The Map
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When American Bandstand went national on August 5, 1957 it had lined up affiliates on a small network of sixty-seven stations. A map of the United States in the studio was dotted with affiliate flags. By the end of the first year the show was seen in 4,00,000 homes and local stations were clamoring to come aboard. American Bandstand was much as a neighborhood dance as it was a national television show. Dancing was an integral part of the life in Philadelphia, the city that starts the New Year dancing up Broad Street in the centuries-old Mummers' Parade. The rest of the there were dances everywhere, from St. Alice's School where more than 2,000 teens gathered on Friday and Sunday nights to the very small VFW dances in Southwest Philadelphia where twenty people might show up.