googled06bb313055e587a.html Rock N Roll Rehab for the Control Of Rock and Roll Starring Greg Piper and The Tooners: Why “American Bandstand” Was Important

Why “American Bandstand” Was Important

The news of Dick Clark's passing on April 18 came as a bit of shock to the entire world. Clark's apparent agelessness became something of a joke as well as a kind of legend and a lot of people found it surprising that the man could be felled by a heart attack and old age just like anybody else.

Most younger people probably remember Dick Clark as the long-time host of “New Year's Rockin' Eve,” a live show that has been broadcast on every New Year's Eve since 1972. He was also the long-time host of the game show “$25,000 Pyramid.” However, the show that really made Dick Clark a household name was “American Bandstand.”

There probably aren't a lot of younger readers who will remember “American Bandstand,” but for more than 30 years it was the place to hear the latest music and learn about the latest trends and dance crazes. It didn't invent rock and roll, but many feel that it helped to bring it to a nationwide audience when ABC began to broadcast it nationally in 1957.

The road to become a famous musician or recording artist has always been a strange one. Technically, the only really important part of becoming famous in the world of music is being able to play music, whether that be classical music, rock, jazz, blues or anything else. Musicians practice hard, they write songs and they might even take the time to earn an MFA degree. It's all so that they can excel at playing their music, but that doesn't seem to be enough in this day and age. The biggest and most successful artists in the world do far more than just sing and play their instruments. A great recording artist has to be able to perform on stage or in front of a camera. Younger audiences might be more familiar with their favorite artists thanks to music videos on YouTube (or MTV back when that station actually played videos) or live performances on television. Artists need to be personalities as well as musicians and that doesn't always come across over the radio as well as it does on TV. “American Bandstand” gave hundreds of artists the chance to show their personalities and allow fans across the country to truly connect with them. In a lot of ways, it was almost a precursor to MTV. There may not have been music videos the way we know them, but the idea of having live (or lip-synched) performances on TV in front of a live audience definitely paved the way for that.

“American Bandstand” took a relatively simple concept and turned it into an institution that changed the way music artists were perceived and marketed for all time. There probably won't be anything like it ever again. Not only did it no doubt inspire countless musicians and singers, but the fact that such a simple concept had such an impact may to this day inspire some to seek an education online in music or television production.


The Pop History Dig (2012)

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