Posts Tagged ‘“American Bandstand”’

Poppin’ the Philadelphia Way: “American Bandstand” Went National 55 Years Ago!

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

Philadelphia teens started hoppin’ to the beats of American Bandstand back in September of 1952. Local disc jockey Bob Horn hosted both the radio and television show, the former featuring popular records of the day, and the latter boasting the added visual of local teenagers dancing to the songs. A young Dick Clark soon took over radio duties, and when Horn ran into legal troubles in 1956 after getting arrested for driving-under-the-influence, 26-year-old Clark was tapped as Bandstand’s new television host:

With some prodding by Clark, American Bandstand went national on ABC on August 5, 1957 and remained on the air (either in network or syndicated form) through October of 1989. For years, appearing on Bandstand marked THE right of passage for up-and-coming musicians. Here’s a peek at the Beach Boys’ first appearance on the program in 1964:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSiZSUjIM9w&feature=related

Unlike most other shows of its day, Bandstand consistently catered to teens and young adults. Dick Clark explained how music was selected for the show:

Here’s to 55 years of droppin’ in on all the music they play on Bandstand!

Learn more about American Bandstand at our show page.

- by Adrienne Faillace

Remembering Dick Clark

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

The Archive is sad to report the death of beloved producer/host Dick Clark. Clark passed away today at the age of 82 from a heart attack. Best known for hosting American Bandstand and New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, Clark also hosted $10,000 Pyramid, and produced the American Music Awards and several television movies.

Here are some selections from Clark’s 1999 Archive interview:

On his on-air radio personality:

That started in radio and I learned it from Godfrey.  Just be yourself. I’m of English heritage, the English are not known for a great sense of humor.  Second only to the Germans, maybe. They don’t come by it natural. So all I could do was be myself.  I did pretty well doing that.

On the music on American Bandstand:

I was raised on jazz, a little bit of rhythm and blues and mostly big band, so a lot of it was very unfamiliar to me. The day I walked in, “Stranded in the Jungle,” by the Jayhawks was number one on our Top Ten. I said, “strange,” so I did a quick education of what it was, and I soon realized it wasn’t alien to me because I loved rhythm and blues. I was a Country Music disc jockey ten years before that, so I knew country and this was an amalgamation of those two, so it was a fast learn. In those days you learned by the seat of your pants. We didn’t have any surveys, we didn’t have any electronic media to speak of. We talked on the phone to fellow disc jockeys, that’s how we determined what was hot.

On the genesis of New Year’s Rockin’ Eve:

Fittingly, here’s what he had to say about his legacy:

The nicest thing that has happened to me in the last probably ten years, people of all ages… say “thank you very much for being part of my life,” or “I grew up with you,” or “thank you for all the good times.” If that was my legacy, that’s pretty good. I touched a lot of people. Only rarely have we gotten them to change their thoughts politically, or morally, or uplifted them, but I took them away. I let them escape and that’s pretty good.

New Year’s Eve won’t be the same without you, Dick.

Watch Dick Clark’s Full Archive Interview.

55 Years Ago: Dick Clark becomes Permanent Host of “American Bandstand”

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

Fifty-five years ago, on July 9, 1956 Dick Clark became the permanent host of American Bandstand and his boyish looks and straight-laced style bridged the gap between teenagers and their parents, helping to bring rock ‘n’ roll to the mainstream. The show broadcast locally from Philadelphia starting in 1952 and by August 5, 1957, with Clark taking the show to the top of the ratings, the show went national (its initial title Bandstand was changed to American Bandstand). Records were rated in one of the segments of the show and as was oft said about these songs could easily apply to the show itself: “It has a good beat and you can dance to it.”

In 1999, the Archive of American Television interviewed Dick Clark who talks about his long tenure on American Bandstand as well as his other television ventures including the $10,000 Pyramid and New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.

Interview excerpt – Dick Clark on how American Bandstand came to end end in 1989, after four decades:

Music had changed.  Television had changed. It was much more elaborate. We moved from Philadelphia to L.A. in 1964.  The kids were fashionably dressed for the time: bell bottoms, long hair, and all of that. We went through the 60’s protest era, into the 70’s, the Disco era, the madness of all of that. Into the 80’s and in 1989, I was about to approach 60, and we had taken the show from ABC who wanted it for only a half an hour a week, and I said, “no, we’ll syndicate it.”  Then we took it into cable television, and in its last dying days, it was being done in the daytime at Universal’s amusement park in a parking lot, with no lights, and bare sets. I looked at it one day, and I said, “boy, I always thought of the Bandstand as one my kids. I really don’t want it to be remembered that way. It was my election, I said, just let it go.  We made a big mistake in October of 1989.  We could have kept it on another three months, and then it would have been in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and the 90s. We missed the 90’s by three months.

Click here to see Dick Clark’s full Archive of American Television interview.

50 years ago today… Dick Clark began hosting American Bandstand

Sunday, July 9th, 2006


On July 9, 1956 Dick Clark became the permanent host of American Bandstand and his boyish looks and straight-laced style bridged the gap between teenagers and their parents, helping to bring rock ‘n’ roll to the mainstream. The show broadcast locally from Philadelphia starting in 1952 and by August 5, 1957, with Clark taking the show to the top of the ratings, the show went national (its initial title Bandstand was changed to American Bandstand). Records were rated in one of the segments of the show and as was oft said about these songs could easily apply to the show itself: “It has a good beat and you can dance to it.”

The Archive of American Television interviewed Dick Clark who talks about his long tenure on American Bandstand as well as his other television ventures including the $10,000 Pyramid and New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.

Click here to access Dick Clark’s interview.

What are your memories of American Bandstand?