'American Bandstand' Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Sunday is a milestone for the show that taught America to dance. It was 50 years ago that American Bandstand changed the way a generation listened to music.

On Aug. 5, 1957, "American Bandstand" brought rock 'n' roll into American living rooms across the country, led by eternal teenager Dick Clark.

For decades, the show brought in big acts like Chubby Checker as millions of teens emulated what they saw on television.

"'American Bandstand' set the bar for what kids listened to, how they danced, how they dressed," said Matt Roush, senior television critic for TV Guide.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Some of the original dancers recently took another spin for the show's 50th anniversary. And they were joined by such icons as Chubby Checker, still twisting away, and Connie Francis.

"At 3:30 in the afternoon, there were no children in the street nowhere in America. They were sitting at home watching 'American Bandstand,'" Chubby Checker said.

"American Bandstand" was so popular, it was estimated that a single appearance on the show by a big artist could lead to next-day sales of 20,000 to 40,000 thousand records.

Even today the show is influencing pop culture and changing people's lives.

Today, "American Bandstand's" legacy lives on in shows like "American Idol."

"'American Idol' is the hottest show on television. Ryan Seacrest is like the new Dick Clark, once again bringing music to America through television.

"American Bandstand may not be on the air, but it's in our hearts forever," Roush said.

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