• 1
    American Bandstand

    American Bandstand

    ABC (ended 1989)
    "American Bandstand" brought rock 'n' roll music into millions of households and showed Americans how to do the latest dance steps. Dick Clark, "America's Oldest Teenager" hosted the series for most of its run.
    Regular Bandstand segments were "The Spotlight Dance," "Rate-A-Record" and The "American Bandstand" Top 10 Countdown. "The Spotlight Dance" featured 2 or more couples dancing to a softer tune. "Rate-A-Record" had teenage contestants rate and comment on a record played on the show. The "American Bandstand Top Ten" was a countdown of the Top 10 hits of the day.
    "American Bandstand" began as a local Philadelphia show called "Bandstand," which made its debut October 13, 1952 on WFIL-TV Channel 6.
    The series was retitled "American Bandstand" on August 5, 1957 when ABC began broadcasting it nationwide. For its first 6 seasons, "American Bandstand" aired Mondays through Fridays.
    Two major changes took place during the 1963-64 season. On September 7, 1963, it became a once-a-week series airing Saturday afternoons. A few months later on February 8, 1964, production of the show moved from Philadelphia, PA to its new home in Los Angeles, CA.
    Despite these changes, American Bandstand's fans remained loyal to the series, as it continued to present the latest music and dances. It even inspired another long-running dance show, "Soul Train."
    American Bandstand's long association with ABC ended on September 5, 1987. Two weeks later, on September 19, 1987, the series returned in first-run syndication. On April 8, 1989, American Bandstand made another move, this time to the USA cable network. It also featured a new host, David Hirsch. This version lasted only 6 months with the final show airing on October 7, 1989. In 1995, VH-1 began showing vintage episodes of American Bandstand. These edited 30-minute reruns featured many of the stars that the show helped make famous.
    "Bandstand" Air Dates (local Philadelphia show)
    (1) "Bob Horn's Bandstand" (hosted by Bob Horn) October 13, 1952 - July 6, 1956
    (2) "Bandstand" (hosted by Dick Clark) July 9, 1956 - August 2, 1957
    "American Bandstand" Air Dates
    Weekday Afternoon shows (ABC-TV network, Monday-Friday) August 5, 1957 - August 30, 1963
    Broadcast times:
    August 5-November 15, 1957 - AB aired from 3:00 to 4:30pm.
    November 18, 1957-October 10, 1958 - AB was split into 2 shows airing from 3:00 to 3:30pm and from 4:00 to 5:00pm. AB was split up by the game show Who Do You Trust?
    October 13, 1958-September 29, 1961 - one show airing from 4:00pm to 5:30pm.
    October 2, 1961-September 28, 1962 - from 4:00 to 4:50pm*
    October 1, 1962-August 30, 1963 - from 4:00 to 4:30pm
    Note: *From October 2, 1961 through September 28, 1962, AB was followed by "American Newsstand," a current affairs program produced by ABC News.
    Nighttime shows (ABC network, Monday nights 7:30-8:00pm) In addition to the weekday shows, American Bandstand had a 13-week (October 7 - December 30, 1957) Prime-time run. (Note: This shouldn't be confused with "The Dick Clark Saturday Night Beechnut Show", which ran from February 15, 1958 to September 10, 1960.)
    Saturday Afternoon shows (abc-TV network) September 7, 1963 - September 6, 1986
    During these 23 years, the air times varied anywhere between 12:30 and 2:30pm on Saturdays (sometimes earlier on the West Coast). Most of these shows were an hour long. (Some episodes were shortened for sporting events.)
    On AB's Last Season on ABC-TV, it aired from 12:30 to 1:00pm (from September 13, 1986 through September 5, 1987).
    Syndicated American Bandstand episodes ran from September 19, 1987 to August 27, 1988 (times varied by city). This version was syndicated by LBS Communications. (According to some sources the syndicated series ran through April 1, 1989. But we haven't been able to find any AB listings beyond August 27, 1988.)
    USA Cable Network (Saturday afternoons) From April 8 to October 7, 1989, AB was aired from 12noon to 1:00pm. David Hirsch was the host of this final version.moreless
  • 2
    The Ed Sullivan Show

    The Ed Sullivan Show

    CBS (ended 1971)
    This long-running variety series premiered on June 20, 1948 with the title Toast of the Town. (The Toast of the Town link covers the first 8 seasons of Ed Sullivan.)

    The series was re-titled The Ed Sullivan Show on September 25, 1955 (the beginning of the 9th season). Although the name had changed, it remained the same variety show with "something for everyone." There continued to be a diverse guest line-up which included singers, musicians, actors, dancers, comedians, circus acts, plate spinners and acrobats.

    But now there was now a new type of guest: the rock 'n' roll performer. While Ed booked a few rock 'n' roll acts on "Toast of the Town," these performers became even more prominent on "The Ed Sullivan Show."

    One of the most famous rock 'n' roll acts was, of course, Elvis Presley. Ed had at first scoffed at the idea of booking Elvis, who had already appeared on "Stage Show," "The Milton Berle Show" and "The Steve Allen Show" amid much controversy. But as Elvis' popularity grew, Ed relented and booked him for three appearances.

