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American Bandstand

From Academic Kids

American Bandstand was a live dance music television show. It premiered locally as Bandstand on Philadelphia television station WFIL on October 7, 1952, and was hosted by Bob Horn. On July 9, 1956, Horn was replaced by Dick Clark. The show was picked up by ABC on August 5, 1957 and aired weekly until 1989.

The show featured real kids dancing to Top 40-type music, often with mimed performances by the artists themselves. In 1957, Patti Page was crowned American Bandstand's favorite female vocalist in its first nationwide audience poll. In 1963, the show moved to Saturday afternoons, and in 1964 the show was moved from Philadelphia to Los Angeles. It was hosted by Clark until 1987, when the show went off the air. In 1989, it returned in syndication, and Clark was replaced with a younger host to bring in more viewers. The show ended for good later that year.

Standout performances on American Bandstand include a chaotic 1980 appearance by the (at that time) abrasive art-rock ensemble, Public Image Limited—a fact often suspected of being an urban legend, which is nonetheless confirmed by broadcast videotapes and by Dick Clark himself.

The show is featured prominently in the 2000s TV drama American Dreams.

Trivia

It was customary on the show to have Clark perform a mini-interview with the guest band members. Clark says the most difficult interview he performed was with Prince, an unknown at the time of his appearance. Prince was unresponsive and would generally only answer his questions with a hand gesture or a single word.

Another famous mini-interview Clark is famous for is with Madonna, who, when asked what she would like to do 20 years from now, she answered: I want to rule the world. And to this day, she has fulfilled her goal.

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