to know that you recognize the amazing talent and personality of The Action Kids. Now you know why I raced home from the bus stop every day for two years to tune in my local ABC station and get my coolness fix. When a recording act appeared on the show, The Action Kids's dancing made the performance even more exciting. Once or twice each episode The Kids were given the opportunity to perform a solo routine while a popular record played. That's when you truly saw how great they were. The first video in this post, the "flash mob" routine in which The Kids danced and ran down a long hillside, is perhaps the only surviving clip of a solo number by The Action Kids. I wish all of those great solo sequences were still in existence but unfortunately the entire series was erased many years ago.

      Thank you again for coming over to experience Part 2, dear friend Jessica Marie. Please stay tuned for the Part 3 coming up eight days from now on Monday, July 13!

    2. Can't wait to read it!

      We went to Turkey Hill today, which I guess is right before one gets to York. We made ice cream and saw the ice cream factory. It was cool and that's why I was up so early for a Sunday. I usually get up at 7:30 AM on a Sunday... not 6 AM. :D I'm glad you posted this.

      Now it makes me wish we had TV shows like The Action Kids nowadays...

    3. Hi again, JM! Yessum, as I recall (I haven't lived in Central PA since 1984), Turkey Hill is in Lancaster County, one of the Pennsylvania Dutch attractions. Correct?

      You certainly get around. If you are ever in nearby Bucks County you should go to see my friend Chi Chi sing at the nightclub where she performs one night a month. If you have an extra minute take a look at my two-part interview with your neighbor, Carole Devine aka Chi Chi, a superb recording artist of the 50s and 60s:

      PART 1:

      PART 2:

      I wish you had grown up in the 60s, Jessica Marie. It was a very exciting time and I am grateful to you for coming here and experiencing at least some of that excitement with me.

      Enjoy your week, my new friend!

  2. Funny how we two bounce into similar things. One of the candidates for my upcoming "Unknown song" was Bobby Moore and the Rhythm Aces' song. Not the one I'm going with mind you, but I intend to mention it.

    1. Hi, Chris! Thanks for coming over, good buddy! This Bobby Moore number might be unknown to some, but at the Shady Dell it was a big jukebox hit in the summer of '66. It also reached the top 30 Pop and #7 on the Black Singles chart, riding that survey for an impressive 17 weeks! I had already featured this record of Bobby's in a previous post, but it just so happened that Lesley Evans did her amazing Teflon skate dance to it in this video and I wanted you to see her in Action. I hope you are getting a sense of how great The Action Kids dancers were. That "Summer in the City" routine of theirs continues to astonish me. They covered some serious ground in that performance!

      Thanks again, Chris. Have a great week and stay tuned for Part 3 of the Action series coming up eight days from now!

  3. It's funny how I never heard of them at all until your blog. I was just a little girl of 2 back in 1966 and in Canada so they probably didn't even air this up here. I see what you mean about her moves in that one video being almost on air. I can see where Michael Jackson would have been influenced. I will look forward to your next blog because I am certain drugs played a part since it is the music scene from the mid 60's

    1. Hi, dear BB! Thank you very much for coming down for a Sunday visit, my special Canadian friend! Yessum, you were too young to remember the mid 60s TV series WTAI and there's a good chance it wasn't even available in your region. It's a shame there are so few videos left of the program and that they are of such inferior quality.

      The Action Kids were poetry in motion. Every time I watch one of these old clips I swoon and can't help wishing I had been a better dancer.

      While it's certainly true that drugs were responsible for ruining many young lives in the 60s, that is not the thrust of the Part 3 story. I know you are curious and that pleases me. I'm sure you will find the conclusion of the series captivating and inspiring. Please look for it eight days from now, Monday, July 13.

      Thank you again for joining me today, dear friend Birgit. I wish you a safe and happy week ahead!

  4. Dear Shady! You have hit on something that I knew nothing about in reference to Dick Clark! I remember his hosting the Pyramid game shows, and as much as I thought he did well as a host of his show, I prefer Donny Osmond's hosting style. The reason is that Donny is more interactive with the contestants, hugging them and staying with everyone at the end of the show, unlike Dick Clark. I also knew that Dick Clark had a house called the Flintstone house because it actually looked like the house in The Flintstones! I also remember him in American Bandstand! However, Where the Action is escapes me. Unfortunately I am unable to watch the Dick Clark video (because I am in Canada, I suppose). "This video contains content from SME, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds."

