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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sump'n Else TV Show

In 1965, Sump 'n Else was launched, a live afternoon teen dance program hosted by Ron Chapman that aired on local station WFAA-TV (Channel 8, ABC). Musical guests included Frank Zappa and Jefferson Airplane. The format was similar to that of American Bandstand.

The show featured nationally known guest performers, including The Monkees, Herman's Hermits, Paul Revere and the Raiders, 13th Floor Elevators, Sonny and Cher and Frank Zappa. Sump’n Else also featured a group of local “go-go” dancers. They included Joan Prather, who later played a recurring role in the television program Eight is Enough. Sump’n Else was an afternoon staple on Channel 8.

It was a big attraction for area high school students who came from throughout North Texas to see and be seen on the show. The program broadcast live from NorthPark Center shopping mall in a storefront studio that featured a soundproof window so shoppers and fans could see the daily action.

The 13th Floor Elevators performed on Sump'n Else. Below are the extant tracks and dates:

Recorded Live March 25th 1966
You're Gonna Miss Me (3:13)
Fire Engine (3:41)
You Really Got Me (4:37)
Roll Over Beethoven (3:17)
Recorded Live May 9th 1966
Mercy Mercy (3:35)
Tried To Hide (2:48)
Gloria (3:58)
Fire Engine (2:31)
You're Gonna Miss Me (2:58)
Roller Coaster (4:20)

The Mothers played on Sump'n Else too, 7/66:

The Real Frank Zappa Book:
Next stop: Dallas. We flew into Love Field and found ourselves walking down a long hall, full of soldiers and sailors--stopped dead in their tracks, staring in utter disbelief. They didn't say anything. They didn't throw anything at us. They didn't shoot us like Easy Rider--they just stood there.

We were then whisked off to a shopping mall, to some downstairs place where yet another TV teenage dance show was in progress. We played live on that one.

The high point of the performance was Carl Franzoni, our 'go-go boy.' He was wearing ballet tights, frugging violently. Carl has testicles which are bigger than a breadbox. Much bigger than a breadbox. The looks on the faces of the Baptist teens experiencing their grandeur is a treasured memory.

More about the Mothers on Sump'n Else:

There was another brief television encounter on Sumpin Else--a teen go-go music and dance show shot in Dallas in the late 60's. In 1966 (first tour I think) FZ and the Mothers were between cities and had a few hours lay over in Dallas' Love Field airport. Some west coast promo man had set up a "suprise" visit of the band to the live show.

It was run by local DJ, Ron Chapman. During an "on air" music break, Chapman looks up to see this band of renegade pirate-biker-ballerina freaks storming his studio to the tune of "Wowie Zowie". Collins, Black and Carl Frazoni jumped up on the go-go stage and started doing the Monkee (among other things). The go-go girls jumped off stage as Chapman attempted to interview FZ.

FZ looked up to the viewing audience in the North Park Mall. They were on the other side of thick sound proof glass. "When are they going to fill that aquarium?" FZ asked.

When the boys left, Chapman talked to the show's go-go girls. "Why did you leave the stage?" he asked. The most debutante of the group pinched her nose with her left hand and, waving the air with her right, said, "They SMELLED!"

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