Russ Carter - 2013

Though he started out as a singer with the Ted Weems Orchestra, Russ Carter is best-known in St. Louis as the host of the wildly popular “St. Louis Hop,” a local, weekly  “American Bandstand” program on KSD-TV. He held that position for 15 years beginning in 1958 and played host to national and local teen music stars of the era.

His teen audience was loyal, following the show through four location changes over its life span. One of those changes came when a venue refused to allow black teens inside, and the next week, Carter found a place where everyone was welcome, thus making the program St. Louis’ first racially integrated show. Carter’s salesmanship made Bonnee Buttered Beef Steaks and Pepsi-Cola staples in the diets of St. Louis area teenagers. TV was still relatively primitive in the St. Louis Hop days, so Carter was even responsible for writing out his own cue cards.