The Pop History Dig

“Bandstand Performers”
1957

Dick Clark, in the late 1950s, at his podium station for the popular TV dance show, "American Bandstand."
Dick Clark, in the late 1950s, at his podium station for the popular TV dance show, "American Bandstand."
     In August 1957, American Bandstand, a new television show broadcast out of Philadelphia, PA, featured local teenagers dancing to the new rock ‘n roll music.  The show had just “gone national” on the ABC television network on August 5th.  With its new young host, Dick Clark, the show aired every day at 3 p.m. for an hour-and-a-half.  Within six months of its national debut, American Bandstand was picked up by 101 stations.  Soon there were about 20 million viewers tuning in, half of whom were adult.  Fan letters poured in by the tens of thousands.  Teenagers came to Philadelphia from wide and far for a chance to dance on the show.  But American Bandstand also became a place where new talent could be seen, as Clark allotted featured spots on each show for new acts to perform their songs.  “Perform,” in this case, is a generous term as the guest or guests typically “lyp-synced” or mouthed the words to their pre-recorded songs rather than performing them live.  They did, however, appear in person and typically sat with Clark in brief conversation, answering his questions about their music, where they were from, what they were doing next, etc.

"Tom & Jerry" (Simon & Garfunkel) appeared on "Bandstand" Nov 22, 1957 performing "Hey Schoolgirl," a song that hit No. 54 & sold 100,000 copies.
"Tom & Jerry" (Simon & Garfunkel) appeared on "Bandstand" Nov 22, 1957 performing "Hey Schoolgirl," a song that hit No. 54 & sold 100,000 copies.
     During American Bandstand’s first national season – which ran a short five months from its August opening – about 200 or so guests appeared.  Typically, one or two acts were scheduled for each show.  Among notable guests appearing that first season, some making their television debuts, were: Paul Anka, Chuck Berry, Sam Cooke, Bobby Darin, The Del-Vikings, The Diamonds, Buddy Holly, Johnny Mathis, Simon & Garfunkel( “Tom & Jerry”), Andy Williams, Jackie Wilson, and others.  Some guests appeared more than once that season, including: Frankie Avalon, The Chordettes, The Everly Brothers, The Four Coins, Bill Haley & the Comets, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Mello Kings, and Gene Vincent.  A few acts in 1957 launched national and international careers after appearing on Bandstand. Danny & The Juniors, for example, rose quickly to national notice shortly after an early December 1957 Bandstand appearance.  Their song, “At the Hop,” rose to the top of the music charts within weeks of their appearance. 

Dick Clark with Johnny Mathis on American Band-stand in Oct 1957.  Mathis released two singles in 1957: “Wonderful, Wonderful” & “It’s Not For Me To Say.”
Dick Clark with Johnny Mathis on American Band-stand in Oct 1957. Mathis released two singles in 1957: “Wonderful, Wonderful” & “It’s Not For Me To Say.”
     On December 5th, 1957, the Diamonds appeared with their song “the Stroll,” which kicked off a new kind of dance with the kids forming two lines facing each other with several yards of space between them, as dance couples then took turns “strolling” down this middle aisle.  Non-musical guests would also appear occasionally, as in the case of actor Hugh O’Brian from the ABC-TV series “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp.”  O’Brian appeared on the October 25, 1957 show.  Some guests appeared only once and never emerged as national stars.  Among those who appeared in 1957, were artists from an older era of popular music that continued in a period of transition to rock ‘n roll music.  A listing of many of those who appeared on American Bandstand during its first national season appears below by show date, and when available, song performed.

Dick Clark interviewing the Everly Brothers at a “Bandstand” performance. They appeared at least twice in 1957 – Sept 13th & Dec 23rd, singing “Wake Up Little Susie” and other songs.
Dick Clark interviewing the Everly Brothers at a “Bandstand” performance. They appeared at least twice in 1957 – Sept 13th & Dec 23rd, singing “Wake Up Little Susie” and other songs.
     In addition to the regular American Bandstand weekday afternoon shows that aired in 1957, there were also a series of prime time American Bandstand TV shows broadcast on Monday evenings in the 7:30-8:00 p.m. time slot.  Bill Haley & The Comets, for example, appeared on the prime time show, October 28th, 1957; Mickey & Sylvia appeared there, November 25th, 1957.  The prime time shows, 13 in all that year, were much like the daytime show, with a bit more focus on the guests.  These shows appeared to be experimental and served to broaden the reach of Bandstand to more viewers who could not see the daytime version.  Some of these show dates are also included below.  In any case, in 1957, American Bandstand – with its nationally-broadcast television dance show and a daily spotlight on new musical talent – was helping to build the gigantic national and international business that would emerge around rock ‘n roll music.

