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The Nicest Kids in Town

Matt Delmont, Author

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Share Your Memories

Even after books are published, there are always more stories to be told.  If you have memories of American Bandstand that you would like to share I'd love to hear from you.  Please e-mail me at matthew.delmont[at] and, with your permission, I'll include your memories in this section.   

"My friends Danny & the Juniors sent me this announcement about your book.  In 2009 I took Billie Williams to American Bandstand for the first time. She watched me and the other regulars go into Bandstand from her porch located across the street from the Studio. Afterward, she would go into her house and turn on her television to see us dance.  Billie is a black lady. She would never tell me how old she was - just that she was a little older than her teeth. Everyday she would see white dancers go into the show but never black dancers. She'd see black performers and feel good about that and just accepted the fact that black dancers didn't go to Bandstand.  Well, I thought it was time to take Billie to American Bandstand even if it was fifty years later. I invited Billie as my guest to an American Bandstand Reunion at the Studio. Billie is precious and it was a treasure to see how happy she was when I asked her to jitterbug with me! Annette John-Hall wrote an article in The Philadelphia Inquirer on July 26, 2009, about me finally taking Billie to Bandstand. 
I thank you, Matthew, for setting the record straight for "history's sake" and the legacy that we will be leaving for the future generations of the truth of our American Bandstand history at a time of segregation in America."
—Bunny Gibson (American Bandstand regular, 1959-1961)

"I saw your Democracy Now interview today on FSTV. What a great topic that has not been previously explored; early civil rights struggles. I love it. I am a 64 year old white woman who was on the daily dance committee of the local kids dance show in Baltimore. I think I was 15 at the time. I was attending a newly integrated high school by choice. I refused to go to the segregated all white school that my parents preferred and I loved to dance. I had many very close (negroes, at the time) friends from school that I partied and danced with regularly, much to the chagrin of any white people that I knew. Everyday, I took three buses and walked a considerable distance to get to the local television station in Baltimore, now WJZ TV, to be on the Buddy Dean show and dance for an hour. I think it was 1964. The show had been on for several years and it took me awhile to be able to get on the show. When I finally got accepted, the show was only on for about six months when it suddenly was taken off the air and I was told at the time, it was because someone wanted to integrate it. I did not understand at the time what the problem with that was, but it ended my ability to dance on tv. Being on that show and watching it being eliminated because of the refusal to integrate, was probably my first introduction to ‘how things work, or not’ in real life. I am very interested in your book and your research. Keep up the good work."
—Carol White

"Even as a kid growing up in the 50's and a frequent watcher of Bandstand (I vividly recall the Bob Horn days) I noticed the racial imbalance on Bandstand...One of the most egregious examples of anti-black prejudice that I recall from this era happened to Ted Dean, an outstanding halfback on the NFL 1960 champion Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles were much loved, even adored by the fans. And Dean was a vital part of their success. But when he attempted to move into a suburban neighborhood (Radnor, I recall), he was greeted with horrible racist protests."
—Lawrence Chase
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