Saturday, April 04, 2009

American Bandstand

As a kid growing up in the 1960s, we had a lot of the teen dancing shows. They weren't a lot like the music shows that air here in the Philippines. Once these programs were over, they were over. The shows that are on now seem to linger on for minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years afterwards.

Bandstand was one such local show that was seen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, beginning in 1952. It had a number of hosts until Dick Clark (1929- ) took the reins in 1956. Until 1957, it was seen only on WFIL-TV, channel 6, in Philadelphia (now WPVI), when it went out every weekday afternoon to ABC affiliates throughout the country. The name was changed to reflect this: American Bandstand.

The program didn't specialize in any one area of music. Performers of all genres of music that appealed to young people appeared on the show.

In 1963, the show began running on Saturday, after the morning cartoons. At that time, the live broadcasts were now being taped ahead of time. The weekday shows gave way to soap operas.

In 1964 the show moved to Los Angeles.

Dick Clark stayed with Bandstand until 1989, when it had one more host, but he remained the producer. He ended up producing specials, game shows, and documentaries. Bandstand went off the air in 1989.

Today he's best known for his New Year's Eve TV show, in which he didn't appear after he had his stroke, but now at age 79, he remains active.

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