Project: Digital American Bandstand

A digital project on American Bandstand is now online, featuring video clips, 100+ images and preview of my forthcoming book, _The Nicest Kids in Town: American Bandstand, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and the Struggle for Civil Rights in 1950s Philadelphia_ (University of California Press, American Crossroads series, Feb 2012).

Digital project:
Book website:

Counter to host Dick Clark’s claims that he integrated American Bandstand, this project reveals how the first national television program directed at teens discriminated against black youth during its early years and how black teens and civil rights advocates protested this discrimination. The project also brings to light the civil rights activism of black deejays like Georgie Woods and Mitch Thomas, whose locally televised teen dance show debuted fifteen years before “Soul Train” and influenced the dance styles on “American Bandstand.”

Matt Delmont
Assistant Professor, American Studies, Scripps College