Winston "Buddy" Deane was a broadcaster for more than fifty years, beginning his career in Little Rock, Arkansas, then moving to the Memphis, Tennessee market before moving onto Baltimore where he worked at WITH-AM radio. He was one of the first disc jockeys in the area to regularly feature rock-and-roll. His dance party television show debuted in 1957 and was, for a time, the most popular local show in the United States. It aired for two and a half hours a day, six days a week.
The core group of teenagers who appeared on the show every day were known as the "Committee." These kids developed a huge following of fans and hangers-on in Baltimore who emulated their dance moves, followed their life stories, and copied their look. Several marriages resulted from liaisons between Committee Members.
Many top acts of the day, both black and white, appeared on the show. Acts that appeared on The Buddy Deane Show first were reportedly barred from appearing on Dick Clark's American Bandstand. If they were on Bandstand first, however, they could still be on The Buddy Deane Show. Although WJZ-TV, owned by Westinghouse Broadcasting (now CBS), was an ABC affiliate, the station "blacked out" the network broadcast of American Bandstand in Baltimore and broadcast the Deane program instead, reportedly because Bandstand showed black teenagers dancing on the show (although black and white teenagers were not allowed to dance together). The Deane program set aside every other Friday when the show featured only black teenagers (the rest of the time, the show's participants were all white).
The racial integration of a take-off of the show, dubbed the The Corny Collins Show, provides the backdrop to the 1988 John Waters movie Hairspray starring Divine and Ricki Lake, the 2007 movie Hairspray featuring John Travolta and Nikki Blonsky, and the Broadway musical Hairspray starring Harvey Fierstein. Although he never appeared on Deane's show himself, Waters attended high school with a "Buddy Deaner" and later gave Deane a cameo in his 1988 film in which Deane played a TV reporter who tried to interview the governor who was besieged by integration protesters.
As with many other local TV shows, little footage of the show is known to have survived. There are three very small clips on Maryland Public TV's website at http://www.mpt.org/buddydeane/ and some on youtube.com. When Barry Levinson, another Baltimore native, requested footage of the show for his film Diner, the station told him they had no footage.
On 'Hairspray's' 25th Anniversary, 'Buddy Deane' Committee Looks Back (Posted 2013-01-24 21:29:49) ; as the BSO Celebrates 'Hairspray's' 25th Anniversary, the Kids Who Inspired the Movie Reminisce
Jan 24, 2013; If you were a teenager in Baltimore in the late 1950s and early 1960s, you watched "The Buddy Deane Show." When the final bell...
On 'Hairspray's' 25th Anniversary, 'Buddy Deane' Committee Looks Back (Posted 2013-01-21 02:39:15) ; as the BSO Celebrates 'Hairspray's' 25th Anniversary, the Kids Who Inspired the Movie Reminisce
Jan 21, 2013; If you were a teenager in Baltimore in the late 1950s and early 1960s, you watched "The Buddy Deane Show." When the final bell...