     See also at this website, a more general background story on the history of American Bandstand, Dick Clark, and related businesses, 1956-2007.


American Bandstand
Guests & Performers
Aug-Dec, 1957


Paul Anka  – shown here on a Dutch record sleeve –  made his TV debut on American Bandstand August 7, 1957 singing his soon-to-be No.1 hit, “Diana.”
Paul Anka – shown here on a Dutch record sleeve – made his TV debut on American Bandstand August 7, 1957 singing his soon-to-be No.1 hit, “Diana.”
Buddy Holly & the Crickets – shown on an album compilation – appeared on ‘Bandstand’ August 26, 1957, singing ‘That’ll Be The Day.’
Buddy Holly & the Crickets – shown on an album compilation – appeared on ‘Bandstand’ August 26, 1957, singing ‘That’ll Be The Day.’
Jackie Wilson appeared on ‘American Bandstand’ Oct 4, 1957 performing ‘Reet Petite (the Finest Girl You Ever Wanna Meet).’
Jackie Wilson appeared on ‘American Bandstand’ Oct 4, 1957 performing ‘Reet Petite (the Finest Girl You Ever Wanna Meet).’
Jerry Lee Lewis, who played a hot piano, appeared 3 times on AB in 1957: Aug 19,  Oct 10, and Nov 4 singing “Great Balls of Fire” and other songs.
Jerry Lee Lewis, who played a hot piano, appeared 3 times on AB in 1957: Aug 19, Oct 10, and Nov 4 singing “Great Balls of Fire” and other songs.
Bobby Darin, who went from teen idol to Las Vegas nightclub act, appeared on Bandstand Dec 17, 1957 to perform “Call My Name.” Click for separate story.
Bobby Darin, who went from teen idol to Las Vegas nightclub act, appeared on Bandstand Dec 17, 1957 to perform “Call My Name.” Click for separate story.
"Mickey & Sylvia," who had a million-seller with "Love is Strange," appeared on Bandstand's evening show, Nov 25th, 1957. Click for separate story.
"Mickey & Sylvia," who had a million-seller with "Love is Strange," appeared on Bandstand's evening show, Nov 25th, 1957. Click for separate story.

August 1957

Aug 5: Billy Williams / The Chordettes
Aug 6: D. Hawkins – “Susie Q”/ D. Rondo
Aug 7: Paul Anka – “Diana”
Aug 9: Lee Andrews & the Hearts
Aug 12: Gene Vincent / The Four Coins
Aug 13: Jodie Sands / Sal Mineo
Aug 14: Rusty & Doug Kershaw
Aug 15: Lee Kane
Aug 16: Ted Newman
Aug 19: Jerry Lee Lewis / Jimmy Bowen
Aug 20: David Hill / Terri Stevens
Aug 21: Randy Starr
Aug 22: The Dubs
Aug 23: Steve Karmen
Aug 26: Buddy Holly / Doc Bagby
Aug 27: Johnny Nash
Aug 28: Eileen Barton / Matys Brothers
Aug 29: Malcolm Dodds & Tunedrops
Aug 30: The Frank Virtuoso Quintet

September 1957

Sep 2: Andy Williams / The Bobbettes
Sep 3: Mello-Kings – “Tonight, Tonight”
Sep 4: Libby Dean
Sep 5: Brian Fischer
Sep 6: The Mike Pedicin Quintet
Sep 9: The Diamonds
Sep 10: Jimmie Rodgers
Sep 11: Webb Pierce
Sep 12: Nick Noble / The Tune Weavers
Sep 13: Everly Brothers – “…Little Suzie”
Sep 16: The Crew-Cuts / Ted Newman
Sep 17: Tom Leonetti / Bobby Charles
Sep 18: Frankie Avalon / Rod Willis
Sep 19: Dale Hawkins / Bob Jaxson
Sep 20: Don Rondo / The Poni-Tails
Sep 23: The Playmates
Sep 24: Dick Lindy
Sep 25: Eileen Rodgers
Sep 26: The Rays
Sep 27: Bob Crewe
Sep 30: Sonny James

