The Regulars

regularsone.jpg (23378 bytes)

regularstwo.jpg (20087 bytes)

When anyone remembers Bandstand or American Bandstand they generally think of two things: Dick Clark and the regulars that appeared on the show more than two or three times a week. The regulars pictured here off screen were not actors or professional dancers, but ordinary high school students. The concept of the regular took off when bandstand dancer, Tom DeNoble, appeared at a local dance and more than a thousand kids showed up to see him. No one expected so many people, and it was immediately clear to the producers that regulars drew a huge viewing audience, as well as a dependable studio audience. Becoming a regular was a lot easier than most viewers imagined. If viewers knew your name and wrote to you, you could get a membership card. Bunny Gibson remembers getting mail the second week she was on the show and becoming a regular the third. As a regular you didn't have to wait in line, and, at least in the early days, you could get in to the show everyday. as the number of regulars increased, the number of days they appeared decreased. Ed Kelly says he was only allowed on the show only on certain days of the week. There were about sixty regulars in the 50s and many viewers could name them all. For teen viewers, especially outside Philadelphia, the regulars were role models. Girls copied hair-dos and make-up; boys copied dance steps and clothing styles. By the time the show moved to Los Angeles in 1964, where multiple episodes were taped in one day, the regulars were less important to the dynamic of the show.