    I love Summer in the City, great song!

    Thank you so much for this wonderful journey back in time, dear Shady! Hugs to you, my cherished friend. :)

    1. Hello, dear Linda! Looks like I'm getting a double dose of Canadian friends today. Welcome and thank you very much for coming!

      I'm sorry if these WTAI videos are blocked in your country. That's such a shame because they are very rare clips and I wanted you to see them as part of my series on the 50th anniversary of the show's debut.

      I know what you're saying about Dick Clark. I watched him for years on Bandstand and on the Pyramid and other shows. He had an interesting style that reminded me of Johnny Carson. When hosting TV shows both men were friendly and gave the appearance of connecting with guests, but you could always detect a cool detachment as well. Everything was calculated, methodical and "programmed." Just to be clear, I happen to like that style of professionalism and often imitated it.

      Thank you again for showing up for me today, dear friend Linda. Please stay tuned for the enthralling Part 3 finale of my series coming a week from tomorrow. Until then, have a safe and happy week!

  5. Hi Shady!
    Wholesome, Squeaky clean are key words--thems were the times!!!! What fun it must have been to watch the famous bands and action kids in "action" back then. At that time, I was more interested in playing with my "Chatting Kathy" or paper dolls or even a hula hoop!
    "Summer in the City" vid might be the first "flash mob" ever recorded--how cool! The girls were pretty and fashionable and WOW! could they dance! It's no wonder teenage boys (like you) went gaga over 'em!
    In the 70's , when I was a teen, the "Bump" was the big dance! What skills you needed for that!!!--NOT!
    It's so much fun to look back in time and see what I missed! Thanks for bringing it to SDM&M! I'd love to see a "where are they now" follow up!
    Toni Deroche

    1. Hi, dear Toni! Thank you very much for dropping in for Part 2 of my tribute to Where The Action Is and the marvelous Action Kids dance troupe. I'm glad you agree that the flash mob routine was an extraordinary feat. Every stage of it needed to be coordinated and timed perfectly, and running down that hill must have been exhausting for the Kids who started the sequence at the very top.

      Each of The Action Kids girls had her own personality and distinguishing characteristics and drew fan mail accordingly. Lesley looked like Mary Tyler Moore from The Dick Van Dyke Show. Roberta looked a lot like Barbara Eden, the star of I Dream of Jeannie. Jeri Lyn sported her trademark ponytail and white hair bow. Jill impressed me as the most athletic dancer of the bunch.

      Thank you again for checking out The Big Picture, Part 2. Please be on the lookout for the thrilling Part 3 conclusion a week from tomorrow, Monday the 13th. Have a wonderful week, dear friend Toni!

  6. Take a trip down Memory Lane with me...and a very short, very young Cherdo is pinned to the television set. American Bandstand, Shindig, the Monkees.

    It's pre-MTV and her only desire is to do a respectable mashed potato and not to be embarrassed by her dear mother who can't get off of her "Twist" jag. She'll do the Twist to Dean Martin slow songs - it's amazing how slow she can go. But not Cherdo! She wants to be an Action Kid, too.

    I must confess that I always loved the background kids of all the live shows, including soul train. The coordinated dancing was fascinating to me. When they were all doing their own thing, it was fun to see mini-dance-offs all over the dance floor. Camera time was the prize! I loved it.

    In spite of my attraction to the dancers on the tube, 99.9% of my knowledge of the actual dancers has come from you, dear Shady. Giving these talents kids a name to their face is a treat! Love, love, love it.

    Can't wait for the last portion! Thank you again, Shadzilla. Have a great evening!

    1. Hi, dear Cherdo! I hope you and Coco made it through the noisy fireworks AOK and that neither one of you had to drink a 5th on the 4th. :) Thank you very much for coming by and for this marvelous comment!

      My parents were the same way. They hated rock 'n roll but, for some reason, got a kick out of the twist craze. It's the kiss of death when the older generation embraces a particular dance and that's why so many new dances for teenagers cropped up practically overnight. The Action Kids run through a wide variety of 60s dances in these videos.

