The Kendall Productions records date from 1952-2006 with the bulk of material dating from 1997-2004 and measure 4.42 cubic feet. The records consist of material documenting the Kendall Productions documentary Dance Party: The Teenarama Story which first aired on Howard University's PBS affiliate WHUT in 2006. The records are comprised of research and production notes, government records, newspaper articles, questionnaires, photographs, letters, and scripts, accompanied by a significant amount of original media in the following formats: VHS and Beta videocassettes, audiocassettes, and audio compact discs.
Scope and Contents:
The records of Kendall Productions measure 4.6 cubic feet and date from 1952 to 2006, with the bulk of material dating from 1997-2004. The records contain the administrative files, research, project files, photographs, and audiovisual material produced during the creation of the documentary Dance Party: The Teenarama Story.
Administrative records include committee records, project assessments, budget files, promotional material, correspondence, and material related to individuals working on the documentary. Material within the series directly relate to the production processes of Dance Party: The Teenarama Story. Restricted files within the series have been indicated at the folder level. The administrative records were previously scattered throughout the collection.
Research files include biographical information, the history of television broadcasting in Washington D.C., community history, background on Teenarama, and race relations from 1940 through the 1960s. The research file subjects were originally labeled by the creators, and their subject designations have been maintained where relevant. Material includes newsclippings, informational booklets, notes, pamphlets, unpublished essays or write-ups, and prints of website pages.
Project files include interview transcripts and copies of questions for interviewees, documentary scripts, event fliers, equipment request forms, and realia. Event material relates to the production of Dance Party: The Teenarama Story, and not events related to the release or showings of the finished documentary.
Photographs document people who were a part of the Teenarama show, cast reunion events, and the documentary filming or recording processes. Folder titles were given by the creators and have been maintained. They are organized alphabetically by folder title.
Audiovisual material contains 63 items, a majority of which are VHS tapes. Material includes clips and edits of Dance Party: The Teenarama Story. Objects are listed alphabetically by their labels. Playback equipment is available.
Kendall Productions Records is arranged in five series:
Series 1: Administrative Records
Series 2: Research Files
Series 3: Project Files
Series 4: Photographs
Series 5: Audiovisual Material
The documentary film Dance Party: The Teenarama Story first broadcast in 2006 on the Howard University public television station WHUT in Washington D.C. The film traced the history and development of the television show Teenarama that aired from March 7, 1963 to November 20, 1970.
Teenarama originated as the Teenarama Dance Party radio program broadcast on WOOK Radio in Washington D.C. and became a television program after WOOK Radio received a license to operate a television station. The program premiered as a teen dance show for Black teenagers in the Washington D.C. and surrounding metropolitan area, featuring popular songs. The show's programming was first created by Cal Hackett and Al Jefferson. Bob King hosted the show from 1963-1965. Following King's departure, the show rotated hosts such as Leon Isaac Kennedy, Moon Man, and Daniel "Hollywood Breeze" Clayton. Guest performers on the show included James Brown, Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, Major Lance, Mary Wells, Aretha Franklin, Lou Rawls, Billy Stewart, Martha and The Vandellas, the Supremes, and the Four Seasons, among others. The program broadcasted live six days a week, the first of its kind in the country catering specifically to a Black audience.
The documentary about Teenarama was created by Beverly Lindsay-Johnson, Herb Grimes, and the National Hand Dance Association, and was funded in part by grants through the Humanities Council of Washington D.C.,The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, The Dudley Foundation and private donations. The film uses Teenarama to tell the story of teen dance television shows, youth and pop culture, race, and television history. The documentary is narrated by Martha Reeves of Martha and The Vandellas.
Donated by Beverly Lindsey-Johnson in 2006.
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist to make an appointment: ACMarchives@si.edu.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.