Get it On

Bandstand: 15 years of Australian pop music

The live music program Bandstand ran on Australia’s Nine Network from 15 November 1958 to 17 June 1972. Through its entire run it was hosted by radio presenter and Nine Sydney newsreader Brian Henderson.

Initially the weekly program was only broadcast in Sydney but by the early ’60s it was transmitted nationally.

Clips from the 1960s below, featuring The Easybeats, Ray Brown and The Whispers, and more

Bandstand is closely associated with a core group of pop performers, who regularly appeared on the program, which became known as the Bandstand Family. Over the years they included Col Joye, Little Pattie, Warren Williams, Lucky Starr, Sandy Scott, Bryan Davies, Dinah Lee, Johnny Devlin, Laurel Lea, Judy Stone, the De Kroo Brothers, Digby Richards, Robyn Alvarez, the Bee Gees, the Allen Brothers (a duo of the unrelated Peter Allen and Chris Bell), Helen Reddy, Lana Cantrell, Cathy Wayne, The Delltones, Pat Carroll and Olivia Newton-John. The Bandstand Family toured Australia and were recorded on albums.
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Nostalgia Central:
Based on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand, the Australian show was pre-recorded before a studio audience, with singers lip-synching their way through numbers performed on elaborate studio sets.
While other pop shows presented screaming fans and long-haired beat groups, Bandstand somehow seemed to ignore the extreme trends in music that happened in the mid and late 1960s.
Although it showcased a range of pop performers, it shied away from the brash and the scruffy, becoming a more family entertainment programme than a show strictly for teenagers.
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A short-lived attempt was made to re-launch Bandstand in 1976 with Daryl Somers as host.

Clips of two episodes of Bandstand from 1966:


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