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Song of the Day for August 5: "Bandstand Boogie" with Barry Manilow

Clark
AP
/
AP
American Bandstand disc jockey and television personality Dick Clark stands in background as teens dance during the show at the West Philadelphia television studio in this undated photo. (AP Photo)

Dick Clark died in 2012, but he will always be America’s oldest teenager.

He took over a Philadelphia dance show, called “Bandstand,” in 1956 thanks to the previous host’s DUI arrest. ABC began televising “American Bandstand” nationwide on August 5, 1957.

The show was simple.

It was built around teens dancing to the latest hits; usually a singer or group lip-synching one or two songs, and a segment where the dancers would rate a new record.

But something was missing from those Philadelphia shows – black teens. The show had plenty of black singers, but black teens were not allowed in the studio audience.

That changed the show moved to Los Angeles in 1964.

“Bandstand” went to once a week, on Saturday afternoons. And Clark built a television empire with it as its foundation.

Time finally caught up with “American Bandstand” thanks to cable channels like MTV and the proliferation of college football on Saturday afternoons.

Clark called it quits on network TV in 1987 when ABC wanted to cut the show to 30 minutes.

He moved it to cable, but it never gained its previous luster, and ended in 1989.

It was ironic that the big-band “Bandstand Boogie” ended up being “American Bandstand’s” theme music for its 37-year rock ‘n’ roll run.

Charles Albertine arranged the song for Les Elgert’s band. It originally didn’t have music.

Barry Manilow recorded a version with lyrics in 1975.