Remembering the Past Australia
Bandstand was an Australian musical variety television program that screened from November 1958 to June 1972. Featuring both local and international music artists, it was produced at the studios of TCN-9 in Sydney and eventually became a national program as the Nine Network expanded into other Australian cities in the early 1960s.
Created by TCN-9 executive Bruce Gyngell, Bandstand was based on the American show of a similar name, American Bandstand. The host of the series was Brian Henderson, who was also the chief newsreader for TCN-9 in Sydney and who had hosted Accent on Youth broadcast between March 1958 and November 1958 before it was renamed as Bandstand. By May 1958 Henderson was the most popular local identity with station viewers in Sydney.
Bandstand was closely associated with a group of performers who regularly appeared on the show, and who became known as The Bandstand Family. This included Col Joye, Little Pattie, Warren Williams, Lucky Starr, Sandy Scott, Bryan Davies, Johnny Devlin, Laurel Lee, Judy Stone, Digby Richards, The Bee Gees, The Allen Brothers (a duo of the unrelated, Peter Allen and Chris Bell), Cathy Wayne and Olivia Newton-John.
The musical director was Bob Young and all the band tracks and vocal performances were pre-recorded at Natec Sound Studios in Bligh Street Sydney. The Audio Director was Max Alexander who worked for Channel Nine.
In 2019, TV Week listed Bandstand at #101 in its list of the 101 greatest Australian television programs of all time, and cited Brian Henderson as a major reason as to why the program became a “Saturday staple”.