    Then there were the famous Beatles appearances. Legend has it that Ed booked the Beatles without hearing even a note of their music. While visiting England, Sullivan happened to be at Heathrow Airport on October 31, 1963 when the Beatles' plane arrived. The British press and hundreds of fans were there to greet them. Upon seeing all the frenzy, Ed signed the band to appear on his show. Beatlemania was already in full swing when the Beatles arrived at New York's JFK airport on February 7, 1964. On February 9, the Beatles made their "Ed Sullivan" debut. The Beatles' three 1964 Sullivan appearances were among the highest rated TV programs of the 1960's.

    In 1967, Ed's NYC studio, Studio 50, was officially re-titled "The Ed Sullivan Theater." The ratings of The Ed Sullivan Show began to drop in 1968. CBS cancelled the series in 1971. The final new show aired on March 28, 1971 which was followed by several weeks of reruns. The series' network run ended on June 6, 1971 (which was a repeat of the February 7, 1971 show). At the time of the cancellation, CBS did not give The Ed Sullivan Show the sendoff that it deserved. Instead of ending with a tribute show focusing on all the great moments of the past 23 years, the show quietly went off the air. But in the 33 years since the series was cancelled, CBS has aired numerous tribute shows giving the series the recognition it deserves.

    Syndicated, cable TV and PBS repeats:

    In 1980, a "Best of Sullivan" series hosted by John Byner appeared in syndication. Each episode was an edited 30-minute version of the original 1-hour shows. This version has not been broadcast since the 1980's.

    Around 1992, a new "Best of Ed Sullivan" series was syndicated. These were 30-minute edited versions of the original shows (but often with clips from other episodes added). This version later appeared on the TV Land cable network (1996-1998).

    From 2001 through 2004, PBS stations across the U.S. aired edited versions of The Ed Sullivan Show (usually with two 30-minute programs shown back-to-back). These were produced by WQED Multimedia in Pittsburgh.
    --The first PBS season (2001-02) consisted of the 1990s shows that were edited for commercial TV. To fill in the commercial breaks, WQED added new intros by Shirley Jones.
    --For the 2002-03 PBS season, WQED publicized a new package of 76 Sullivan shows. (These do not have Shirley Jones.) Ten of these shows have not been seen since their original broadcasts. The other 66 were previously shown in the 1990s but were slightly re-edited with a few "missing" performances restored. This group of Sullivan shows continued into the 2003-04 season.

    A different series, titled "Ed Sullivan's Rock 'N' Roll Classics," first appeared in the 1990's on VH1 (in the US). This version features rock and pop music clips taken from various Ed Sullivan episodes and is currently available on DVD.

    For information about The Ed Sullivan Show and Toast of the Town, contact:
    SOFA Entertainment
    9121 W. Sunset Blvd.
    West Hollywood, CA 90069
    Sofa Home Entertainment SOFA Entertainment owns the right to every Ed Sullivan Show and Toast of the Town episode.

    And thanks to Historic Films for their on-line database. Their website has been very helpful in verifying guest lists and other information.moreless
  • 3
    Soul Train

    Soul Train

    (ended 2006)

    Pop music has always had shows like American Bandstand to sing its praises, but R&B music had to wait a while for its own major weekly showcase. Just the same, Soul Train proved to be well worth the wait when it hit the airwaves in the 1970s. This weekly extravaganza, which showed off the latest and greatest in soul music and dance moves, became a national sensation in the mid-1970s and became a pop culture juggernaut that broke new ground for African-American entertainment.

    Soul Train was the brainchild of radio announcer Don Cornelius. After studying broadcasting in college, Cornelius got a job at WVON, one of Chicago's most popular urban radio stations. During this time, he pondered breaking into television with a dance and music show from an African-American perspective. In 1969, he produced a pilot episode and dubbed it "Soul Train" after a local radio promotion he had done in Chicago. The pilot impressed the Sears Roebuck Company, which gave Cornelius some funding in exchange for the rights to use Soul Train to promote a line of record players. With this help, Cornelius launched Soul Train on WCIU-TV, a Chicago UHF station. It premiered on August 17, 1970 as a weekday series airing from 4:30-5:30pm. Cornelius himself hosted the dance-stravaganza, which took place on a club-set. The show featured performances by soul music acts, appearances by guest hosts, and scorching dance numbers from the Soul Train Gang. Local word-of-mouth made Soul Train a big hit in Chicago, which won it another sponsor in The Johnson Products Company, makers of Afro-Sheen.

    Soul Train's relationship with The Johnson Products Company also helped it make the move from local television to syndication. With this company's financial backing, Cornelius moved the show to Hollywood and got it into television syndication in the fall of 1971. Only seven cities were on the initial lineup, but the Soul Train quickly picked up steam and began playing in new cities as its reputation spread. Pretty soon, people all over the country were enjoying the funky thrills that only Soul Train could provide. By the mid-1970s, Soul Train was a force to be reckoned with. Each week, the latest hits and coolest dances were served up in a slick package that had kids of all ages and races dancing around the TV-room floor. Cornelius cut a stylish, unflappably cool figure as the host, making him an often-imitated icon in the entertainment community. Music groups clamored for an appearance on Soul Train, since it was practically a free ticket to r&b (and often pop) chart success. Today, many critics fondly remember Soul Train as the television show that did the most to bring African-American popular culture into American households.

