From the Land of Band Box Records

Dining With Johnny

July 28, 2017

John Zacherle – A “Cool Ghoul”

Image result for dick clark with john zacherle

John Zacherley was born in September of 1918 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania John Zacherle.  He started off after a tour in the military, as a local TV personality in Philadelphia.  It was there where he first assumed a spooky persona appearing as “Roland” – living in a crypt with his wife.

John sometimes served as a stand-in on some of Clark’s road tours featuring hit artists of the day, as he was a close friend of Dick Clark.  With Clark’s backing, Zacherle recorded “Dinner with Drac” on the Cameo record label in 1958.

“Dinner with Drac” charted in the Spring of 1958 on Billboard and reached the number 6 position, nearly four years before Bobby “Boris” Pickett would enter the Monster genre.  He was backed on the track by Dave Appell’s Applejacks – who were more or less the house band for Cameo/Parkway records.  Clark reportedly tagged John as “The Cool Ghoul”.

Zacherle died on October 27th, 2016 at the ripe old age of 98!


  1. I was unfamiliar with his album on Elektra. Have you heard it? From the logo, it was deep in their more folkie era.Have you heard it? How is it?

    • No – I don’t own it – and would reckon that if I did it would probably be a one-time listen… Interesting that Elektra published it

  2. great read, i named these type records “ghoul group records”, i don’t think the later lps are as good as the first one which i bought when it was first released..

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