      I wish I had film of little Cherdo in front of her TV set imitating the dancers on American Bandstand. Yesum, that's where it all started. The teenagers who danced on the show as regulars developed a fan following and got mail. I'd like to shake the hand of the genius who decided to add professional go-go dancers to the mix. Go-go dancers were not used on Bandstand or Thaxton, but they were an integral part of the show on Shindig, Hullabaloo, Hollywood A Go-Go, Shivaree and WTAI. From what I have learned, The Action Kids received tons of fan mail from boys and girls alike. Isn't it great to see the faces, learn the names and read brief bios of The Action Kids? I searched for years and never found an in depth article about the show or the dance troupe. I figured it was about time somebody paid tribute to them and that's when I decided to put this series together to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the series debut.

      Thank you again for your visit and wonderful comment, dear friend Cherdo. I promise you an inspiring Part 3 and it's coming up Monday a week - July 13. Have a terrific week, dear friend!

  7. A cliffhanger it! Finding out more about these wonderful dancers is really great. I'll have to check out Elvis flicks for peeks at Teri Garr! When I was a young teen we had a neighborhood dance every Friday night in the Summer. Literally dancing in the street...well, it was a parking lot at the elementary school...but we thought it was pretty cool to hang there. I loved trying to dance like the Action kids and learned a few moves from that show. Loved seeing that original flash dance! This brings back many memories of summer and wishing I was a California girl. However, I'm happy to see the beautiful brunettes out in front in this post! Ha! Have a great week Tom and I'll look forward to the upcoming post for more background info!

    1. Hi, dear YaYa! Thank you very much for swinging over for a visit, my wonderful friend. Yessum, it's a cliffhanger and I promise it will be well worth the wait (until July 13) to learn what was going on behind the scenes of WTAI.

      Isn't it interesting how at least two of The Action Kids appeared as dancers in Elvis movies along with Teri Garr? I wonder how many young people even know who she is. If you tried to explain that she played the friend In Tootsie or the wife in Close Encounters, far too many would still have blank stares on their faces. It was called the 20th century, people. It was in all the papers. Look it up! :)

      Anyhow, I think it's so cool that you watched Where The Action Is, learned dance moves from The Action Kids and danced outdoors at the elementary school on Friday nights. Sounds like lots of fun.

      As dazzled as I was and still am by the blonde Action Kids females, my favorite is one of the brunettes. I ain't sayin' which one. :) You, kiddo, are my favorite brunette in Ohio! :)

      Thank you again for showing up for me tonight, dear friend YaYa. Please be here for the Part 3 series finale Monday a week - July 13. See you then!

  8. I watched all of each one. The commercial at the end--OMG! Next time you take your baby along to a party?! There were a couple songs I didn't remember but most of them I did. They were supposed to be wholesome--so parents wouldn't get upset with you watching, I suppose. LOL! You were a true fan if you knew all their names. They were just the dancers to me. ;) I'll be waiting to hear what else you know about them. This has been very interesting.

    1. Hi, dear Rita! Thank you for coming down from Fargo to experience Part 2 of Where The Action Is. I admire you for watching all the videos from start to finish, even the long ones with embedded commercials. You made me curious and I just finished watching the spots for Micrin mouth rinse and Chux diapers. Most TV commercials were stiff and serious in those days, weren't they? Why were they marketing baby diapers to the teenager audience that watched Action? :) Maybe Chux wasn't really a thing and the commercial was actually a public service announcement for teen chastity. :)

      I find it fascinating that millions of kids knew The Action Kids by name and sent them tons of fan mail while other kids didn't pay very much attention to them. As far as I was concerned those dancers were indispensable to the show. It wouldn't have been nearly as much fun to watch without them.

      Yessum, dear Rita, please come back one week from today, Monday the 13th, when I will present the conclusion of the series. I promise you there will be some surprises. Thank you again for being here and enjoy your week, dear friend!

  9. Replies
    1. One word, Mike: thanks! Oops... that's four words. Damn... that's eight words!!!

  10. There is something to be said about this clean, cut era. Sometimes I have laugh when I look back at the rebels (according to my grandparents) of that time and think what a stark contrast they are to today's artists & dancers. I love revisiting the day of classic music and TV! Great, great fun, Tom!!

    1. Hi, Cathy! Thank you very much for coming by, my dear friend! (I love it when you call me Tom.) You mentioned that you have been watching The 4400. Mrs. Shady and I make heavy use of NetFlix and Hulu and have been watching old series like Columbo, Quincy, Dragnet, Adam 12 and Ironside. We always have to laugh at how rebel teenagers and juvenile delinquents were depicted in those series. They were all clean cut and neatly dressed! (LOL) My mother nearly had heart failure when The Beatles came along. She couldn't get past their long hair and the awful "jingle jangle" music they played. She considered The Beatles a bad influence and tried to steer my tastes away from them and toward decent, respectable music like country, gospel and WWII era big band sounds.

