Classic KDKA: Clark Race & His Theme Song

Monday, 02 June 2014 06:45 AM Written by 

 A female chorus would coo...

"Hello, Clark Race, Hello...

And that authoritative, amiable voice would pick it up with:

"And welcome to the show!"

Followed by...

Clark Race (1933-1999), along with Porky Chedwick, Chuck Brinkman, Terry Lee, Art Pallan, Bob Mack, Mad Mike and KQV-era Jim Quinn, was without question one of Pittsburgh's most important music disc jockeys.  His afternoon show on KDKA, which ran from 1959 to 1970, brought a youthful feel to 1020 in its days as an AM music station playing a diverse mix of pop and rock  KD in those days was known for keeping its hosts a long while.  When Race died, the PG's Adrian McCoy wrote an excellent obituary summarizing his career.

The theme, "A String Of Trumpets," wasn't written for Race's show. It was a 1959 recording by guitarist and arranger Billy Mure, who did a number of pop instrumental albums in the 50's and 60's. The song, released under the name Billy Mure and his Trumpeteers, was associated with Race throughout his tenure at KDKA, even during the mid-60's British Invasion. One can see why. Over half a century has dulled none of its crisp, buoyant and expansive swing.

Race went on to work in California radio where like Rege Cordic, he never quite found the connections he had with the Pittsburgh audience. He hosted the pilot of Chuck Barris's unsuccessful 1972 game show The Parent Game, similar to Barris's The Dating Game.

This clip is the only one available of Race on TV.  Regrettably KDKA, like most stations, reused videotape in the 60's, a time whenh it was more expensive than it later became in the home VCR era. That's why so far, no known bits of Dance Party survive.

 

 

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