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Movie-A-Day #217: Hairspray (1988).

August 5, 2011

“American Bandstand” made its television debut on this date in 1957. Beyond introducing Dick Clark to the world, it also helped spread the popularity of rock ‘n’ roll music around the country. And by bringing the music out of its chaotic and sometimes questionable local roots, the show also helped tame it and make acceptable to the “grown ups.” But “American Bandstand” and the scores of similar local shows were also must-see TV for teenagers at the time and a cultural focal point. John Waters’ “Hairspray,” about an unpopular girl’s drive to integrate a local dance show was inspired by an actual incident in Baltimore in the early 1960s.

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