I remember when I was a very young girl, I would go over to my grandparent’s home and they had American Bandstand on the television. Back then, most people had black and white television sets, including my family.
Sharon Sultan Cutler
So when Sharon Sultan Cutler, author of Bandstand Diaries – The Philadelphia Years 1956 – 1963 asked me to review her book, I was delighted. Sharon was one of my first clients when I started HJMT Public Relations back in 1992 and I was more than happy to help her spread the word about her book.
Sharon, along with Arlene Sullivan and Ray Smith, all wrote the book. It’s an oversized coffee book that could be picked up at any time to reminisce about the past. Unfortunately for me, I was way too young to remember anything other than people dancing to music on a television show.
But, most people from that time, remember the “regular” dancers, Dick Clark, and all of his famous guests. The show, originally filmed in Philadelphia, had dozens of regular kids on the show who loved to dance.
The book takes you back in time with various vignettes from the “regulars.” Arlene Sullivan talks about how she became a regular and met her idols while on the show. Ray Smith also writes about his experiences.
At the beginning of the book, there are some fun facts about what was going on at the time in 1956. (That was the year my parents got married!)
The book also has a chapter on the regulars and who they were and where they are now. The one person that struck me was Anna Russo Bonnani who appeared on the show in 1963. She later was a “go-go” dancer. Today, sadly, as a diabetic, she lost both her legs and lives with her daughter and aide.
At the back of the book, Sharon is interviewed as a fan of the show.
What did I think?
The book is certainly for a generation that lived with American Bandstand. It would make a great birthday gift or holiday gift for someone who was born in the 1940s and was a teenager during that time period. You can buy a copy on Amazon for $30 here: https://www.amazon.com/Bandstand-Diaries-Philadelphia-Years-1956-1963/dp/0997622105.