      I'm glad you are enjoying my series on The Action Kids dance troupe. Please stay tuned for the enthralling denouement coming one week from now on Monday the 13th.

      Have a wonderful week, dear Cathy!

  11. Hi Shady. I wish I had known about this TV show. I'm surprised I didn't! I watched Shindig, Hullaballoo and the others but I guess I didn't hear about this one. Or, it could be because I had to wait for the school bus and then had a bit of a drive and walk home so I missed it.

    The first video was my favorite. The Action Kids had to learn a lot of moves and those did not look easy. I really enjoyed it and love the song, Summer In the City. One of my favorites.

    All the videos worked for me but one - Tommy Boyce.

    Even though Dan and I listen to 60s music in the car, I haven't heard the rest of those songs since I was a teen. It was very cool to hear them again. I loved the song, I Need Somebody when I was a teen. Loved the little pigtails on the girls. I wore my hair like that too.

    Lesley's dancing was really nice as she was sliding along. Go-go boots were fun too. I actually wore a kerchief with flowers just like Jeri! It has been a lot of fun watching these videos and I look forward to the next installment. Oh, and the first time I ever saw Teri Garr was in an old Star Trek show. She was so funny, I loved her in it and was happy when she got famous.

    1. Hi, dear Belle! Thank you so very much for coming down for Part 2 of my tribute to The Action Kids dancers. I'm surprised you never saw Where The Action Is, especially since you were still living in San Berdoo County, at least when it started, and they shot at various locations in the region.

      Wasn't that "Summer in the City" dance number amazing? By the time those kids ran and danced their way down that hillside you'd think they would be too tired to finish the routine, but they kept dancing all the way to the end of the song. I'm sorry the Tommy Boyce video wouldn't play. Linda, another friend in Canada, indicated that one or more of the vids was not available for playback in Canada. On a much sadder note, Tommy passed away 20 years ago, a victim of suicide.

      Yessum, as you watch the clips I present in this series you will see many different looks on the girls. Lovely Roberta was known for her French-cut bangs. My favorite shot of her is at the :30 mark of "Psychotic Reaction." Such a dazzling smile she had! Jeri always sported a ponytail and white hair bow. I wish you could find a picture of yourself dressed like Jeri. As I was telling YaYa (above) I don't know how many younger people would even recognize Teri Garr's name anymore, but she turned up in dozens of dancing and acting roles that were a big part of our lives.

      Belle, I promise that you of all people will find Part 3 inspiring. Please be here for the series finale one week from today, Monday, July 13. Thank you again for joining me today, my dear friend, and have a great week!

  12. You know, my parents weren't much for taking pictures but I do think Mom has a photo of me in pigtails and a Beatle hat. I'll look for it. See you later.

  13. Bloody hell I think you have done it again, awesome videos and a post that has left me feeling pretty good

    1. Hi, dear Jo-Anne! Thanks for coming all the way from East Coast Australia to experience Part 2 of The Action Kids. I'm very happy to know that you enjoyed these vids and that they left you feeling good.

      Mission accomplished!

      Please stay tuned for the third and final installment of this special series coming up one week from now, Monday morning, July 13, Eastern USA time.

      Thank you again, dear friend Jo-Anne, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  14. Hello! Please excuse me as i do some catching up.
    I hope you've been well, friend Shady! What a fun thing to come back to this fine afternoon, the Action Kids! I have to admit that i didn't know much about this group or show, and learning more about them and watching the clips you so graciously got together for us is just plain enjoyment! I can see why the cute little Jeri was your favorite. I love those big eyes and bright smile! In fact, all the Action Kids are smiling happily and appear to be having great fun, makes me want to join in and dance right along! And i love all the funny names of the dances. Of course i've heard of some of them, but the humorous names like 'the temptation walk' and others makes me smile. Of course their clothes are rad, too, i can see why kids your age love them!
    thanks for sharing, and keep it up!
    -Abigail and Daisy

    1. Hi, dear Abigail & Daisy! I am very happy to see you back here again. I was afraid that you might be reaching the point in your blogging career, as many people do, when you "hit the wall" - lacking inspiration and motivation to continue. At that critical juncture some bloggers leave and never come back while others simply take a hiatus. Whatever the case, I hope our genuine friendship will go on and on even if you move on to other social media as your primary means of expression and communication. By now you should know that you mean a lot to me, Abigail. You too, dear Daisy!