    As the 1980's began, Soul Train was as popular as ever. Tribune Entertainment, a Chicago-based company, became the exclusive distributor of the show and helped launch The Soul Train Music Awards. This yearly awards gala has become one of the most popular and respected awards ceremonies for r&b musicians and now enjoys "institution" status in the music world. The success of this awards show has also led to other popular Soul Train spin-off specials like The Soul Train Lady Of Soul Annual Awards Special and The Soul Train Christmas Starfest.

    In the 1990s, Don Cornelius stepped down as Soul Train host and passed the role to others. Guest hosts were used from 1993-97 (seasons 23 through 26). Mystro Clark became host in 1997. Following him, was Shemar Moore who hosted seasons 29 through 32. Dorian Gregory is the current Soul Train host. Cornelius remains active as an executive producer for the show, which shows no signs of slowing down. With r&b music more popular than ever in the mainstream, viewers everywhere continue to shake their groove thing to the churning wheels of the Soul Train.

    Soul Train continued with new episodes through the 2005-06 season. The final, first-run episode aired on March 25, 2006. The 2006-07 season began with repeats from 2005-06. As of December 9, 2006, the series has been retitled The Best of Soul Train and features c episodes from the 1970s and 1980s. 1970's & early 1980's Soul Train airdates On this guide, we've listed the earliest known airdates for episodes 1 - 163. The original Los Angeles airdates are listed for episodes 164 - 366 (Dec. 27, 1975 - June 20, 1981). In the 1970s through the early '80s, the episode airdates varied from city to city. Instead of using communications satellites, tapes of the episodes were mailed directly to individual TV stations. And once a station aired an episode, the tape would then be forwarded to a station in another city. (This practice, called "bicycling," was common with most 1970s first-run syndicated shows.) Sometime in the early 1980s, Tribune Entertainment began using satellites to distribute Soul Train resulting in standard airdates across the country.

    Find at what television station and time the train pulls up to your TV: http://tv.tribune.com/showfinder/search/1,1001,soultrain,FF.html

    Contributors to this guide include: --Nick Puzo (Nickfresh) - editor of the Soul Train Yahoo Group --Jabar Robbins (Calatine9) --Robert Spiegel --Edward Loney ("ehloney")moreless
  • 4
    Austin City Limits

    Austin City Limits

    Austin City Limits has established a reputation for showcasing great live musical performances. The show's studio allows for intimate and engaging performances by independent, mainstream, critically acclaimed, and popular artists. The show was originally created to display the emerging talents of the alternative country music scene in Austin, TX in the 1970s. Soon, however, the show branched out to include all types of music: alt country, pop rock, bluegrass and zydeco are just a few. Many television historians attribute MTV, CMT and VH1'a success to the contributions of this groundbreaking musical series. On Wednesday, November 12th, 2003; President Bush presented ACL with the National Medal of the Arts. ACL was the first television show (ever) to win the award.moreless
  • 5
    The Midnight Special

    The Midnight Special

    NBC (ended 1981)
    Welcome to The Midnight Special guide at TV.com. The Midnight Special was a late-night rock music series airing Friday nights (or, to be more exact, early Saturday mornings). On most NBC affiliates, The Midnight Special followed "The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson."

    For its first 8 seasons, The Midnight Special's time slot was from 1:00am to 2:30am. But when Johnny Carson cut "The Tonight Show" down from 90 to 60 minutes, The Midnight Special was moved up to the 12:30am-2:00am time slot.

    NBC aired The Midnight Special's pilot on August 19, 1972. The pilot was presented as a 90-minute special encouraging young people to vote in the upcoming Presidential election. On February 2, 1973, The Midnight Special premiered as a weekly series. For most of its run, a different guest host was featured every week. (An exception to this was from July 1975 through March 1976 when Helen Reddy was the regular host.) Wolfman Jack, fresh from his role in "American Graffiti," was the series' announcer and a frequent guest host.

    Around 1978, at the height of the Disco craze, the set was modified to resemble a Disco nightclub, complete with a platform dance floor. Wolfman Jack stood behind an elevated DJ booth. But by Fall 1979, as the genre's popularity waned, the disco set was gone.

    During its last few seasons, The Midnight Special received criticism for not giving enough attention to the punk & new wave music of the late-1970s to early 1980s. While a few punk/new wave acts were presented (either as live guests or in music videos), the majority of musical guests continued to be MOR or disco acts.

    Beginning April 11, 1980, The Midnight Special faced competition from ABC's "Fridays," a "Saturday Night Live" comedy series. Fridays' musical guests were often more cutting edge than those seen on The Midnight Special.

