“American Bandstand” started as a local show on Philadelphia’s WFIL-TV channel, but host Dick Clark’s vision and ambition got it picked up for a national premiere on August 5, 1957. The show featured popular music and “average teenagers” who would dance to, discuss, and rate the records played, while also showcasing fashion trends of the time. Being featured on the show could rocket a musician or band to fame, while being passed over could ensure they were forgotten.
The show eventually moved to Los Angeles and changed to a weekly format, but continued to be hosted by Clark until the late 1980s. It was the longest-running weekly pop music showcase TV program, until “Top of the Pops” broke its record in 2001.