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Nicest Kids in TownAmerican Bandstand, Rock 'n' Roll, and the Struggle for Civil Rights in 1950s Philadelphia$
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Matthew F. Delmont

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780520272071

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520272071.001.0001

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Still Boppin’ on Bandstand

Still Boppin’ on Bandstand

American Dreams, Hairspray, and American Bandstand in the 2000s

(p.195) Chapter 8 Still Boppin’ on Bandstand
Nicest Kids in Town

Matthew F. Delmont

University of California Press

This chapter examines how two commercial productions from the 2000s, American Dreams and Hairspray, took up the complex histories of civil rights, race relations, television, and rock and roll of which American Bandstand was a part. American Dreams, an Emmy award-winning television drama, explores race relations in early 1960s Philadelphia on and around American Bandstand, whereas the musical film Hairspray tells the story of the struggle over segregation on Baltimore's version of American Bandstand. This chapter considers the ways that American Dreams and Hairspray look to music, television, youth culture, and race relations in the American Bandstand era to tell stories about the past and present, and how these productions foreground narratives of white innocence and interracial unity that work against structural understandings of racism.

Keywords:   civil rights, race relations, television, rock and roll, American Bandstand, American Dreams, Philadelphia, Hairspray, youth culture, racism

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