    In May 1981, NBC replaced The Midnight Special with "SCTV Network 90," an expanded version of "Second City TV," previously a syndicated 30-minute series.moreless
  • 6


    ABC (ended 1990)
    Walt Disney, one of Hollywood's most ambitious producers, was first approached to do television in 1950, when The Coca-Cola Company offered him a one-hour special. The one hour special, "One Hour in Wonderland," aired December 25, 1950 on NBC and garnered 90% of the television viewing audience. A second special, "The Walt Disney Christmas Special," aired December 25, 1951 on CBS. When Walt had drawn up plans for a theme park, known as Disneyland, he found a hard time obtaining funding; critics, including Walt's brother Roy, thought that it was unfeasible and that it would be a fiasco. At the same time, the ABC television network offered him a deal for a television anthology series. Walt wouldn't agree to it unless they put up partial financing for Disneyland (a term that had kept CBS and NBC from signing with him). ABC agreed, and also paid him $50,000 per program, an exorbitant sum for the time. The show, titled Disneyland, premiered on October 27, 1954 and was an immediate success. Historically, the show is significant for two reasons. First, with thirty-four seasons, it is the longest-running prime time network series in history (not counting news programs; if one were to count news programs, 60 Minutes would take that title). Second, it was the first original television production by a major Hollywood studio. Other studios resented television for fear that it would keep people from going out to the movies. Thus, they refused to produce television programs, and they refused to let networks or stations use any of their more recent or better-known material. Walt Disney was the first Hollywood producer to do so. Disneyland was a mixture of cartoons, live-action adventures, documentaries, and nature stories. Some of these were made expressly for television, but others were former theatrical releases. Many of the early programs were designed to promote upcoming theatrical releases. One particular early success of the Disneyland series was the Davy Crockett trilogy. This was a phenomenal success in every aspect; the merchandising bonanza that followed sold $300 million worth of Crockett memorabilia. Thus, ABC wanted more adventure stories along the lines of Davy Crockett. Disney provided them, but none were nearly as successful. Along the way, in 1958, it was retitled Walt Disney Presents. Eventually the show became more reliant on original material, though pre-existing material was used at times. In 1961, his contract with ABC expired. He moved his show to NBC where he could broadcast it in color (ABC would not have the capability for color broacasting until 1962). It was rechristened Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, with an original theme song by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman (who went on to write the song scores to such well-known Disney films as Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh and Bedknobs and Broomsticks). It premiered on NBC on Sunday, September 24, 1961. On NBC, he was able to re-air many of the ABC shows in color, as they had been filmed that way as insurance for possible future airings once color broadcasting, or "colorcasting," took hold. In September of 1966, doctors told Walt Disney, a lifetime chain-smoker, that he had lung cancer. Though the cancerous lung was removed, doctors told him that the cancer had been detected too late, and he died on Thursday, December 15, 1966. Knowing full well that no one could replace him as a host, Walt Disney Productions dropped the hosted introduction segments after the season's end. Luckily, Walt had filmed that all of that season's host segments before it was too late. The show changed its name to The Wonderful World of Disney on September 14, 1969, and dropped the Sherman Brothers theme song in favor of various alternating medleys of well-known songs from Disney movies and parks. The trusted Disney name continued to insure high ratings for the next few years. As popular tastes changed dramatically during the late 1960s and early 1970s, the public seemed to have largely begun to turn away from anything Disney (except theme parks and merchandise), seeing the name as symptomatic of a square, uptight, and unhip mindset that young people were coming to reject. The studio itself suffered from the lack of hit movies and accusations of incompetent management at the time. The ratings of the anthology series, however, remained reasonably stable, enough so that NBC renewed Disney's contract through 1978. In the fall of 1975, the show began a ratings decline when it was moved back to 7 PM from 7:30 PM. Disney's ratings fell from the Top 30 and continued to fall every year afterwards. The following year went face to with CBS's 60 Minutes. Though it had begun in 1968 and was scheduled on Tuesday, the CBS newsmagazine had been scheduled on Sunday evenings since the 1971-1972 season, and had been held back until after football season due to the risk of pre-emptions; it was this year that the show finally began its season in the fall. The show was easily able to beat ABC's Sunday night offerings but trailed the CBS newsmagazine by a wide margin. As the number of original installments decreased every year, so, too, did the ratings. In 1979, NBC (which, as a network, was also in the midst of a very public, humiliating decline) threatened Disney with cancellation unless the ratings improved. That fall, Walt Disney Productions rechristened the anthology series Disney's Wonderful World and commissioned a new, original theme song by John Debney and John Klawitter, new opening and closing credits, and a new announcer, Gary Owens (longtime announcer Dick Wesson committed suicide in January of that year). In a flashback to the original themed format, many episodes initially were divided into one of four categories: "Fantasy Night," "Adventure Night," "Comedy Night," and "Animation Night." Beneath the "happy new face" sung of in the new theme song, however, was more of the same: too little original material, airings of theatrical movies, and far too many reruns. In spite of this, the face-lift helped the ratings, so the show was renewed for the 1980-1981 season. But the next season saw only 10 installments that had not been aired on the anthology series before, and pre-emptions were far more frequent. Ratings for the show's 27th season did not improve, and in on December 30, 1980 NBC announced that it would not be renewing the series for next season. All was not lost that year, as the show was then immediately picked up by CBS. It was moved from its longtime Sunday night slot to Saturday