American Bandstand (TV Series 1952–1989) Poster

(1952–1989)

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It was great in the 1960s, and it is still great today.
TxMike14 December 2004
Although "Bandstand" apparently got its start in 1952, I first became familiar with it during the late 1950s and early 1960s, when Dick Clark was hosting the show. I became a teenager in 1958, and although I lived in a small southern town, I felt as much a part of Bandstand as those kids in Philadelphia. My mother and father both worked, so I was usually alone during the afternoon, after school. I remember my usual routine -- cook some frozen fish sticks in the oven, and settle down to watch Bandstand.

Part of the format involved playing several new songs, and having a small panel of teens rate then, to predict which ones had the best chance of becoming a hit. Of course, those of us who were watching often went over to the record store the next chance we had, to buy a copy of the winners, so the predictions became self-fulfilling. The biggest thrill was actually seeing on TV, the singers that we only knew through listening to the records. Brenda Lee. Leslie Gore. Paul and Paula. Bobby Vinton. Names that most of the younger generations would never recognize. And now, some of that is being brought to us in the Dick Clark sponsored TV series, "American Dreams." Bandstand, an important TV program in my formative teen years.
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No wonder this show lasted three decades......
rcj53659 May 2005
All the greatest songs ever recorded.

All the Number One Hits.

All the latest dances.

All the greatest musical guests of all time.

For three decades,Dick Clark brought you the best in entertainment.

From 1957 until 1989,this show was a Saturday afternoon staple for the teenage set.

That show was American BANDSTAND. It ran for 37 years on ABC-TV. For the three decades that it ran on the ABC network,it went on to become the third longest-running musical variety show of all time. During the last nine seasons of the show(1980-1989)the show saw a decline to some heavy competition,but due to the loyal support of the viewers,the show survived inspite to some newer viewers and a whole new generation.

It's easy to understand why it lasted three decades and was one of the top shows among the teenage set.It also paved the way for the next generation and the beginning of the "MTV" status that was to follow. Dick Clark was always the excellent and cordial host,who held his own,and remain so until the final episode of the series in 1989. Thank you,Dick Clark for making this possible.
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I was there!
crazy-1227 August 1999
I am very fortunate to have danced on American Bandstand during 1962 when it was live from WFIL studios at 46th & Market Streets in Philadelphia, PA. I was 18 at the time and used to go down there whenever I could get out of school early. I once got on the record review panel and remember rating 3 new releases, one of which was "Do You Wanna Dance". According to my high school newspaper which printed a story about my being on the panel, I rated that one the highest. I still have that school paper in my scrapbook along with a snapshot I took of Dick Clark interviewing Sandra Dee. To this day, I am amazed at how being on that show was something I almost took in stride. What great teenage memories I now am privileged to enjoy!
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"MTV" spelled the beginning of the end of "AB"
skillz21 October 2002
Pepsi Cola had a very catchy slogan during the 1980s. But unlike "Pepsi" American Bandstand was NOT the choice of a New Generation! The long running music show had a big part in mainstreaming Rock N' Roll. Long time host Dick Clark had a winner for decades. Adolescents was the backbone of it's audience, butGeneration X was slow to embrace AB because MTV conspired with: syndicated, network and local music video programs to challenge American Bandstand's legacy. Music Videos had very little if any audience interaction, unlike Bandstand. This is regardless of whether the interaction had to do with a studio or television audience. VeeJays merely played videotapes. But on the contrary most television viewers did not have to wait for Noon Eastern on Saturday to see their favorite artists perform. Music Videos from decades prior to the Eighties consisted of footage from American Bandstand and talk or variety shows. But now the producers and directors of videos were no longer limited to the set of American Bandstand. They can shoot their videos on location or on major studio backlots. They had the freedom to use : animation, special effects, or any other format they liked. But during this added dimension in pop music what was the viewing experience like for American Bandstand? You tuned in to watch other people dance and to watch recording artists give lip-synch performances. "Dude! That is like, so lame!" As the youngsters would say in 1980s vernacular. With the advent of the Music Video Shows American Bandstand just seemed kind of weak! You may say "Skillz! if it was so lame then explain why a program like the syndicated 'Soul Train' continued to flourish with a simular blueprint of dancing and lip-synching?" I will tell you why! Because viewers wanted to dress in the festive gear that they saw on Soul Train, and they wanted to emulate the dance moves that they saw on the show that was dubbed "The Hippest Trip in America". You watched Soul Train so that you can look and dress the part; and you went clubbing with hopes that you would not leave the disco by yourself! But even compared to its more Nubiancentric competitor American Bandstand paled by comparison. Most of what you saw on Bandstand in the 1980s consisted of dancers dressed like they were at a church picnic and moved like wind-up dolls on the AB dance floor. AB was clearly a shadow of its former self. During the decade of New Wave and Boat Shoes and Micheal Jackson kids just didn't aspire to appear on American Bandstand like they did during previous decades. AB simply experienced the ratings dooldrums at best. Finally ABC ended it's long association with the music show and American Bandstand crawled to basic cable to die.
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9/10
Nostalgic? Absolutely! Remember the audience's common response "I Like the beat"
Ed-Shullivan20 January 2017
My family, friends and co-workers all remember Saturday's weekly TV series American Bandstand back in the 1960's and 1970's when it was THE ONLY music related theme show that could compete each week with the popularity of the following evenings Sunday night TV's Ed Sullivan show. Dick Clark as host was that perennial television star who seemed to have found the fountain of youth and just never seemed to age.

