April 18, 2012


Dick Clark's "American Bandstand": Watch 5 Unforgettable Moments

ABC Photo Archives
ABC Photo Archives

Dick Clark—the iconic host of American Bandstand and one of the music industry's most important figures—passed away on Wednesday after suffering a heart attack. Clark was 82. 

As the host of American Bandstand from 1956 until its final season in 1989, Dick Clark introduced American audiences to some of music's biggest stars before they broke. For instance, Bandstand boasts the first national TV appearances of the Jackson 5, Prince and Madonna. Not bad for a show that started off on local Philadelphia TV.

Below are five classic performances from the four-decade run of American Bandstand, including Michael Jackson performing "I Want You Back" with the Jackson 5 at 11 years old.

The Beach Boys (1964)

The Beach Boys harmonize (well, lip-sync harmonize) on "Don't Worry Baby." Check out the moment at 3:30 where Clark asks the rest of the band if they have the power to vote down principal songwriter Brian Wilson. The answer: "Yes, but he usually has good ideas."

The Jackson 5 (1970)

The Jackson 5's first TV appearance! Note Clark's introduction about Diana Ross discovering the band, and then swoon to the band performing "I Want You Back." R.I.P. Dick, R.I.P. Michael.

Madonna (1984)

For her first national TV appearance, Madonna performs her first Top 40 hit "Holiday." Gotta love Clark's intro: "This lady started out as a dancer… and is she hot! This is Madonna!"

Janet Jackson (1984)

Janet Jackson performs her second Top 10 single in 1984, "Don't Stand Another Chance." Check out the moment at 5:55 where Janet says she wants to go to college and study "accounting and banking." Clark understandably responds, "That boggles my mind."

Cyndi Lauper (1984)

Watch Dick Clark explain why he thinks Cyndi Lauper is a sentimentalist based on the back cover of her debut album, She's So Unusual. An energized Lauper performs "Girls Just Want to Have Fun." After Clark asks her why she performs sans shoes, she delivers "Time After Time."

Do you have a favorite Dick Clark memory? Tell us in the comments below.