Bert Parks’ Bandstand

Bert Parks is probably best (only?) remembered for his years hosting the annual Miss America pageant. That’s a shame because he was a star on Broadway (among other gigs, he replaced Robert Preston in The Music Man) and he hosted dozens of game and variety shows. Bert Parks’ Bandstand was a daytime radio show based on the arguable premise that audiences didn’t want any of that new “rock-and-roll” music some kids were buying. They still wanted the Big Band sound…and that’s what Bert gave them, thanks to a fine big band under the baton of Skitch Henderson. Radio audiences kept it on for years but a TV version called NBC Bandstand didn’t do as well. The show debuted July 30, 1956 and had its last broadcast on November 23 of that year. It was replaced by a new show called The Price is Right.