night at 8 PM, as the network would not displace its highly-rated pride and joy 60 Minutes. Retitled Walt Disney, the show promised to present more original programming than it had in its final years on NBC. On September 26, 1981, after a huge advertising campaign by the network, the series premiered on CBS. Ratings improved against mediocre competition, and the show was renewed for another season (its 29th on network television). A few of these shows were pilots for series that were never picked up. The second CBS year saw an increase in the number of reruns (as opposed to last year's increase in new episodes), and the ratings dropped. Disney did, however, produce several midseason replacement series for CBS, but all of them failed. On Monday, April 18, 1983, Walt Disney Productions and Westinghouse Broadcasting launched The Disney Channel, a cable network created to showcase the large library of Disney cartoons, movies, and TV shows (the anthology series was rerun under the name Walt Disney Presents). Thus, in the eyes of CBS, the anthology series had outlived its purpose and was canceled. There were occasional network and syndicated specials, but all of Disney's television resources were concentrated on the cable service. When Michael Eisner became CEO of Walt Disney Productions in September of 1984, one of the first things he and his new regime did was express an interest in reviving Disney's presence on network TV. He had some success, as the Emmy-winning, Touchstone-produced sitcom The Golden Girls and the Saturday morning cartoon (a medium with which Walt Disney himself had refused to get involved due to fears of compromised quality) Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears both premiered on NBC on Saturday, September 14, 1985 and lasted several years. However, these particular shows were the exception, not the rule; a number of series that the new regime eventually launched failed (Wildside and The Ellen Burstyn Show, for instance). Also, of course, did the company plan to revive the anthology series. Now known as The Disney Sunday Movie, it made its much-hyped return to network television on February 2, 1986 after a hiatus of 2 years, 4 months, and eight days, replacing the dismally-rated Ripley's Believe it or Not. Just as Walt Disney had hosted the original until his death, Michael Eisner appeared in an introductory segment at the beginning of each episode. Nostalgia and ratings were high initially, but both eventually wore off. The show premiered at a two-hour length, but in the fall of 1987, once again being soundly beaten in the ratings regularly by 60 Minutes in its first hour, and by Murder, She Wrote in its second, it was shortened to one hour for its third and final season on ABC. NBC, which had not been able to launch a hit show in Disney's old time slot in the seven years since the show was axed by that network, picked up the show, which was renamed The Magical World of Disney. At first, a rotating "wheel" format was used, utilizing three different genres; every fourth week would be a special. This lasted until a few months into the following season. Eisner continued to host the show, but ratings on NBC were no better than they had been on ABC, and it limped through a two-year run here before the network pulled the plug for good. After 36 years (save for the September 1983-January 1986 hiatus), one of television's last remaining institutions from its golden age came to an unceremonious end. In 1995, The Walt Disney Company announced plans to buy out the ABC television network, which went through in January of 1996. In the fall of 1997, a family-oriented movie time slot was set aside on ABC and christened The Wonderful World of Disney. Ratings to date have been middling. Though the show is not currently repeated anywhere (The Disney Channel dropped it and all vintage Disney programming in September of 2002), episodes are slowly being released on DVD in the United States, and its legacy of quality television entertainment for all members of the family lives on in the hearts and minds of many. Here is a chronology of titles used for the series: Disneyland: October 27, 1954-September 3, 1958
    Walt Disney Presents: September 12, 1958-September 17, 1961
    Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color: September 24, 1961-September 7, 1969
    The Wonderful World of Disney: September 14, 1969-September 2, 1979
    Disney's Wonderful World: September 9, 1979-September 13, 1981
    Walt Disney: September 26, 1981-September 24, 1983
    The Disney Sunday Movie: February 2, 1986-September 11, 1988
    The Magical World of Disney: October 9, 1988-September 9, 1990 The final name was used as an umbrella title for Disney movie airings on cable's The Disney Channel from September 23, 1990 to August 25, 1996. ABC Broadcast History (1954-1961):
    October 27, 1954-September 3, 1958: Wednesday, 7:30 PM-8:30 PM
    September 12, 1958-September 25, 1959: Friday, 8:00 PM-9:00 PM
    October 2, 1959-September 23, 1960: Friday, 7:30 PM-8:30 PM
    September 25, 1960-September 17, 1961: Sunday, 6:30 PM-7:30 PM NBC Broadcast History (1961-1981):
    September 24, 1961-August 31, 1975: Sunday, 7:30 PM-8:30 PM
    September 14, 1975-September 11, 1977: Sunday, 7:00 PM-8:00 PM
    September 18, 1977-October 23, 1977: Sunday, 7:00 PM-9:00 PM
    October 30, 1977-September 13, 1981: Sunday, 7:00 PM-8:00 PM CBS Broadcast History (1981-1983):
    September 26, 1981-January 1, 1983: Saturday, 8:00 PM-9:00 PM
    January 4, 1983-February 15, 1983: Tuesday, 8:00 PM-9:00 PM
    July 9, 1983-September 24, 1983: Saturday, 8:00 PM-9:00 PM
    (two irregularly scheduled airings on May 3, 1983 and May 21, 1983) ABC Broadcast History (1986-1988):
    February 2, 1986-September 6, 1987: Sunday, 7:00 PM-9:00 PM
    September 13, 1987-September 11, 1988: Sunday, 7:00 PM-8:00 PM NBC Broadcast History (1988-1990):
    October 9, 1988-July 2, 1989: Sunday, 7:00 PM-8:00 PM
    July 9, 1989-July 23, 1989: Sunday, 8:00 PM-9:00 PM
    August 6, 1989-February 25, 1990: Sunday, 7:00 PM-8:00 PM
    March 4, 1990-April 15, 1990: Sunday, 7:00 PM-9:00 PM
    April 22, 1990-May 6, 1990: Sunday, 7:00 PM-8:00 PM
    May 27, 1990-July 22, 1990: Sunday, 7:00 PM-9:00 PM
    August 5, 1990-September 9, 1990: Sunday, 7:00 PM-8:00 PM
    First Telecast: October 27, 1954
    Last Telecast: September 9, 1990 Episodes: 751 (180 black and white episodes, 571 color episodes [as far as the format in which they were first broadcast]) (NOTE: many of these were originally theatrical releases, and a small number were specials aired at other times, but for purposes of their first airing on the anthology series they are counted as episodes)moreless
  • 7
    The Engelbert Humperdinck Show

