Almanac: "American Bandstand"


On August 5, 1957, Dick Clark's music series of pop stars and dancing teens went national.


And now a page from our "Sunday Morning" Almanac: August 5th, 1957, 61 years ago today … the day "American Bandstand" went national.

A staple of local Philadelphia television, ABC picked it up as a network show thanks in large part to prodding by its young host Dick Clark.

Rock & Roll Dance 1957 (American Bandstand) by Vintage Swing Dance on YouTube

The show's format of clean-cut teens dancing to the latest hits quickly proved a winner.

Over the years, "American Bandstand" helped launch the careers of countless stars, including the Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, Madonna, and Sonny and Cher.

American Bandstand 1969 - I Was Made To Love Her, Stevie Wonder by YouCanDanceToit! on YouTube
SHAKE YOUR BODY DOWN TO THE GROUND The Jacksons by discolarry124 on YouTube
Dick Clark Interviews Madonna on American Bandstand 1983 by AwardsShowNetwork on YouTube

The show moved to Los Angeles in 1963, but after years at the top, it lost ground in the 1980s to new competitors including that cable upstart MTV.

After leaving ABC in 1987, "American Bandstand" briefly made its last stand on the USA network, before going off the air for good in 1989.

Gone but, for a generation or two of pop music fans, hardly forgotten.

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Story produced by Justin Hayter.