Each week the music that played and was danced to were the most popular songs of that day and when Dick Clark would ask some of the studio fans who were grooving and dancing to the music playing they would invariably respond with something like the following, "Well, I just like the beat. It's a beat we can dance to really easy. I just like the beat".

Yes for the most part the TV audience dancing to the songs playing represented a white mid-west America audience, but I believe it fair to say that American Bandstand would bring in the live talent from all across the country. The TV series sound stage was produced and filmed from the home of soul music in Philadelphia and yes from the great soul singer James Brown and Chubby Checkers, to crooners like Bobby Darin and Neil Sedaka, country singers like Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton, pop singers like the Carpenters and the Supremes, and rock and roll like Chuck Berry, the Animals and Creedence Clearwater Revival. American Bandstand never disappointed their television audience that tuned in each week to hear the beat, and maybe just a bit tongue in cheek laugh and criticize the shows dancers hokey dance moves, or their wide bell bottom pants and long hair or huge afros. Not only was American Bandstand the epicenter of the hip music, it was also a platform for teenage dress and fashion statements.

Who can not say that after more than 30 consecutive seasons on the air that if you were born prior to the 1980's that you didn't watch American Bandstand, didn't enjoy the music and the music guests that appeared each week? If you were not a fan of American Bandstand than you probably still tuned in and watched the TV show on Saturday as its critic so that you could make fun of the hokey dance moves that were displayed, the abstract fashion statements and hairdos (such as the women's beehive hairstyles and the men's two foot high afros).

Dick Clark's soothing voice and his ease with which he interacted with his musical guests made him the perfect host, and allowed us the audience to spend a Saturday for an hour or so enjoying great music guests, classic music and dance moves and ohhhh the fashion statements when we reminisce. Who can forget American Bandstand that lasted for 32 wonderful seasons. We miss you Dick Clark. God bless.
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The dance show that paved the way for all the others.
jeff-15013 January 1999
The oldest and the best dance show ever to make it onto television. A chronicle of the music, fashion, and general trends, year by year, for four decades! Everybody who was anybody performed on this show. Dick Clark is king!
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10/10
Were going hoppin were going hoppin today where things are popping the Philadelphia Way were gonna drop in on all the music they play on the Bandstand{Bandstand}
adampriceright23 September 2007
Those words were sung by Barry Manilow. It was a theme song used for a show that made Rock and Roll what is is today. that show was called American Bandstand hosted by Dick Clark. Bandstand was THE show for all the hottest music, dances and preformers. But the show didn't start that way. On October 6th 1952 Bandstand went on the air as a local show brodcast out of my hometown of Philadelphia from the WFIL studios of Channel 6 on 46th and Market Street. Bandstand started out showing the forerunners of Music Videos called Snader Musical Films. The host of Bandstand then was a WFIL DJ named Bob Horn. The Sanders were boring so the WFIL Bandstand staff decided to bring kids in and have them dance to the hottest records of the day. Bandstand was a local hit. in 1956 Bob Horn was fired from the show and 26 year old Dick Clark took over the Bandstand lectern. on August 5th 1957 Bandstand became American Bandstand and the ABC Network broadcast the show nationally and American Bandstand changed Rock and Roll forever. American Bandstand had a 37 year run giving many preformers their national debut and launching their stardom. After 37 years of Dancing American Bandstand came to an end in 1989. Dick stepped down and handed the show over to 26 year old David Hirsch AB vanished from TV but the impact of American Bandstand will live on forever. In the words of Barry Manilow."We'll Rock and Roll and Stroll on American, Lindy hop and slop it's American tune in turn on i'm in I'm on Today... Bandstand!
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Always loved this awesome show
Jerry Ables1 May 2002
I remember watching this show every Saturday afternoon when I was a child and I always had a lot of fun doing it. It featured a lot of awesome musical talent in the many years that it was on and Dick Clark was always an excellent and cordial host. The dancers always looked so alive on the dance floor and you could just tell that they were loving every minute of it. My memories of this show are very easily among my favorite memories of sitting in front of the television set when I was a child. It's very easy to understand why it lasted so many years.
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