    The Engelbert Humperdinck Show

    ABC (ended 1970)
    The Engelbert Humperdinck Show was a British variety series an ATV production, executive produced by Gordon Mills. For American release the show aired on ABC and the guests were a combination British and American performers. The Jack Parnell Orchestra and the Irving Davies Dancers provided the background talent for Engelbert's variety musical program. Airing only 17 episodes the guests were the big names in entertainment field.moreless
  • 8


    ARD (ended 1972)
    The legendary West German rock series Beat-Club was broadcast from September 1965 through December 1972. It was broadcast from Bremen, Germany and produced by the regional TV network Radio Bremen, which at that time was part of the German Government radio chain ARD. Radio Bremen was the sole producer for episodes 1 – 34. Episodes 35 through 74 were produced jointly by Radio Bremen and the WDR network. Beat-Club was co-created by Gerhard Augustin and Mike Leckebusch. Gerhard ("Gerd") Augustin was a well-known disc jockey in Bremen and northern Germany. In 1963 he was the first DJ to spin records at local clubs. He was a moderator (co-host) of the first seven Beat-Club shows.

    Michael Leckebusch, a former trumpet player in a theatre band in Hamburg, came to work for Radio Bremen's TV station in 1965. He became the director of Beat-Club. Uschi Nerke joined Augustin as co-host of Beat-Club. She started with the first show and remained with the series through the end of its run. (She was not, however, involved in the concept or creation of the show.) Beat-Club premiered September 25, 1965. While this premiere episode may appear tame, the TV network at the time feared complaints by parents and other adults who didn't like rock music. This show, in fact, began with a plea by German TV personality William Wieben for tolerance. Rough translation: "Good day, dear Beat friends. The time has come. In few seconds we will begin the first show on German television made especially for you. As for you Ladies and Gentlemen who do not like Beat (rock) music, we ask for your understanding: this is a live show for young people. And now we're taking off..."

    is believed to have been Germany's first rock music series. Beat-Club should not be confused with another German TV series, Beat! Beat! Beat!, which premiered in 1966. Beat! Beat! Beat! was produced in a different city (Frankfurt am Main), by the regional network Hessischer Rundfunk. The series went through many format changes in its 7 years on the air. At first the show took on a (sort of) Cavern Club look. The walls behind the stage were brick - no fancy sets. The bands performed live while audience members were shown dancing. Sometime after show #8, Dave Lee Travis became a co-host. Travis had been a D.J. with "Radio Caroline," a pirate radio station that broadcasted into Britain from an offshore ship. Eddie Vickers, a soldier with the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS), appeared sporadically as host during 1966-67.

    Dave Lee Travis' last appearance as host was on episode #45. His replacement was Dave Dee, of "Dave Dee, Dosy, Beaky, Mick & Titch." Dave Dee appeared on episodes 46 through 53.

    Around 1967, the series switched from live performances to lip-synching. The look of the set also changed, from the brick walls to the more familiar set with large cards in the background displaying the names of the performers. Another change around this time was the introduction of the "Go-Go-Girls," a troupe of young women who danced to recordings of current hits.

    "Beat Club" switched from black & white to color on December 31, 1969 (episode #50). Starting with episode 46 (September 1969) most of the music guests started performing live again.

    The final Beat-Club program aired in December 1972. The series was replaced by Musikladen, which lasted until 1984. Uschi Nerke was a co-host on Musikladen from 1972-1980.moreless
  • 9
    The Lawrence Welk Show

    The Lawrence Welk Show

    ABC (ended 1982)
    Welcome to The Lawrence Welk Show guide at TV.com.

    The Lawrence Welk Show was good old fashioned family entertainment at its best with all kinds of music, particularly from the Big Band Era. The show had a close-knit group of singers, dancers, and musicians known as the "Musical Family."

    The Lawrence Welk Show made its national television debut on July 2, 1955. It was originally filmed in black and white and then it went into color September 18, 1965. The show was on Saturday nights on ABC until 1971 when the network canceled the show; that year, it went into first-run syndication with new episodes being produced until 1982. Reruns began airing until 1983. There were also two Christmas reunion specials, in 1984 and 1985.

