Dick Clark’s American Bandstand! Wow! It was soooo much fun to watch those teens dancing and listen to all the wonderful music. I was a shy country girl and couldn’t even imagine what it might be like to dance on national television!
Dick Clark started hosting Bandstand in 1956. I was only eight years old!! The fact that the doctrine in my little church frowned on dancing – I never did really understand why – likely made Bandstand even more fascinating. And it wasn’t just me! According to Groovy History, “Young people everywhere thought they had died and gone to heaven when Dick Clark introduced the American Bandstand television music show.”
On Bandstand Dick Clark provided an opportunity for audience members to give their opinions of songs, on a scale of 35 to 98. As Groovy History tells us, “A song usually got a better rating if it had a beat that was easy to dance to…If a song makes you feel like dancing, it has to be great!” I would definitely agree!
With Bandstand Boogie by Les Elgart as its theme song, American Bandstand over time introduced us to the likes of Roy Orbison, the Beach Boys, Chubby Checker, The Silhouettes, Fabian, Little Richard, and even a very young Michael Jackson.
If you’re a septuagenarian like me – or even if you’re not! – take a look at a few of these videos. They might just bring a smile to your face! (Who couldn’t use more smiles, y’all?)
Little Richard – Long Tall Sally and Tutti Frutti – 1957
Dion & the Belmonts – I Wonder Why – 1958
The Chordettes – Lollipop and Mr. Sandman – 1958
Chuck Berry – Sweet Little Sixteen – 1958
Danny and the Juniors – At the Hop – 1958
Jackie Wilson – Lonely Teardrops – 1959
Bobby Rydell – Wild One – 1960 (vocal only)
Chubby Checker – The Twist – 1960
Little Eva – The Locomotion – 1962 This is MY personal favorite!
Peggy March – I Will Follow Him – 1963
Roy Orbison – Pretty Woman – 1966
The Diamonds – The Stroll – 1968
The Jackson Five – I Want You Back – 1970
The Silhouettes – Get a Job – 1973
The list could go on and on! Now that we’re thinking about great old music, how about a couple more songs from 1956. While these tunes are not from Bandstand, I know you’ll enjoy them. They’re by a singer who needs no introduction!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this journey down memory lane, my friends. Anybody out there want to do The Locomotion with me??? Just sayin’!!!