At the end of the 1950s, two new and exciting forms of media were introduced to the largest generation in American history. The first was TV, which became the main way for families to spend time together. The second was rock and roll, which was very popular with teenagers.
The two powerful forces came together in an epic show starring Dick Clark called “American Bandstand.” It may be the most important show of the time in terms of culture. Boys were dancing in suits, and girls wore pretty dresses and hairstyles called “bee-hives.”
Dick Clark made rock and roll music acceptable to most people in the United States. From the first show in 1952, which showed clean-cut teens dancing to songs with suggestive lyrics, it all seemed like good clean fun.
The ABC show that ran the longest had different versions on the air from 1952 to 1989. Jerry Lee Lewis, Perry Como, Chubby Checker, and other stars made appearances on Dick’s show in Philadelphia.
Every six weeks, the show would record three shows on Saturday and three shows on Sunday. This way, a new show could be shown every week. Due to the show, many of the regular teen dancers became well-known.
Once the program took over the airwaves during the weekday afternoons, it became a big hit. Over 20 million viewers tuned in by 1959. It had every big star in it. The music business knew that to get a hit record, they had to go through Philadelphia and Dick Clark.
The nostalgic YouTube channel “Recollection Road” put together a photo album of memories from the glory days of American Bandstand. The black-and-white photos show a great time in the history of American music.