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Frankie Lymon Singing “Little Bitty Pretty One” in 1960 Where Many People Discovered He Was Black.. This Was Their Reaction!

Blueprint Marketing Group | June 29, 2023

This episode is from August 1960 and is an interesting piece of music history. Those girls were told to stay in their seats by ABC execs. This is Dick Clark’s Saturday Night Beechnut show. It aired on ABC from 1958-1960. BeechNut is a chewing gum company. That’s why all the “teens” are chewing gum, it’s product placement.

In 1959 Dick started booking black talents despite objections from ABC national offices. He started with the doo-wop group The Coasters, then Chuck Berry, then Little Anthony and The Imperials. ABC national claimed the show was causing problems with viewers. But TV ratings continued to soar in 1959. And BeechNut stood by Clark and the showed went on.

More black acts followed in 1960. Enter Frankie Lyman. Frankie was on the downside of his career here due to a building heroin addiction by age 15, but he was having the biggest success of his solo career with Pretty Little Bitty Pretty One. Minutes before Frankie came on. The audience was warned by ABC executives NOT TO LEAVE their seats. Cops were present but no threats of arrest were made. So the audience defiantly CLAPPED for Frankie’s performance.
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