THE MYSTERY OF THE MISSING BANDSTAND RERUNS
As told to Sharon Sultan Cutler
The question on Bandstand fans’ minds is how and when will they be able to see reruns of American Bandstand, especially from the early years 1956 through 1964.
The answer is not so simple.
George Yates, son of American Bandstand director Ed Yates, explained that the show was broadcast live, using three cameras. The only way to preserve live television broadcasts from the early 1950s through the mid-1960s (when videotapes were invented) was with kinescopes.
A kinescope is basically a recording of a television program on motion picture film.
Yates said “During the early years, American Bandstand was on every day Monday through Friday, averaging 250 shows a year. Hardly any of these were recorded as kinescopes because they were considered to be too expensive.”
The exceptions were for Specials or events like Christmas shows*, Yates added.
Some American Bandstand shows were filmed outside of Philly (Called “Remotes”) so these shows usually had Kinescopes made. A perfect example is the Mar 8th, 1963 season 6, Episode 1469, that was in Miami Florida with Nancy Sinatra as a guest star, singing her hit “Like I do”.
Kinescopes and later video tapes were made for Special events such as the Dr. Pepper Celebrity Show in Nov 1963 (still available on DVD from kvideodvd.com) The bonus on this DVD is a Complete American Bandstand Kinescope from Sept 9th, 1964! There are 4 American Bandstand Beatle Specials. (The Beatles were “too big” to be guest stars but Dick played their records for the kids to dance to, showed Beatle news broadcasts & film clips, and Beatle memorabilia were brought in to carry out the “Beatle Theme”)
Another noteworthy special (most watched) was the Dec 5th, 1961 broadcast of “Backstage Bandstand” where you get to watch the process of the initial setup and inner workings of Studio B before the American Bandstand show. You watch the kids come in and hang up their coats in WFIL’s locker room and you see the stage crew pull out the famous bleachers. The crew setup the AB set backdrops and Dick’s podium. And when the show starts, Dick turns the cameras onto the stage crew and the control room and even the cameramen take turns filming each other!
Yates estimated that there might only be a “couple of dozen” American Bandstand kinescopes in existence taken in its Philadelphia days. Usually the lead cameraman handled the kinescope transfers off of the television monitors.
He believes that the new owners of Dick Clark Productions may have some kinescopes and others have been bought up by private collectors.
Wow, I am really disappointed. Thank you for the information on why we don’t see any videos of the shows. We will have to enjoy what we can get.
I had heard that there was a fire where they stored all the recorded shows. So much for that rumor.
Thank you, to all of you and the rest of the bandstanders for all you do for us.
Karen Schepper Ottoson
To put it in perspective: We are not going to see reruns of them because they were never recorded because of the expense. End of story.
IS THERE A LIST OF ALL THE HIGH SCHOOLS THAT APPEARED ON THE AMERICAN BAND STAND FROM 1956 THRU 1960/
I have been waiting years for the recorded shows from the 1970s and later to be available on dvd. Last time I checked they were not:( If they are ever on Netflix, I will watch them.
Too bad we will.NEVER see a rerun of American Bandstand 2/3/59, The Day The Music Died!
Wow I did not know this I did go in 1962 and 1963 I was not a regular but I did go a lot so I guess I will never be able to find myself on the show
My brother passed on young. I’m 67 yrs old now and his daughter would give anything to see the competían
he won on the show “American band stand.” Id love to be able to give her that glimpse of her father alive dancing the twist. I was so young at that time I’m not sure if I was even in school yet when he came home & told us he had won the twist contest. His name was Arquímedes Quintana. He was called John Quintana. If begging would help to get a copy then I’m begging. Please someone help us find
a copy of the show where he was doing the twist… PLEASE
In 1957 either Sept.Oct.or Nov. I did a spotlight dance with my sister. After the dance Dick Clark called me the “wild one”. Are those 3 months of reruns out there and if so how could I buy them? Mel Meszaros (732)718-6460
I would be interested to see if I can find a list of the attendees from the 1960’s in particular. I do not know what month or day it was but my mother and aunt (her sister) attended when mom was 17. That would be after April, so the months in that time frame will be of the most interest. If there is a kinescope of that day also I would really like a recording of it, no necessarily the original. I hope someone can help. If there is a list for each session then I would like to be contacted privately. I will not give out their names here for privacy.
I was just wondering if any body would know if there is a full version of the 1961 Reunion of American bandstand I did post it on American bandstand the Philly years and a gentleman posted that Ed Kelly said there is a full version but I cannot find it anywhere not on YouTube if someone can help me that would be wonderful