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:
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