Don Webster, a longtime meteorologist at News 5 Cleveland and host of the popular variety show “Upbeat,” died Thursday.
Webster’s 35-year career at News 5 began when the station’s general manager was vacationing in Erie, Pa., in 1964, and his television picked up a Canadian broadcast featuring Webster. Webster was recruited as young talent, and his long and legendary career on American television began.
“Don Webster invented the genre of putting music and kids together on television,” said Power of 5 Chief Meteorologist Mark Johnson.
“Upbeat” featured rock ‘n’ roll stars of the time, many of whom came from the Detroit area. Webster hosted some of the biggest acts in history, including The Beatles, the Chad Mitchell Trio (featuring John Denver), Otis Redding, Simon and Garfunkel, the Animals, and Sly and the Family Stone
Webster was asked to take his popular variety show national, but he decided to stay in Cleveland. That show would become “American Bandstand,” and it would be hosted by Dick Clark.
“He is the original Dick Clark,” Johnson said of Webster.
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