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The historic TV program “American Bandstand” rocked the entertainment world when it made its national debut on this day in history, August 5, 1957.

“American Bandstand” was a local hit in Philadelphia beginning in 1952 as “Bandstand,” and from 1956 it was fronted by an ambitious young host named Dick Clark.

He got the chance to take over the program when the original host of the program, Bob Horne, was fired after being arrested for drunk driving.

Clark then lobbied for a larger audience. His wish was granted on August 5, when “American Bandstand” aired on 67 ABC-affiliated stations nationwide.

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Fans loved the show and Clark’s affable on-air persona, while he quickly proved he had an uncanny eye and ear for trends and talent.

The biggest acts of the rock ‘n’ roll era, across multiple genres, all appeared on the show: Michael Jackson, Madonna, The Beach Boys, to name a few.

Singer and musician Bobby Rydell sits next to Dick Clark in the audience of "American Bandstand" circa 1958.  Rydell sang popular songs like "Volare" and appeared in the hit movie "Bye Bye Birdie".

Singer and musician Bobby Rydell sits next to Dick Clark in the audience of “American Bandstand” circa 1958. Rydell sang popular songs like “Volare” and appeared in the hit movie “Bye Bye Birdie”.
(Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Clark, a future entertainment titan, “turned himself and a local Philadelphia television program into two of the most culturally significant forces of the early rock-and-roll era,” notes History.com.

Billy Williams performed “I’m Gonna Sit Down and Write Myself a Letter,” while The Chordettes sang “Just Between You and Me” on the national debut episode, according to IMDb.

According to Rolling Stone, two-thirds of Rock Hall of Fame acts debuted on “American Bandstand.”

The show soon showcased an amazing roster of rising-star acts in the R&B, soul and burgeoning rock ‘n’ roll genres.

Paul Anka made his national debut on August 7, 1957, two days after performing “Diana” on the program “American Bandstand”.

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“Early on he introduced the country to a parade of future Hall of Famers, including Johnny Cash, Eddie Cochran, Sam Cooke, The Drifters, Buddy Holly and Jackie Wilson,” Rolling Stone reported on Clark’s death in 2012.

A Rolling Stone account claims that two-thirds of the members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame made their national debut on “American Bandstand”.

In this Feb. 3, 1959, file photo, Dick Clark selects records in his station library in Philadelphia.  Clarke, a television host who helped bring rock 'n' roll into the mainstream, died on April 18, 2012, aged 82, of a heart attack.

In this Feb. 3, 1959, file photo, Dick Clark selects records in his station library in Philadelphia. Clarke, a television host who helped bring rock ‘n’ roll to the mainstream, died on April 18, 2012, aged 82, of a heart attack.
(AP Photo/File)

The show helped inspire dance craze across the country including Watusi, The Stroll and Twist.

sing “The Twist” became one of the biggest chart hits All Time in 2018 by Billboard.

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“American Bandstand” was such an immediate national success that ABC in October moved the show from its 3:30 after-school time slot to a prime-time slot with the potential for a larger audience targeting teenagers.

According to entertainment sources, the show reached 20 million viewers per episode.

Michael Jackson presents "We are almost there" above "American Bandstand" In 1975.

Michael Jackson performed “We’re Almost There” on “American Bandstand” in 1975.
(ABC/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)

Clark also saw big things ahead during his early days on “American Bandstand.”

He founded Dick Clark Productions in 1957, produced and hosted the first “Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve” in 1972, and created the American Music Awards in 1974 to compete with the Grammy Awards, according to a timeline of the show published by CBS News.

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Clarke and “American Bandstand” ended their network run in 1987, after 30 years as one of the most influential programs in entertainment history.

In 1993, Clark himself was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Some rock legends made their last national appearance on “American Bandstand.”

“He created the soundtrack to the life of the American teenager,” says Rock Hall. “As the charismatic host of ‘American Bandstand,’ Dick Clark gave rock bands national exposure, stood up against censorship and spread the gospel of rock and roll.”

Some rock legends made their last national appearance on “American Bandstand.”

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Buddy Holly performed “It’s So Easy” on August 7, 1958.

The following February he died in a plane crash along with Richie Valens and “The Big Bopper” JP Richardson.