Flashback To American Bandstand

CIRCA 1960: Singer Freddy Cannon poses for a portait with television host Dick Clark during one of Freddy's 110 appearances on the TV show "American Bandstand" in circa 1960. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

American Bandstand has captured the hearts of audiences everywhere, and has hosted several extraordinary talents. In September of 1952, ABC aired the first national broadcast of American Bandstand with the world’s oldest teenager, Dick Clark, as its host. Let’s take a look at some of the best performances from American Bandstand!

Jerry Lee Lewis (1957)

The piano-playing singer had several appearances on the show, but his performance of “Great Balls of Fire” really riled up the crowd.


Chubby Checker (1960)

Nobody knew who Chubby Checker was when he set foot on stage to perform “The Twist,” but soon everybody knew him and the dance craze he created.

Jefferson Airplane (1967)

Parents feared for their children’s sobriety when these spaced-out, psychedelic San Francisco rockers performed their hits “White Rabbit” and “Somebody to Love” on air.


The Doors (1967)

The Doors performing The Crystal Ship and Light My Fire Live on American Bandstand in 1967. Also includes a short interview done by Host Dick Clark.

The Doors’ front man, Jim Morrison, hypnotized the youth of American with his haunting vocals and come-hither stare when the band performed their hit “Light My Fire.”

The Jackson 5 (1970)

A young Michael Jackson stole the show when he and his four older brothers jolted audiences with performances of “I Want You Back” and “ABC.”

ABBA – (1975)


John Travolta (1976)

Riding the success of his hit TV show, Welcome Back, Kotter, Travolta convinced audiences he was a man of many talents with a performance of his single “Let Her In.”

Gloria Gaynor (1979)

At the height of the disco era, the genre’s queen, Gloria Gaynor, belted out note after powerful note of the decade’s inspirational dance anthem “I Will Survive.”

PRINCE (1979)



Prince’s first TV performance ever!

Run-D.M.C. (1985)

Fans rightfully credit the Sugar Hill Gang with being the first hip-hop act to appear on the show, but this group made major noise when they performed “Jam Master Jammin’.”

Madonna (1984)

After electrifying the crowd with her hit “Holiday,” Madonna wasted little time in revealing her plans for musical domination, telling Dick Clark of her intention “to rule the world.”

The Beastie Boys (1987)

Who can forget the energy of these NYC bad boys, who break-danced their way through a performance of “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)”?

What performances do you remember from American Bandstand?
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