    On October 3, 1987, reruns of the The Lawrence Welk Show began airing on PBS, where they continue to air to this day. These shows were hosted by members of the Musical Family until the 2005 season, when Mary Lou Metzger interviewed former members of the Musical Family after each show.

    Below is a list of Lawrence Welk PBS specials: 2001 - Milestones and Memories 2003 - God Bless America 2005 - Precious Memories 2007 - Lawrence Welk's TV Treasuresmoreless
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    Great Performances

    Great Performances

    Great Performances is the longest running performing arts anthology on television. It is part of of the PBS tradition of bringing the arts to viewers free of charge. The show began as Theater in America in 1972. The next year, several arts productions, including Dance in America, were brought together under the Great Performances umbrella. Great Performances at the Met would join the family in 1977. Over the years the productions have moved more toward music than plays. Check your local listings for air times.moreless
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    Nashville on the Road

    Nashville on the Road

    (ended 1983)
    Welcome to the Nashville on the Road guide on tv.com.
    Nashville on the Road was a country music variety series that was taped at various locations throughout North America.
    Jim Ed Brown and comedian Jerry Clower were the show's co-hosts from 1975 through 1981.
    The Season One regulars were Jim Ed Brown, Jerry Clower, The Cates Sisters, and The Gems.
    Wendy Holcombe, a young banjo player, was a semi-regular member of the cast during the series first three seasons. She became a regular cast member around Season Four.
    Singer Helen Cornelius joined the cast during the show's second season. Her duets with Jim Ed Brown became a regular part of the show.
    In early 1981, after taping was completed for the 1980-81 season, Jim Ed Brown announced the end of his partnership with Cornelius.

    Nashville on the Road returned in Fall 1981 with a new cast. Jim Stafford, Rex Allen Jr. and Sue Powell shared the co-hosting duties. A fourth new cast member was Golly Dang, the Wonder Chimp. This cast only lasted two seasons.
    After 8 seasons, Nashville on the Road ceased production in 1983.

    Note: As with most 1970s syndicated series, there were no official air dates. (Copies of the episodes were usually "bicycled" from station to station.) Whenever possible, we will try to list the earliest known air date for each episode.
    According to one source, there were 208 total episodes of Nashville on the Road, which would average 26 shows per season.moreless
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    Pop! Goes the Country

    Pop! Goes the Country

    (ended 1983)
    Country Blast From The 70s

    In 1974, Nashville production company Show Biz, Inc. launched this attempt to cash in on the powerful influence of Pop music, on the Country Music world (Hence, the title), as well as to extend it's success streak begun with another of its productions: The Porter Wagoner Show.

    Originally hosted by famed Country DeeJay Ralph Emery, this weekly syndicated music series premiered on September 7th, 1974, and was an immediate hit. The half-hour presentation featured performances by popular, well-established names in Country Music, as well as many up-and-coming performers, whose careers received a well-deserved boost from their appearances. Such Nashville luminaries as George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Charley Pride, Merle Haggard, Barbara Mandrell, Sonny James, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Mel Tillis, and Chet Atkins appeared on the show, over the years (Some of them, numerous times), and many newcomers (At the time) such as Reba McEntire, Eddie Rabbitt, Crystal Gayle, and Jon Conlee got some early-career national TV exposure on the show. Each episode featured two or three musical performances by the guests, between which, Emery would conduct brief interviews of the Performers.

    Emery left the show after its 6th season, and, in 1980, Tom T. Hall - 'The Old Storyteller' - took over the hosting duties. The show was then called Tom T. Hall's Pop! Goes The Country, and Hall, himself performed at least one number for each show, and chatted with his Guest Stars between performances.

    The show underwent a major format change, for it's 9th, and final season, when it moved to Opryland U.S.A.'s Gaslight Theatre. It's title became Tom T.'s Pop! Goes The Country Club, and it took place in a nightclub-like setting, where, between Guests' performances, Hall played straight man to comedian Jim Varney, and his various characters, in brief comedy sketches that always involved the Guest Stars.

    The show, itself, appears a bit dated, nowadays, but the performers who appeared, and the music they performed, are timeless, and any Country Music fan, young or old, would well enjoy it.moreless
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    Dick Clark's Primetime New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest

    Dick Clark's Primetime New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest

    ABC (Holiday Event 1972)
    Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve has been a New Year's tradition for decades. Many people the country over wait for the ball to drop in New York City's Times Square with Dick Clark. The show promises great musical performers and live coverage of New Year's Eve festivities. The show airs every New Year's Eve with the exception of 1999, when there was a special new millennium coverage. Dick Clark did a small segment for that year. And in 2004, Dick Clark did not host the show due to illness.moreless
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    Pearl Bailey Show

    Pearl Bailey Show

    ABC (ended 1971)
    The Pearl Bailey Show, hosted by the multi-talented songstress Pearl Bailey was a musical variety show lasting only five months. A Cooper-Finkel Company production in association with the Pearl Bailey Production Corporation. Pearl Bailey and her husband, drummer Louis Bellson, conductor of the Orchestra for the show, along with the Robert Sidney Dancers and the Allan Davies Singers performed a variety of musical entertainment. Her guests were a who's who from the entertainment world but tough competition with The Dean Martin Variety Show, The Carol Burnett Show and Laugh-In helped sink Pearl's show.moreless
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    School House Rock!

