Tag Archives: Teenage Culture

American Bandstand Dick Clark

American Bandstand Dick Clark

August 5, 1957
First ABC broadcast of “American Bandstand”

American Bandstand Dick Clark

First Bandstand

In March 1950 WFIL-TV in Philadelphia broadcast Bandstand. Bob Horn, also a radio DJ, hosted the show. It was not a dance show. It featured short musical films and only occasionally had guests. Think black and white MTV.

It was a time when television, the new media kid on the block, selected a successful radio show and literally visualized it.

By the way, I’ve placed the more familiar music theme, “Bandstand Boogie,” by Larry Elgart over this blog, but the first theme song for the original Bandstand was Artie Shaw’s “High Society.”

Dancing Bandstand

The Bandstand show that Boomers remember today, with teenagers dancing to hit records, came into being on October 7, 1952. Bob Horn continued as host with Lee Stewart. Stewart left as co-host in 1955.  The short music films continued to be part of the show.

DWI

In July, 1956, WFIL and The Philadelphia Inquirer were doing a series on drunk driving.  In July, 1956, police arrested Horn for drunk-driving.

On July 9, 1956, Dick Clark took over as the host

American Bandstand Dick Clark

ABC’s American Bandstand

Broadcast companies are always searching for the next hit.  A year after he became host of Bandstand, Dick Clark pitched his show to ABC. The network did not say “Yes” immediately, but eventually did. I’m sure they were happy they did.

August 5, 1957

On this date, ABC did the first national broadcast. Since it was now a nationally televised show, the name changed to American Bandstand. Duh!

The  more popular Mickey Mouse Club interrupted the for half an hour in the middle. The first guest was the Chordettes and the first record danced to on the show was Buddy Holly’s “That’ll Be the Day.”

The show  moved to Los Angeles in 1964. It had already switched from a daily to a weekly Saturday show in which it continued as until 1987.

y101radio dot com article

American Bandstand Dick Clark

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American Rebel Without Cause

American Rebel Without Cause

American Rebel Without Cause

released October 26, 1955

American Rebel Without Cause

American Rebel Without Cause

Damn Kids today

Adults have questioned the behavior of teenagers as long as both groups have faced each other–forever.

I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words… When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise [disrespectful] and impatient of restraint” (Hesiod, 8th century BC).

American Rebel Without Cause

Rebel Without a Cause

Warner Brothers released Rebel Without a Cause on October 26, 1955. It is considered by many to be the teenage movie of all time. In its review, the NY Times stated: It is a violent, brutal, and disturbing picture of modern teen-agers…. Young people neglected by their parents or given no understanding and moral support by fathers and mothers who are themselves unable to achieve balance and security in their home…It is a picture to make the hair stand on end. (NYT review)

The title was adopted from psychiatrist Robert M. Lindner’s 1944 book, Rebel Without a Cause: The Hypnoanalysis of a Criminal Psychopath.

American Rebel Without Cause

American Rebel Without Cause

In any case…

Whether or not Rebel Without a Cause is the best movie ever of its genre is unimportant. Each generation has its movie milepost to point to. What is important is that in it we can see the universal conflicts between adults and their values and teenagers and their values; between teenagers own conflicting values; between society’s desire to mold its young members into a satisfactory reflection of its values and those same young members desire to see things differently, do things another way, and do things better

American Rebel Without Cause

Boy meets girl. Girl laughs at boy. Boy chases girl. Girl turns and smiles. Love. Confusion. Arguments. Fights. Anomie.

Certainly a film to watch again or to watch for the first time.

American Rebel Without Cause

Peter the Hermit in A.D. 1274

The world is passing through troublous times. The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint. They talk as if they knew everything, and what passes for wisdom with us is foolishness with them. As for the girls, they are forward, immodest and unladylike in speech, behavior and dress.”

American Rebel Without Cause

Legacy

In 1990, Rebel Without a Cause was added to Library of Congress’s National Film Registry as being deemed “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant.” It was the only film that James Dean had top billing, but he died in a car crash before the film’s release.

American Rebel Without Cause

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