Season 2, Episode 1: Bandstand and the Closet

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The hit television show American Bandstand has shaped how we understand the 1950s and early 1960s. For many, American Bandstand still evokes nostalgic images of white youth culture and sexually innocent teenage romance: a world made up of malt shops, juke joints, sock hops and drive-in movie theaters. If we look closer at how Bandstand was staged, and what was hidden from sight or hiding in plain view, we can see how the show's creators erased blackness and queerness from the show itself and from the official story of youth culture.

Hosts and Creators: Gillian Frank and Lauren Gutterman.

Producers: Rebecca Davis, Saniya Lee Ghanoui, Devin McGeehan Muchmore and Jayne Swift. 

Intern: Alexie Glover.

Special thanks to Frank Brancaccio, Ray Smith and Arlene Sullivan for sharing their stories with us. Thank you to Matthew Delmont and Marc Stein for sharing their historical expertise with us.

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