Dick Clark brought Rock N’ Roll into my house & taught me how to dance & how to do the latest steps & I wasn’t even a teenager. I started watching in earnest in 1959, when I was 5 years old & American Bandstand was broadcast from Philadelphia.
My favorite section was Rate-A-Record where teenage dancers on the show would rate & comment on a record played on the show. The American Bandstand Top 10 was a countdown of the Top 10 hits of the day. I was confused but engaged by The Spotlight Dance featuring 2 or more couples dancing to a softer, slower tune. At first I found it odd that the kids would want to touch & press against each other touch, until I got all dreamy for the notion of dancing with Mike Balara, my personal favorite dancer. I already was developing a thing for Italians, Jews & Lebanese.
It might surprise you to know that I am actually a fine dancer, on my own, with a boy partner, a girl partner or my favorite- with 2 other partners at once. Ask me to dance sometime. I am talented, if a little dirty.
Even when American Bandstand moved to a weekly broadcast on Saturday afternoon, I stayed with it for the lip-synced performances by favorite artists of the day.
He helped give black artists their due by playing original R&B recordings instead of cover versions by white performers, & he condemned censorship.
Clark: "It still wasn't acceptable for them to dance with white kids, so the blacks just danced with each other. We were waiting for the explosion, but it never happened The wonderful part about our decision to integrate then was that there were no repercussions, no reverberations, no battles at all — it just happened right there on a television screen in front of millions of people."
By the time I ready to drop watching Dick Clark & his little show , he started to book guests like Talking Heads & Prince. Despite the changes, I remained loyal to the series, as it continued to present the latest music & dances. I was starting to move to spending more time with a new dance show- Soul Train.
But as a fan, I was able to see a lot of major artists make their TV debut on American Bandstand. Sonny & Cher made their first TV appearance on American Bandstand, in summer 1965. The Jackson 5 made their TV debut on the show February 21, 1970, as did Aerosmith in December 1973. In January, 1980, Prince made his TV debut on Bandstand. By the mid-1980s, with the rise of MTV, American Bandstand’s format became dated.
But While I was still watching, the guests included: Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, James Brown, the Beach Boys, the Doors, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, the Temptations, the Carpenters, Van Morrison, the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Neil Diamond, Ike & Tina Turner, Pink Floyd, Creedance Clearwater Revival, George Michael, Rod Stewart, Bon Jovi, Gloria Estefan, Michael Jackson, & Madonna, who appeared in January 1984 singing the tune Holiday. That was my last viewing of Bandstand.
Dick Clark, you sure stayed busy, you always looked sharp, & you made a lot of kids want to move to the music. I give your life's song a 98- i liked it, it had a good beat & you could dance to it.