This Was Television On August 5

1957: Bandstand becomes all-American

ABC began the 30 year national network run of the seminal dance program, which grew from a local Philadelphia offering into a key youth culture barometer during the early days of both television and rock and roll.  The national pick-up owed a lot to the lobbying efforts of Bandstand‘s host, Dick Clark, who had stepped into the shoes of original host Bob Horn the previous year.

One of the first tunes that set Bandstand‘s teens a-dancin’ in its national debut was Jerry Lee Lewis’s “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On.” At the time, its suggestive lyrics and hip-shaking backbeat instilled in parents a fear that pop music, and youth culture more generally, would corrupt their children irretrievably. Luckily, when that didn’t happen, everyone settled down and never worried about such silly things anymore. -A.D.

Today’s Birthdays: Loni Anderson, living on the air in Cincinnati (66); Selma Diamond, night court bailiff (d. 1985); Maureen McCormick, Marcia Marcia Marcia (56); Jonathan Silverman, single guy (46); Erika Slezak, Lord of Llanview (66).

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