      I'm thrilled that you got here in time to see my three part series on The Action Kids, the teenage dance troupe that appeared on every episode of Dick Clark's music variety television series Where the Action Is.

      That's correct. The petite, brunette, ponytailed effervescent Jeri Lyn was my favorite of the dancers and I wasn't alone in my admiration of her. The fact is that Jeri Lyn was the most popular Acton Kid and received more fan mail than any of the others. Girls wanted to be her. Guys wished they could date her.

      I invite you back here next Monday, July 13, when I will present the compelling conclusion of the series. I promise you it will be as inspiring as it is entertaining. I hope you will join me.

      Thank you again for coming back over and letting me know you are still with me, my very special friend. Have a great week, dear Abigail and Daisy!

    2. well thank you so much, Shady, i'm happy to be back too, though i've still been barely keeping up, i didn't completely leave. And don't you worry, no 'hitting the wall' here, just out having good times and staying busy!
      I really like their wholesome, happy image, and am looking forward to seeing more of the Action Kids soon!
      Thanks as always for your sweet words of encouragement and for being willing to 'bridge the gap' as well.
      Take care!

    3. I love your return visits, dear Abigail. I am happy to know that you have no immediate plans to quit blogging because I would miss you terribly. All of your blog friends would. Thanks again for checking back in, dear friend. Please give Daisy a big hug for me and I will be connecting with you again soon. God bless!

  15. I watched the video of Summer In The City. I sure wish they shot the dancers closer up. I think maybe I'm used to the way things are recorded NOW. Ah well... it was still fun to watch them. They are a nice looking bunch.

    I'm off to camp tomorrow, so I'm going to be unplugged for the next three and half weeks. Take care!

    1. Hi, dear Robin! I was just thinking about you a minute ago prior to logging on. It's wonderful to see you, my friend. Thank you for coming!

      Yessum, I'm sure it is jarring for younger generations to watch these old black and white clips. They're a far cry from the HD media we have come to expect in modern times. I agree that it's a shame there aren't any tighter shots of the dance formation as they made their way down that long hillside. Like many other shows of the period, Where The Action Is had a modest budget and a limited number of cameras to capture such performances. The camerawork, directing and editing left a lot to be desired. Shooting on location in outdoor settings rather than in a controlled studio environment compounded the technical challenges. That said, I doubt any of the teenagers of the mid 60s gave a thought to the production aesthetics of the program. We were tuned in to see our favorite recording artists and to watch The Action Kids dance. I hope you will check out my Part 3 finale when you return home to Florida. If you can remember to do so I will greatly appreciate it.

      Thank you very much for making time for me in the middle of your out of state trip, Robin. I hope you thoroughly enjoy revisiting your old camp, recalling happy memories and creating some new ones. I trust that you will return home from your adventure feeling relaxed and refreshed. Thank you again for being here for me, dear friend Robin. Please take good care of yourself. I will miss you!

  16. That's one helluva cliffhanger, Shady! Leaves me wondering who did what to whom, so of course, I'll be back for part 3. ☺
    The Action Kids are the true embodiment of that era, right down to the Go Go boots. Unfortunately, the Tommy Boyce video was blocked in Canada, but the others were fun to watch.Too bad they're a bit blurry. Until next time!

    1. Hi, Debbie the Doglady! Thank you very much for coming down, dear friend! I wonder why that long segment of Action was blocked from viewing in Canada. In addition to Tommy Boyce, the 13+ minute video contains performances by The Four Tops, The Raiders and Keith Allison.

      Truth be told, the video and sound quality of WTAI wasn't much better when it was first broadcast in the mid 60s. Maybe that's why the bean counters ruled that the series was expendable and ordered the whole thing erased! All those classic performances gone in an instant. Makes me ill to think about all that was lost.

      It's true. We've got a cliffhanger of sorts and I'm sure you will find the Part 3 conclusion of my special series to be inspiring as well as entertaining. It's coming next Monday, the 13th, and I invite you to join me.

      Thank you again for your visit and kind comment, dear Debbie. Take care and I'll be seeing you again soon!

    2. Geographical blocking always has to do with record company copyrights. Too bad I couldn't find any substitute. I'll definitely come by to read part 3. Thanks for the invite!

