American Bandstand

According to “The History of American Bandstand” by Michael Shore with Dick Clark, Neil appeared on the show on Saturday, March 22, 1969, and sang “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show.”

But I didn’t need the book to tell me this. I saw the show, and what I remember most about it is that Neil had grown a beard! I had never seen him looking like this before, and I loved it! When the “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show” album with the bandwagon cover came out a short time later, he was also pictured with the beard. But the beard was gone by the time the later version of the album was released that summer.

— Regina Litman

39 Years Ago – Dick Clark and “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show”
Posted by rslitman (profile) 2008-03-22 14:13:15.0

I saw Neil’s March 22, 1969, appearance on “American Bandstand”. Neil’s hit “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show” was climbing the charts at the time, and that is what he sang, or rather lip-synched, on the show. What was most memorable about this appearance, though, was that he had grown a beard! I had never seen him with a beard before, and I liked it a lot.

By the time this show was done, “American Bandstand” had been originating from Los Angeles rather than Philadelphia for several years. Host Dick Clark asked him what was new, and he said that his next album, named for his new hit, would be released shortly.

A long time later, Neil was asked if he had grown the beard then in order to look more “hip”. He said that he had grown it to avoid private detectives his first wife, from whom he was then separated, had hired. Personally, I think he had tried to look more in with the times in 1969. But there were other things keeping him from looking realistic as a late 1960s hippie, including his well-publicized anti-drug stance.

Neil has grown a beard at least two other times in his career. Once was when he was doing “The Jazz Singer”, for the scenes done in Texas. The other time was around 1997, before I joined FOND. FOND members got a photo in the mail in which he was shown with a beard and posted about it on one of the message boards I hung out at before Iris, Jean, and Eydie started this one.

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