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Positively Philadelphia: Lew Klein

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- This coming week, Temple University's School of Media and Communication will be renamed to honor a man who is not just part of the tapestry of Philadelphia, but a man who helped weave it.

Lew Klien
Lew Klein(2nd from left) from Bandstand days with Fabian, Chubby Checker, Dick Clark, Bobby Rydell, Neil Sedaka and members of the crew.

Broadcast pioneer and longtime adjunct Lew Klein is known around the world for his decades-long television career, but it all began in the late 1940s. His first job: building a puppet for a TV weather show for five dollars a show.

Lew Klien
Lew with marionette at his first job on a weather show in the 1940's (with Frank Ford). (Photo Credit: Lew Klien

"The very first weather show ever, and it was only on Thursday nights, because nobody cared about the weather except for the weekend. Look what's happened to that," Klein said.

From there to Captain Noah, the Phillies, teaching and mentoring all the while staying in Philadelphia. where he was executive producer of Bandstand

"It created dances. It created fashions. If something appeared on 'Bandstand,' it became the rage across the country," Klein said. "The kids who came to 'Bandstand' were kids from West Catholic High School, and as soon as school was over, they would run around the corner and come to 'Bandstand,' and the sisters did not like or allow the girls to wear their Catholic school uniforms, so the girls would bring sweaters, and when school was over, they had this sweater that covered everything but their Peter Pan collar that was part of their uniform. Well, Peter Pan collars became a necessity for girls across the country!"

American Bandstand
Teenagers dance on an episode of Dick Clark's television program, 'American Bandstand,' 1950s. (Photo by Gary Wagner/Getty Images)

The school will be the Lew Klein College of Media and Communication.

"There's just no way to describe something that you never, ever, ever in your life thought would happen," he said.



And for this week, that's "Positively Philadelphia!"

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