Thursday, April 19, 2012
DICK CLARK (1929 - 2012)
Another sad day in the world of music as we lost, Dick Clark, the host of the long-running and influential musical variety program, "American Bandstand" yesterday. The show (which was on the air from 1957 until 1987) was not only a showcase for all of the top pop acts of the day but introduced many new artists to America as well as helped put an end to musical segregation by having the original African-American singers perform their songs on the show instead of the white artists who covered their hits.
Known as "America's Oldest Teenager" because of his boyish appearance, Clark was also responsible for bringing to the airwaves other popular television shows such as "The 25,000 Pyramid", ''TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes","New Year's Rockin' Eve" and the American Music Awards.
"American Bandstand" was part of my Saturday ritual (along with "Soul Train") as I looked forward to either seeing one of my favorite bands or falling in love with a new performer. I remember the first time seeing Teena Marie, Prince (and his juvenile interview) and Madonna (proclaiming she was ready to "rule the world") on the program and immediately went out and bought their music afterwards.
Dick Clark came across as a genuinely nice person and his love of the music always came through. He was truly one-of-a-kind and what he brought to television can never be replaced.
Here are some video highlights from "American Bandstand":
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