October 1957

Oct 1: Cathy Carr
Oct 2: Bobby Brooks
Oct 3: Marvin Rainwater
Oct 4: Jackie Wilson – “Reet Petite”
Oct 7: The Shepherd Sisters
Oct 7: The Chordettes*
Oct 8: The Chordettes/Chuck Reed
Oct 9: Johnny Mathis/Andy Williams
Oct 10: J. Lee Lewis/Thurston Harris
Oct 11: Del-Vikings/Teddy Randazzo
Oct 14: The Four Coins
Oct 14: Bandstand evening show*
Oct 15: Carol Jarvis
Oct 16: Mello-Kings/Lou Connettie
Oct 17: Artie Wayne
Oct 18: No guest info
Oct 21: Five Satins / Rover Boys
Oct 21: Billy Williams*
Oct 22: Romaine Brown/Robin Hood
Oct 23: Georgia Gibbs
Oct 24: Cathy Carr/Vernon Taylor
Oct 25: Hugh O’Brian
Oct 26: Gene Vincent
Oct 28: Bill Haley & Comets*
Oct 29: Bonnie Guitar/DeJohn Sisters
Oct 30: Billy Miles / Jill Whitney
Oct 31:  4 Top Hatters / Bob Grabeau

November 1957

Nov 1: The Four Esquires
Nov 4: Jerry Lee Lewis/The Bachelors
Nov 4: The Shepherd Sisters*
Nov 5: J. Bennett / Mitzi Mason
Nov 6: Jerry Reed
Nov 7: Tommy Prisco
Nov 8: Chuck Berry / Lu Ann Simms
Nov 11: Paul Carr & Fran Lori
Nov 11: Joni James*
Nov 12: Joni James
Nov 13: Janice Harper
Nov 14: Jim Lowe / Wilburn Bros.
Nov 15: Dick Duane / Gary Trexler
Nov 18: No guest info
Nov 18: Am Bandstand evening show*
Nov 19: Marty Robbins
Nov 20: Rusty Draper
Nov 21: The Crickets
Nov 22: Tom & Jerry
Nov 25: Guy Pastor
Nov 25: Mickey & Sylvia*
Nov 26: Sunny Gale
Nov 27: Bill Haley and His Comets
Nov 28: Paul Hampton
Nov 29: Ronnie Self

December 1957

Dec 2: Bill Craddock / Sam Cooke
Dec 2: No Guest information*
Dec 3: No Guest information
Dec 4: Jimmie Dee / Danny & Juniors
Dec 5: The Diamonds / Helen Curtis
Dec 6: Terry Noland
Dec 9: The Sprouts
Dec 9: Bill Justis Combo- “Raunchy”*
Dec 10: Kay Armen
Dec 11: Randy Starr
Dec 12: Frankie Avalon
Dec 13: Gene Nash
Dec 16: Gene Vincent & Blue Caps
Dec 16: Sonny James*
Dec 17: Bobby Darin- “Call My Name”
Dec 18: Georgia Gibbs
Dec 19: Jerry Vale
Dec 20: The Twin-Tones
Dec 23: Johnny Crawford /4 Esquires
Dec 23: The Everly Brothers*
Dec 24: Mello Kings- “Tonight, Tonight”
Dec 25: Mike Pedicin Quartet
Dec 26: Patti Page / Four Esquires
Dec 27: Will Glahe / The Techinques
Dec 30: Bob Jaxon / Lee Allen
Dec 30: N. “Thin Man” Watts*
Dec 31: Fontaine Sisters / Tina Robin

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Note: This is not a complete list of all 1957 American Bandstand guests for the “national” season, as some dates are missing and a few have incomplete or uncertain information.

*American Bandstand evening TV show, 7:30pm.

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Date Posted: 12 August 2010
Last Update: 19 April 2012
Comments to:  jdoyle@pophistorydig.com

Article Citation:
Jack Doyle, “Bandstand Performers, 1957,”
PopHistoryDig.com, August 12, 2010.

