Bandwagon is a half-hour music program featuring traditional dance music, most notably polka, performed in front of a studio audience dancing along. The program is produced and broadcast by KEYC-TV in Mankato, Minnesota. The show is currently in its 48th year, making it possibly the longest-running televised music program in the world. The first music show on KEYC aired on November 21, 1960; the title Bandwagon was added on March 30, 1961.
In the past, the show was sponsored by John Deere, and aired as the John Deere Bandwagon; later it was sponsored Randall's, a defunct Midwestern supermarket chain, and similarly titled as Randall's Bandwagon. The show does not currently have a title sponsor.
Earl Lamont was the original host of the program. Chuck Pasek, began hosting the program in 1961. Dick Ginn, who worked for Randall's and was involved in their sponsorship of the show since the 1970s, joined Pasek in hosting in the early 1990s. Following Chuck Pasek's retirement in 1995, Tom Goetzinger began co-hosting the program.
The format of the show is simple: the hosts introduce the band for the week, who typically perform a number of music selections throughout the show, interspersed with breaks for hosts to announce upcoming events in the area and for advertisements. At one point, the hosts typically interviews the band leader, who names all the members of the band, and tells viewers where to purchase their recordings. During one performance, sometimes referenced as the roll-up selection, features submitted birthday and anniversary announcements of viewers rolling-up over the screen.
The show, formerly originating from KEYC's studio in North Mankato, Minnesota, now is recorded at the Kato Entertainment Center in Mankato. In addition, in the past some episodes have been recorded on location, such as at Heritagefest, a former German heritage festival in New Ulm, Minnesota. The half-hour episodes for the following month are usually recorded in one night, where attendance is free.