Dick Clark got to introduce many artists on "American Bandstand" from 1956-1989.
“Music is the soundtrack of your life.”
Dick Clark helped introduce us to countless iconic musicians each week on “American Bandstand” — the hit TV show that rocked on for 37 seasons with over 3,000 episodes.
To remember the premiere of “American Bandstand,” which hit the small screens 64 year ago this week, here are some of the best — standard definition — performances, including an up and coming Prince, a young Michael Jackson and the birth of the Beastie Boys.
Jerry Lee Lewis
Jerry Lee Lewis made a name for himself thanks to his over the top, high energy live shows, which was featured on his “American Bandstand” performance.
Lewis frantically played the piano and got the whole crowd to dance and scream. The singer was part of a changing music scene and you can see the early parts of rock and roll begin to play out in the live clip.
The Jackson 5
Michael Jackson wouldn’t have had the successful solo career he had, if he didn’t capture the hearts of millions as a kid with his family in their group The Jackson 5.
In their first visit on “American Bandstand” in 1970, The Jackson 5 played “I Want You Back” and “ABC.”
A young Michael was already showing he had the charisma and talent to be one of the biggest pop stars in the world even though he was only 12-years-old at the time.
“American Bandstand” not only featured the King of Pop, but the Queen of Pop also had a performance for the ages.
Madonna sang and danced her way all over the stage in 1984 as she performed her hit “Holiday.” The singer owned her performance on the show and was able to capture the entire audience who sang and clapped along to the song with her.
The music legend would only get bigger after this live performance, but by watching the way she put on a live show you could tell she was heading for great things.
Before he created “Purple Rain” and became a worldwide pop star, Prince played on “American Bandstand” in January 1980.
The icon performed his hits “I Wanna Be your Lover” and “Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?” off his second album “Prince.”
Even back in 1980, Prince was a man of few words. He was 19-years-old at the time and gave Clark short answers during their interview.
However, Prince’s performance on the show would act as a springboard for the singer’s career.
The Beastie Boys may have partied too hard on their appearance in “American Bandstand.”
The group performed their breakout hit “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)” in 1987. They sang with a ton of energy and spent most of the set running around the stage.
During the song, Adam Yauch a.k.a. MCA, lost the top of his microphone and Dick Clark couldn’t help but laugh and make light of the situation when they were finished.
The Beastie Boys would only get bigger from here and the performance helped launch them further into hip-hop stardom.
Chubby Checker’s version of “The Twist” wouldn’t have been a massive hit if it wasn’t for “American Bandstand.”
Clark got Checker to perform the song on the show after he failed to book Hank Ballard. Checker sounded like Ballard, which is what ultimately led to Clark agreeing to have him on.
After Checker played the song on “American Bandstand,” the track shot up the charts and quickly became a national craze.
It’s hard to talk about music in the 1960s without mentioning Jefferson Airplane and their performance on “American Bandstand” shows exactly why.
In the years before “We Built This City” scared people, singer Grace Slick’s vocals hit incredible heights on “White Rabbit” and “Somebody to Love.” Jefferson Airplane playing “White Rabbit” was haunting on the show with it’s trippy visuals and powerful instrumentals.
Many didn’t understand Jefferson Airplane’s music back then, but Clark gave the band a chance to speak about their music as they played on one of the biggest platforms at the time. (NYDailyNews)