Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-544b6db54f-bkjnw Total loading time: 0.174 Render date: 2021-10-18T05:27:26.382Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

Cultural Policy in American Music History: Sammy Davis, Jr., vs. Juvenile Delinquency

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 January 2010

Abstract

In 1956 entertainer Sammy Davis, Jr., attempted to organize the music industry in a campaign against juvenile delinquency, using musical public service announcements to encourage teens to stay on the right side of the law. Although popular with the public and some industry insiders, Davis's idea failed, officially because of opposition from the Recording Industry Association of America. Although Davis's campaign went nowhere, we argue that this episode provides an important illustration of the need to broaden our understanding of cultural policy studies in the context of American music history. Specifically, we argue for an approach to policy analysis that draws on poststructuralist historiography to capture the forms that cultural policy takes in the United States, including the specific factors of race, intra-industry struggles, and the persona of Sammy Davis, Jr., himself, a pivotal figure who has been largely neglected by music historians despite embodying many of the key cultural tensions of postwar U.S. society. By examining the case of Sammy Davis, Jr., vs. Juvenile Delinquency, we can achieve a better understanding of how U.S. music, U.S. culture, and cultural policy intersect.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Society for American Music 2010

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Anderson, Tim. “‘Buried under the Fecundity of His Own Creations’: Reconsidering the Recording Bans of the American Federation of Musicians, 1942–44 and 1948.” American Music 22/2 (Summer 2004): 231–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Breen, Marcus. “Popular Music Policy Making and the Instrumental Policy Behavior Process.” Popular Music 27/2 (May 2008): 193208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cullen, Frank, Hackman, Florence, and McNeilly, Donald. “Sammy Davis, Jr.” In Vaudeville Old and New: An Encyclopedia of Variety Performers in America, 298301. New York: Routledge, 2006.Google Scholar
Davis, Sammy Jr., Boyar, Judy, and Boyar, Burt. Yes I Can: The Story of Sammy Davis Jr. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1965.Google Scholar
Denisoff, R. Serge, and Romanowski, William D.. Risky Business: Rock in Film. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Books, 1991.Google Scholar
Early, Gerald L. This Is Where I Came In: Black America in the 1960s. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2003.Google Scholar
Foucault, Michel. “Governmentality.” In The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality, trans. Braidotti, Rosi, rev. Colin Gordon, ed. Burchell, Graham, Gordon, Colin, and Miller, Peter, 87104. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991.Google Scholar
Frere-Jones, Sasha. “A Paler Shade of White: How Indie Rock Lost Its Soul.” The New Yorker 83/32 (22 October 2007): 176–81.Google Scholar
Gilbert, James. Cycle of Outrage: America's Reaction to the Juvenile Delinquent in the 1950s. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986.Google Scholar
Graebner, William. “The ‘Containment’ of Juvenile Delinquency: Social Engineering and American Youth Culture in the Postwar Era.” American Studies 27/1 (1986): 9495.Google Scholar
Haley, Alex. “Playboy Interview: Sammy Davis, Jr. (December 1966).” In The Playboy Interviews, ed. Fisher, Murray, 212–61. New York: Ballantine Books, 1993.Google Scholar
Harewood, Susan. “Policy and Performance in the Caribbean.” Popular Music 27/2 (May 2008): 209–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Haygood, Wil. In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis Jr. New York: Alfred Knopf, 2003.Google Scholar
Leiter, Robert. The Musicians and Petrillo. New York: Bookman Associates, 1953.Google Scholar
Lewis, Justin, and Miller, Toby. “Introduction.” In Critical Cultural Policy Studies: A Reader, ed. Lewis, Justin and Miller, Toby, 19. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell, 2003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Marmorstein, Gary. The Label: The Story of Columbia Records. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 2007.Google Scholar
Merrill, Stephen A.The Politics of Micropolicy: Innovation and Industrial Policy in the United States.” Policy Studies Review 3/3–4 (May 1984): 445–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Packer, Jeremy. “Mapping the Intersections of Foucault and Cultural Studies: An Interview with Lawrence Grossberg and Toby Miller, October 2000.” In Foucault, Cultural Studies, and Governmentality, ed. Bratich, Jack Z., Packer, Jeremy, and McCarthy, Cameron, 2346. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2003.Google Scholar
Ryan, John. The Production of Culture in the Music Industry: The ASCAP-BMI Controversy. Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1985.Google Scholar
