Sunday, October 07, 2007

American's Dance Party

On this day a cultural icon was born. Well, actually, something started that grew to be a major part of American teenagers' lives. On October 7, 1952, Bob Horn moved his program from radio to television as Bob Horn's Bandstand aired in Philadelphia. This new concept, a disk jockey playing records on TV while kids danced -- all live. Remember those innocent days?

Well, here's some dirt from behind the scenes -- the station ran a campaign against drunk driving when Bob Horn was picked up for DUI. The station replaced him -- that bad example -- with the squeaky clean disk jockey who had been spinning the records all along.

When Dick Clark moved to host the program, things began to change. He insisted on integrating his dancers. This was the 50's, and that was quite a bold move. The show was broadcasting locally, and Dick Clark was a bold young man. He talked ABC into picking up his little dance party show for the nation. Soon American Bandstand was a favorite of teens across the country.

American Bandstand ran for thirty years, the longest running show aimed at American youth. By the time the program played, MTV was a fledgling network. MTV was slick and flashy, but it probably owes its beginnings to Dick Clark's little dance party.

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