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SUMP'N ELSE

Sump’n Else Dancers
Sump’n Else Dancers: Calleen Anderegg, Pat Osborne, Kathy Forney, and Joanie Prather. Host Ron Chapman in background (right). Photograph by Casey Cohlmia, WFAA-TV; Courtesy Ron Chapman.

SUMP'N ELSE. Sump'n Else, a television program aimed at a teenaged audience, aired from September 1965 to January 1968. Hosted by local radio personality Ron Chapman, the show debuted on September 7, 1965, and was broadcast after school, from 4:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. on WFAA-TV Channel 8, an ABC affiliate, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The program dominated the ratings in its time slot. Dick Clark's American Bandstand didn't air in Dallas-Fort Worth, leaving an opening for a local version.

The teen dance show featured four high school girls as go-go dancers, and an open mic over the studio picked up the dancers’ energy and enthusiasm. The dancers, dubbed “the Little Group,” were Joanie Prather and Kathy Forney from Highland Park High School, Delpha Teague from Thomas Jefferson High School, and Calleen Anderegg from Richardson High School. Joanie Prather went on to become Miss Teenage Dallas, Calleen Anderegg became Miss Dallas, and Delpha Teague became first runner-up for Miss Dallas. They performed on the platforms behind host and Top 40 deejay Ron Chapman. High school students were invited to attend the program which was broadcast from a remote studio in the new Northpark Shopping Center. A soundproof window into the mall allowed the shoppers and dancers to see each other.

As it was the only live show in the afternoon, Chapman was favored by visiting celebrities for interviews. Jerry Lewis, Dick Clark, Sonny & Cher, Jefferson Airplane, James Brown, Peter & Gordon, Chad & Jeremy, Tom Jones, Paul Revere and the Raiders, and the Monkees were some of those who regularly visited and gave live interviews. Ron Chapman called the Five Americans, a Dallas group whose hit song was "Western Union," “almost a house band” because they played on the show so frequently. Texas psychedelic group 13th Floor Elevators appeared on the program. Local bands performed live regularly. Some who appeared with local bands and later became famous were Dan Seals and John Colley (who later gained fame as England Dan and John Ford Coley), and Don Henley who cofounded the Eagles. Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention also visited the show. There is very little footage of the program in existence, because the expensive two-inch video tape was reused for other shows. Its last broadcast aired on January 26, 1968.

At WFAA-TV, Sump'n Else is still a source of pride in local programming. Ron Chapman calls the show the "town hall of youth." For its twentieth anniversary, a two-hour primetime reunion show was staged for a packed house at the Galleria Mall and broadcast on Channel 8 on Saturday, September 7, 1985. All the original parties attended, including the go-go dancers. In 2004 Chapman was inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Bud Buschardt with Sam Sauls,The Sump’n Else Show (Plano, Texas: Entry Way Publishing, 2014). Sump’n Else! (http://bacougars66.com/index.php/sumpn-else), accessed November 25, 20011. Texas Psychedelic Rock (http://texaspsychedelicrock.com/2009/06/sumpn-else-tv-show.html), accessed October 14, 2009. Robert Wilonsky, “For Your Weekend Listening Pleasure: Roky and the 13th Floor Elevators Were Sump’n Else,” Dallas Observer (http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/2011/09/for_your_weekend_listening_ple_70.php), accessed November 25, 2011.

Donna Pardue

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Donna Pardue, "Sump'n Else," accessed October 18, 2017, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/xds02.

Uploaded on May 27, 2015. Modified on September 14, 2015. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.