Sanjek, Russell. From Print to Plastic: Publishing and Promoting America's Popular Music (1900–1980). Institute for Studies in American Music Monographs no. 20. Brooklyn: Institute for Studies in American Music, 1983.Google Scholar
Small, Christopher. Musicking: The Meanings of Performing and Listening. Hanover, N.H.: Wesleyan University Press, 1998.Google Scholar
Trouillot, Michel-Rolph. Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History. Boston: Beacon Press, 1995.Google Scholar
Tucker, Bruce. “‘Tell Tchaikovsky the News’: Postmodernism, Popular Culture, and the Emergence of Rock 'n' Roll.” Black Music Research Journal 9/2 (Autumn 1989): 271–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Adams, Val. “Composers Sue for $150,000,000; Allege Radio-TV-Record Monopoly.” New York Times, 10 November 1953, 1.Google Scholar
“Anti-Crime Rally Is Held in Harlem.” New York Times, 12 August 1956, 88.Google Scholar
“ASCAP-BMI Feud Flares Up in Celler Monopoly Probe.” Broadcasting, Telecasting, 24 September 1956, 33.Google Scholar
Atkinson, Brooks. “Mr. Wonderful.” New York Times, 23 March 1956, 23.Google Scholar
“BMI, AFM Support for Davis' JD Plan.” Variety, 17 October 1956, 57.Google Scholar
“BMI Starts Kitty to Launch Davis Plan for Youth.” Variety, 10 October 1956, 52.Google Scholar
“Celler Committee Hears ASCAP Blast vs. BMI and Broadcasters; Haverlin, under Solons' Fire, Disputes Claims.” Variety, 19 September 1956, 71.Google Scholar
“Celler Winds Probe with No Major Net Monopoly Findings, but Trouble Still Looming on D. of J. Front.” Variety, 3 October 1956, 32, 56.Google Scholar
“Cleffers Nix Hanging on Webs' Bit to ‘Divest’ if Suit Is Withdrawn.” Variety, 3 October 1956, 63.Google Scholar
“Columbia Cites Records in Challenging Sinatra.” Broadcasting, Telecasting, 24 September 1956, 7.Google Scholar
Davis, Sammy Jr. “Sammy Davis Jr. Replies to Lieberson on Plan to Stem Juvenile Delinquency.” Variety, 17 October 1956, 57.Google Scholar
“Entertainers Help Combat Delinquency.” Corpus Christi Times, 14 January 1960, 10-B.Google Scholar
“Halo, Everybody, Halo: Latest Presley Pitch.” Variety, 26 September 1956, 1.Google Scholar
Haverlin, Carl. “Haverlin Says Sammy Davis Jr. Plan Puts No J.D. Stigma on Music Biz.” Variety, 24 October 1956, 56.Google Scholar
“‘Horse & Buggy’ Regulations Gotta Go, Celler Warns.” Variety, 19 September 1956, 45.Google Scholar
“‘Leerics’ Storm Hits Song World.” Kalispell (MT) Inter Lake, 3 April 1955, 20.Google Scholar
Lieberson, Goddard. “Lieberson Views on Sammy Davis Jr.'s Music Biz vs. Juvenile Delinquency.” Variety, 10 October 1956, 52.Google Scholar
Monroe, Al. “So They Say.” Chicago Daily Defender, 24 October 1956, 7.Google Scholar
“Music to Combat Juvenile Delinquency.” Variety, 12 September 1956, 47.Google Scholar
“New Antitrust Action against ASCAP Urged.” Los Angeles Times, 5 May 1958, 25.Google Scholar
Pitts, George E. “Rock 'n' Roll Department.” Pittsburgh Courier, 10 November 1956, A29.Google Scholar
“P. R. Push by BMI.” Broadcasting, Telecasting, 10 October 1956, 5.Google Scholar
“RIAA Turns Down Sammy Davis Idea.” Variety, 7 November 1956, 41.Google Scholar
Riesel, Victor. “Vaudeville Group Hopes to Combat Delinquency.” Portsmouth (OH) Times, 6 December 1956, 34.Google Scholar
“Rock 'n' Roll Laid to B.M.I. Control.” New York Times, 19 September 1956, 75.Google Scholar
Roosevelt, Eleanor. “My Day.” 29 April 1955, http://www.gwu.edu/erpapers/myday/.Google Scholar
Rowe, Izzy. “Fight Looms for Integration of Chorus Girls.” Pittsburgh Courier, 10 November 1956, A28.Google Scholar
Rowe, Izzy. “Izzy Rowe's Notebook.” Pittsburgh Courier, 1 December 1956, B20.Google Scholar
“Sammy Davis Jr.'s Plan Still OK.” Variety, 7 November 1956, 41.Google Scholar
Serrin, William. “James Petrillo Dead; Led Musicians.” New York Times, 25 October 1984, B22.Google Scholar
“Sinatra's Bomb at Antitrust Probe: BMI Explosion or ASCAP Backfire?” Variety, 26 September 1956, 1, 44.Google Scholar
“Songsmiths Do Solo on $150,000,000 Suit; Touch Off Music-Radio Discord.” Variety, 11 November 1953, 1, 50.Google Scholar
“The Musical Businessman: Goddard Lieberson.” Time, 16 March 1959, 92.Google Scholar
Washington, Hazel. “This. . . Is Hollywood.” Chicago Daily Defender, 22 November 1958, 19.Google Scholar
Wasser, Harriet. “Likes Sammy Davis Jr. Idea; Disk Artists Have Big Influence on Kids.” Variety, 19 September 1956, 73.Google Scholar
“WBC Produces Six Jingles for AHF ‘Get Out the Vote.’” Broadcasting, Telecasting, 1 October 1956, 24.Google Scholar
Wiskari, Werner. “Rock 'n' Roll Said to Dominate Air.” New York Times, 21 March 1958, 45.Google Scholar

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Cultural Policy in American Music History: Sammy Davis, Jr., vs. Juvenile Delinquency
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Cultural Policy in American Music History: Sammy Davis, Jr., vs. Juvenile Delinquency
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Cultural Policy in American Music History: Sammy Davis, Jr., vs. Juvenile Delinquency
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *