Image result for american bandstand went national in 1957
Image result for american bandstand went national in 1957
Richard (Dick) Wagstaff Clark (November 30, 1929 – April 18, 2012)

Television, rock and roll and teenagers. In the late 1950s, when television and
rock and roll were new and when the biggest generation in American history
was just about to enter its teens, it took a bit of originality to see the potential power in this now-obvious combination. The man who saw that potential more clearly than any other was a 26-year-old native of upstate
New York named
Dick Clark, who transformed himself and a local Philadelphia television
program into two of the most culturally significant forces of the early rock-
and-roll era. His iconic show, American Bandstand, began broadcasting
nationally on this day in 1957, beaming images of clean-cut, average
teenagers dancing to the not-so-clean-cut Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Whole Lotta
Shakin’ Goin’ On” to 67 ABC affiliates across the nation.

The show that evolved into American Bandstand began on Philadephia’s
WFIL-TV in 1952, a few years before the popular ascension of rock and
roll. Hosted by local radio personality Bob Horn (below).

horn_kids.jpg (81202 bytes)

Image result for bob horn
Donald Loyd "Bob" Horn
(February 20, 1916 – July 31, 1966)


Image result for american bandstand went national in 1957

If you look closely, you might see Len Lear dancing with a girl in a Catholic school dress on “American Bandstand” at 46th and Market Streets in 1957, when Lear did manage to make the most acerbic comments in the history of American Bandstand’s “Record Review” feature. Good training for a future editor.

posted by Bob Karm in American Bandstand,ANNIVERSARY,Broadcasting,Dance,DEBUT,HISTORY,MUSIC,Records,Singers,Talent show and have Comment (1)


  1. J. Cool says:

    J.Cool, staff reporter to say, I remember it well as if it were just yesterday. The summer was just winding down and I was not quite 12 years old and about to enter the 6th grade! My family had a TV set so I was able to watch Bandstand…..and on the same day (although it had actually premiered a week earlier) as Bandstand’s premier, KPTV channel 12, which was a local TV station, Introduced “High Time” hosted by local personality Gene Brendler. As with Bandstand, kids would crowd in line outside the KPTV studio which was located across the street from Civic Stadium, now Providence Park and home to the Portland Timbers soccer team, for the chance to get on the show and dance to the days hottest music. High Time stayed on the air for four years unlike Bandstand which endured until 1989.

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