    3. Thanks, dearie! I appreciate your attentiveness and I love having you over here for a visit. Take care, dear Debbie!

  17. Forgive me if I haven't heard of them until today but seems they're really big back then.

    1. Hello, dear Lux! Thank you very much for coming by to experience Part 2 of my tribute to these wonderful dancers, The Action Kids, regular cast members on Where The Action Is. Don't feel badly, dear friend. To my surprise, I am finding people of older generations who did not watch WTAI. Some never even heard of the series or the dance troupe!

      Your friendship and support mean a lot to me and I thank you again for coming. Enjoy the rest of your week, dear friend Lux!

  18. Great videos Shady! I particularly liked the Count Five one as that song is one of my favourites. I hadn't heard of the Action Kids before and can see why they kept you glued to your tv set. Such great dancers!

    1. Hi, dear Sarah! I am delighted to see you, my English friend! Yessum, that Count Five video is one of the best surviving clips from Where The Action Is. You see some good clear shots of the teenage garage band from San Jose and great close-ups of lovely Roberta and the other Action Kids. Sadly, the lead singer of Count Five, John "Sean" Byrne from Dublin, Ireland, died in 2008 at a relatively young age. I am very pleased to see you, Sarah, and to know you that enjoyed the dancing of The Action Kids. I invite you to join me again next Monday for the exciting Part 3 conclusion of the Action series. Until then, enjoy the rest of your week, dear friend!

  19. Holy cow!! I am so in love with this post with all the dancing!!!! I SO want to be an action dancer. They reminded me of the Annette Funicello in the beach movies too.
    I grew up a few years in San Jose and the picture of the group in front of the house looks very similar to the famous Winchester Mystery House in San Jose.
    I grew up watching Dick Clark and Soul train . I could watch the dancing for hours.
    Sorry for my delay in getting over here to your posts. My silly thing called JOB really gets in the way of my personal blogging. LOL!!
    Have a great evening sweet Shady!

    1. Hi, dear Holli! Welcome back to SDMM, my dear friend. Knowing what I do about you, you could have been ANYTHING you made up your mind to be, including one of The Action Kids!

      Yessum, I'm sure that Count Five picture sleeve (from my personal collection) shows the San Jose garage band posing in front of the Winchester Mystery House. The guys decided to dress like Count Dracula at many of their live shows in order to position themselves as different and edgy. It's too bad they remained one hit wonders!

      I am very grateful to have you as a new friend, dear Holli, and I thank you very much for making time for me today. I invite you back here next week when I will be running the exciting part 3 conclusion of this special series dedicated to Where The Action is and those terrific Acton Kids dancers. I hope to see you then, dear Holli, and in the meantime enjoy the rest of your week!

  20. Hey, Cool Cat looking for a Kitty. Oh, how I long to be able to dance. I can't even dance if it's choreographed. The only dance I ever learned was the hustle, during dull disco days. I only watched the first video. I'll come back for more when Franklin says I'm allowed to get up. I can see why you liked Jeri. What beautiful eyes she has. Something shocking next time? Will it be that Janie Junebug, or more likely Franklin, learned to dance and went back in time to join The Action Kids?


    1. Hello, dear Janie Junebug! Thank you very much for coming over for a visit. I always wanted to be a better dancer, too. As a boy I dreamed of one day becoming one of the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes. On a related subject, do you think I'm too old to start taking tap dance lessons?

      Yessum, in the shocking series finale, Janie and Franklin hop into Stewie Griffin's time machine, travel back to 1965 and get jobs as Action Kids.

      All kidding aside. I NEED you here for Part 3, coming next Monday. You will WANT to be here, trust me, and I am eager to get your reaction to the post. I hope to see you then, dear friend!

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. I forgot to say some things, as usual. In the first paragraph, that tall slender being or statue? Is that a phallic symbol in honor of Hermes, one of my favorite Greek gods? At the end of the first video, some other videos came up. I watched the beginning of The Supremes. As usual, I pondered that Flo was supposed to be "the fat one." Did people really think that at the time, or is it a story that's grown (pun intended) over the years? Diana was as skinny as a stick drawing. Mary was slender, and Flo wasn't much bigger. Just regular sized and beautiful.

    2. Hi again, dear Janie! First, to answer the question you posed in your deleted comment, the punchline is as follows: So the one-legged jockey said "Don't worry about me baby, I ride side-saddle!"

      I hope that helps you with your thesis.

