Applause Radio Show welcomes ‘American Bandstand’ favorite

On Oct. 14, Applause Radio Show (ARS) welcomed two amazing guests.

Those of you who have always enjoyed “American Bandstand,” “Shindig” and those teenage “Beach Blanket Bingo” movies with Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon in the ‘60s will remember Donna Loren.

Loren started her career when she won an amateur talent show on “The Mickey Mouse Club” and she would continue to do the show. Who knew she would work with Annette again when she was in her teens? She recorded several singles before she was 10. But before she would hit the beach, she would become the spokesperson for Dr. Pepper and was known as the Dr. Pepper girl.

Her singing throughout the Dr. Pepper days would get her noticed and she would sing a song penned by Brian Wilson from The Beach Boys: “Muscle Beach.”

That song would be her introduction to the “Beach Blanket” movies.

Her hit was called, “It Only Hurts When I Cry.” (interesting fact: Donna was the only actor on the set who was a teenager).

Loren would become a staple on “Shindig” and “American Bandstand,” singing with other artists or on her own. One we touched on was Bobby Sherman, who she remains friends with to this day.

Loren was also in several episodes of “The Monkees,” “Batman” and more in the ‘60s as well.

As a songwriter, she has written and performed many and released several albums. One that piqued my interest was “Donna Does Elvis” in Hawaii.

Loren remains gorgeous and now has a podcast called “Love’s A Secret Weapon.”  On the podcast, you may listen back to her amazing stories about her life in the entertainment industry. Her collaborator, Dr. Adam Gerace, joins her as he delves into her life and career and what it means for her today.

Most stories are readings of her book. Her most recent podcast was of the book’s Chapter 5: “These Are the Good Times.” If you want to go back to the ‘60s to hear about her experiences, check out her podcast.

I also had the pleasure to speak with The Four Tops’s new lead singer Alexander Morris.

Morris is a music producer who never really focused on the singing part of his talents but when approached by The Four Tops to join the group, he sang alright.

Morris is also a pastor in Los Angeles at J. Alexander Morris Ministries. Could you imagine, being a musician, loving music and being asked to join one of the greatest groups of all time? He still pinches himself.

Morris mentioned that The Four Tops are working on new material and a new CD will be out near the end of 2021 or at the start of 2022 — and, fingers crossed, depending on the pandemic — they will be touring very soon and coming to New Jersey.

I am looking forward to the tour and meeting Morris.  He was a sweetheart, and we had a lovely time.

You can have some fun and hear the entire conversation I had with both guests at and while there, check out our calendar for upcoming guests. Oct. 21 at 8 p.m., rock author Jude Warne, who wrote “America, the Band — An Authorized Biography,” joins me, and she will be giving away a copy of her book.

Learn more about the writer ...

JoAnn Barton | Special to The Observer

Jo-Ann Bartonis a singer/songwriter and musician for the past 25+ years who contributes entertainment-related stories to The Observer. Her last CD, 'POP and CIRCUMSTANCES,' spawned a number one hit song at college radio stations throughout the United States, including Hawaii, in 2001. She is the host of the Applause Radio Show, a platform JoAnn brings to an ever-growing audience tuning into listen to their favorite celebrities.