Friday, August 05, 2011

American Bandstand Premiered Nationally in America on August 5, 1957

American Bandstand is an American music-performance show that aired in various versions from 1952 to 1989 and was hosted from 1956 until its final season by Dick Clark, who also served as producer. The show featured teenagers dancing to Top 40 music introduced by Clark; at least one popular musical act—over the decades, running the gamut from Jerry Lee Lewis to Run DMC—would usually appear in person to lip-sync one of their latest singles. Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon holds the record for most appearances at 110.

Clark would often interview the teenagers about their opinions of the songs being played, most memorably through the "Rate-a-Record" segment. During the segment, two audience members each ranked two records on a scale of 35 to 98, after which the two opinions were averaged by Clark, who then asked the audience members to justify their scores. The segment gave rise, perhaps apocryphally, to the phrase "It's got a good beat and you can dance to it." 

In one humorous segment broadcast for years on retrospective shows, comedians Cheech and Chong appeared as the record raters:

The show's popularity helped Dick Clark become an American media mogul and inspired similar long-running music programs, such as Soul Train and Top of the Pops. Clark eventually assumed ownership of the program through his Dick Clark Productions company.

It premiered locally in late September 1952 as Bandstand on Philadelphia television station WFIL-TV Channel 6 (now WPVI-TV), as a replacement for a weekday movie that had shown predominantly British movies. The show was picked up nationally, becoming American Bandstand on August 5, 1957.

Dig this crazy scene: "Captain Beefheart on the Hot Line at American Bandstand on June 18, 1966. After Don answers some probing questions from one of the shows dancers everyone gets to jump around to Diddy Wah Diddy" - YouTube Clip:

For a comprehensive read about the show, visit the source used for this blog post:

For a complete list of acts who appeared on American Bandstand, visit this page:

American Bandstand  - a Bit of Groovy!