    School House Rock!

    ABC (ended 1996)
    Release history:
    The soundtrack to Multiplication Rock was released on LP (Capitol 11174) in 1973 and on CD (Capitol 91253) in 1989. The discs are in stereo, but missing some foley from the broadcast versions. (see also reissues and covers) Filmstrips and 16mm films of Multiplication Rock, Grammar Rock, America Rock and Science Rock (hereafter The Big Four) were available to schools and libraries from Xerox Films. The film prints (and possibly the filmstrips) came with teachers' aides which included lyrics, questions for students and activities. In 1987 The Big Four were released by Golden Book Video on four VHS tapes. Cloris Leachman and "a group of young friends" sang and danced to new between-segment songs not produced by the original team. The tapes were missing The Good Eleven, Little Twelvetoes, and Three-Ring Government and America Rock was renamed History Rock. The videos were re-released on VHS (Aug. 8, 1995) and laserdisc (Dec. 13, 1995) by Capital Cities/ABC Video Publishers, restoring the missing segments and removing Ms. Leachman and friends. CD-ROMs and at least two music folios were released in 1996. Released Apr. 9, 1996 School House Rock! Rocks featured new versions of SHR songs performed by contemporary rock stars. School House Rock, the Box Set was released June 18, 1996 and featured 41 songs on 4 CDs. Disc 1 featured the stereo versions of Multiplication Rock plus a bonus track, My Hero, Zero by The Lemonheads. Discs 2-4 featured mono versions of the songs (probably directly from film) except The Preamble which is in stereo, and Verb which has an extremely small amount of separation. Episodes made in the 1990s were made in stereo and are presented in stereo in the box. The four discs were released separately, minus The Lemonheads track, on Apr. 1, 1997. Another tribute album, School House Rocks the Vote was released Aug. 18, 1998. It featured various artists covering School House Rock songs. Among the artists were Grady Tate singing Messin' with My Bill of Rights!, I'm Just a Bill by Joan Osborne and South Park's Isaac Hayes, and The Campaign Trail by Bob Dorough. A sampler CD, The Best of School House Rock was released Nov. 3, 1998, featuring songs by the original artists. I Got Six was named Best Picture of 1973 by ASIF-East, a chapter of the International Animated Film Association. Multiplication Rock received honors from Action for Children's Television. Bob Dorough received an Grammy nomination in 1974 for the Multiplication Rock LP, probably for Best Recording for Children (the winner was Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too). Most impressive was SHR's 4 Emmys, beating out shows like Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood Each discipline has been given its own season. Years of first airing are listed below as original airdates are likely lost forever. 1973 Multiplication Rock (season 1) (premiered 06-Jan-73) 1973-1977 Grammar Rock (season 2) (premiered 08-Sep-73) 1975-1979 America Rock (season 3) 1978-1979 Science Rock (season 4) (premiered 11-Mar-78) 1983-1984 Scooter Computer & Mr. Chips (season 5) (premiered 08-Jan-83) (last show 31-Aug-85) 1995-1996 Money Rock (season 6) Years of first broadcast for each episode are given in the production code field. moreless
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    Ben Vereen... Comin' at Ya

    Ben Vereen... Comin' at Ya

    NBC (ended 1975)
    Capitalizing on Ben Vereen's popularity in the Roots mini-series, NBC offered the star his own summer variety show. The show featured comedy sketches, musical numbers, and lots of dancing, spear-headed by Mr. Vereen himself.moreless
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    CMA Awards

    CMA Awards

    Since their inception in 1967, the CMA Awards have been country music's most anticipated night of the year. The hottest stars in America's most popular music genre turn out annually to see who will be named the top talent in categories such as Entertainer of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of Year, Musical Event of the Year and many more. Outstanding performances and top notch entertainment make this awards show a not-to-be-missed tradition for the country music follower.moreless
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    Tony Orlando And Dawn

    Tony Orlando And Dawn

    CBS (ended 1976)
    Welcome to the Tony Orlando And Dawn guide at TV.com.
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    Praise the Lord

    Praise the Lord

    The main program of TBN. Except for some special programming, Praise the Lord is a live Christian talk/variety ministry show with various guests and hosts.
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    The Starland Vocal Band Show

    The Starland Vocal Band Show

    CBS (ended 1977)
    Fueled by the phenomenal success of their 1976 smash hit, "Afternoon Delight," The Starland Vocal Band were given their own variety series on CBS. The group consisted of (then husband-wife team) Bill & Taffy Danoff, who co-wrote "Take Me Home, Country Roads" with John Denver, Jon Carroll and Margot Chapman (who would later marry and divorce). Winners of the Grammy© for "Best New Artist" in 1976, the group remains one of the biggest "one-hit wonders" of all time. Their short-lived show has been all but forgotten -- except that its eclectic cast featured political satirist Mark Russell, Firesign Theatre members Phil Proctor & Peter Bergman, comedian Jeff Altman and a then-unknown David Letterman.moreless
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