    3. Now on to the comment that was not removed by you or, more likely, by Cherdo. If you click to enlarge you will see that the phallic symbol you described appears to be a surfboard.

      To tell the truth, I never heard that Flo was labeled the fat Supreme. Are you sure you aren't thinking of the Flo of Flo & Eddie aka The Turtles? :) I always thought Diana was too ghastly thin. The vast majority of men prefer women with some meat on their bones. Are you one of those women, Janie? :)

      Thank you again for coming, dear friend, and please mark your calendar for the important Part 3 conclusion of my Action series coming next Monday, July 13. Thank you, Janie!

    4. God only knows what I'd be without youuuuuuu. I've heard for many years that Flo was derided by Motown for being overweight. The "Flo" character in Dream Girls is large. Diana was ghastly thin. She was the kind of woman who needed to rub ice cream and cookies on her thighs to help her gain weight.

      Next, it is not too late for you to take tap, but I recommend you include ballet lessons.

      I have some meat on my bones now, but that was not always the case. Anorexia was a new term when I was in high school. I was asked, Do you have that disease that makes girls not want to eat? I probably had a mild case of anorexia. I ate only one meal a day, and sometimes had a snack.

      My mother gloried in my slender shape and loved it when she heard people talk about how cute I was. She was more concerned with my looks than my brain. She encouraged me to marry X. I went through with the wedding just to shut my mom's mouth. She told me I would never be able to hold down a job because I would fall apart. I wish she could have seen my work as a newspaper reporter/editor, and then my switch to healthcare. I knew something was wrong with X, but I'm grateful to have Favorite Young Man and The Hurricane. I didn't gain weight until about seven or eight years ago. It makes me kind of sad that people praised me for so many years when I was underweight. No doctor ever said to me, You should put on a few pounds. When I was pregnant with Favorite Young Man, my doctor was pleased that I gained only sixteen pounds. That's a pretty low number, though not dangerously low. Now I don't weigh myself. I judge how my weight is by the way my clothes fit. No more skinny as a stick Janie, but I am slowly working on losing a little weight because I gained too much too quickly. I've lost forty pounds during the five years I've lived in Jax.

    5. As always, I forgot something: I'll see you tomorrow. If I don't show up, you'll know it's because my computer and phone aren't working at all.

    6. Hi, dear Janie! I'm pleasantly surprised to find you awake and blogging at this hour. I hope you aren't still up from the night before!

      Thank you for supporting me in my quest to become the next Fred Astaire by taking tap dance lessons. My lofty ambitions don't stop there. I want to be... correction..... I AM GOING TO BE..... the next Miss Teen U.S.A.

      "If I can see it... I can be it."

      When I was a boy I ate like a horse and never gained an ounce. Some of my relatives called me "skinny." It gave me a complex and, in my late teens, I started buying large cans of "fast weight gain" powder. I mixed it with milk and consumed mass quantities of the stuff every day. Parents, relatives, friends and even your own inner voice can screw you up with well meaning compliments about your weight and/or your beauty. For the sake of your health, it seems like a wonderful accomplishment that you lost 40 pounds in the last five years. All of us love you and want you around, Janie.

      I certainly hope your computer and phone will be working in the days ahead as you follow the comments, replies and threads that are likely to materialize after I publish Part 3 of this series. Your input is requested, needed and greatly appreciated.

      Thank you for joining me again this morning, dear friend Janie. I wish you and Franklin a very happy day!

  22. Great detective work on this one. Lots of great videos to watch. A few with vintage commercials I love so much. Thanks for posting and sharing.

    1. Hi again, Jeffrey! Sorry, I forgot to check back to this post earlier. I'm glad I didn't miss your comment.

      Yes, it was a challenge to compile mini bios on a few of The Action Kids. I knew you'd like the embedded TV spots in those longer show segments. They really bring back the times, don't they?

      Thanks again for checking out both posts, Jeffrey. I hope to see you back here again soon. Enjoy the rest of your week!

  23. My girlfriend and I were talking about television back in the day and I brought up Where The Action Is. Sadly she knew nothing about it, but then she is 5 years younger than me.
    What I remember best is the little gal with the swinging pony tale, oh I wanted a pony like hers, and those go-go boots. I begged my parents for go-go boots and finally got a pair for Christmas. Many an hour was spent in my room in front of my vanity mirror doing the pony, swim, boogaloo and a host of other dances. Rocking my night away with my stack of 45's and my little box record player. What fun! Thanks for the memories.



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