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Sources, Links & Additional Information

The Mello-Kings appeared twice on Bandstand in 1957 performing ‘Tonite, Tonite”(later corrected to “Tonight, Tonight”).  Despite rising only to No.77 on the pop charts, the song remains a Doo Wop favorite.
The Mello-Kings appeared twice on Bandstand in 1957 performing ‘Tonite, Tonite”(later corrected to “Tonight, Tonight”). Despite rising only to No.77 on the pop charts, the song remains a Doo Wop favorite.
Chuck Berry, shown here in another performance, made his national TV debut on American Bandstand Nov. 8, 1957 singing “Rock and Roll Music.”
Chuck Berry, shown here in another performance, made his national TV debut on American Bandstand Nov. 8, 1957 singing “Rock and Roll Music.”
Danny & The Juniors rose to national fame after they appeared on Bandstand as a substitute act in early December 1957, singing "At The Hop," which soared to No.1. Click for separate story.
Danny & The Juniors rose to national fame after they appeared on Bandstand as a substitute act in early December 1957, singing "At The Hop," which soared to No.1. Click for separate story.
Bill Haley and his Comets, one of the more famous rock ‘n roll acts by 1957, appeared on Bandstand’s prime time show Oct 28th and on the regular show, Nov 27th 1957.
Bill Haley and his Comets, one of the more famous rock ‘n roll acts by 1957, appeared on Bandstand’s prime time show Oct 28th and on the regular show, Nov 27th 1957.
The Chordettes appeared on the first nationally televised “American Bandstand” show, August 5, 1957. Their No. 2 national hit, “Lollipop,” came in 1958.
The Chordettes appeared on the first nationally televised “American Bandstand” show, August 5, 1957. Their No. 2 national hit, “Lollipop,” came in 1958.

John A. Jackson, American Bandstand: Dick Clark and the Making of a Rock ‘n’ Roll Empire, New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Hank Bordowitz, Turning Points in Rock and Roll, Citadel Press, 2004.

“Facing the Music,” Time, Monday, November 30, 1959.

“Teen-Agers’ Dreamboat,” New York Times, March 5, 1960.

“American Bandstand” and “Dick Clark,” The Museum of American Broadcast Communications.

Dick Clark,” The Radio Hall of Fame.

American Bandstand episodes, TV.com.

Susan Bickelhaupt, TV Week 3, “Growing Up With Bandstand,” Boston Globe, May 10, 1992.

Murray Dubin, “Fifty Years Ago, American Bandstand Was Born in Philadelphia,” Philadelphia Inquirer, May 3, 2002, p. D-1.

Bill Keveney, “American Bandstand: Hopping After 50 Years.” USA Today, May 2, 2002: p. D-3.

William Robbins, “Philadelphians Swing to 50′s Rock.” New York Times, July 1, 1982. p. A-12.

Tom Shales, “Dick Clark! American Bandstand,” Washington Post, February 4, 1977, p. B-1.

“Tall, That’s All,” Time, Monday, April 14, 1958.

“Facing the Music,” Time, Monday, Nov. 30, 1959.

Summary of the National Register of Historic Places Nomination for American Bandstand building, WFIL and WHYY studios, 4548 Market St., Philadelphia., Pennsylvania, July 28, 1986.

“American Bandstand” and “Dick Clark,” The Museum of American Broadcast Communications.

“Dick Clark,” The Radio Hall of Fame.

Richard Corliss, “Philly Fifties: Rock ‘n Radio,” Saturday, July 14, 2001.

Ginia Bellafante, “Ultrasuede Is Funny – VH-1′s Reruns of American Bandstand Prove the Hootie Network Can Outwit MTV,” Time, Monday, April 22, 1996.

Fred Goodman, “Roll Over, Beethoven: How Dick Clark Taught American Parents not to be Afraid of Rock-and-Roll and Made a Fortune in the Process,” Dick Clark and the Making of a Rock ‘n’ Roll Empire, Book Review, New York Times, October 26, 1997

Thomas Heath and Howard Schneider, “Snyder Adds A TV Icon To His Empire, “Washington Post, Wednesday, June 20, 2007, P. D-1.

Dick Clark and Richard Robinson, Rock, Roll & Remember, Thomas Y. Crowell, Publisher, 1976.

Robert Stephen Spitz, Rock, Roll & Remember, Book Review, New York Times, October 24, 1976.

Ken Emerson, “The Spin on Bandstand – Music, TV and Popular Culture Learned to Swing to the Beat of a Different Drummer: Big Bucks,” Los Angeles Times, August 5, 2007.

A documentary film entitled The Wages of Spin, focuses on the history of American Bandstand, the 1950s payola scandal, and Dick Clark. A preview clip from that documentary is available at You Tube and additional information is found at Character Driven Films.

Dick Clark,” Wikipedia. org.

American Bandstand,” Wikipedia.org.

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