August 5 - 1957 - American Bandstand Premieres

American Bandstand broadcast every weekday, showing teenagers across the country the biggest hits in America and the newest dances performed by fellow teenagers. The idea behind Bandstand was that it would be a show for teenagers. Yet the way it presented popular music was relatively conservative. Bandstand began as a show for the Philadelphia market, showcasing pretaped videos of musical performers. Then it changed into a dance program. When Dick Clark took over from original host Bob Horn, who had been fired because of a drunk driving charge, it was geared towards teenagers in a safer way. This made it the ideal show for ABC's national broadcasting slot at 3 PM, which Dick Clark successfully argued to network executives. Bandstand was almost the domestication of Rock n Roll. All the dancers dressed moderately, everyone was well behaved, and the music was always what was popular on radio stations. Despite its demeanor, Bandstand was a haven for gay teens in Philadelphia and showed black performers when other shows refused to. And after it debuted nationally, it became the arbiter for teenage culture.

William Floyd