Thursday, 19 April 2012

Dick Clark, American Bandstand and New Year's Rockin' Eve

 Dick Clark--America's Oldest Teenager
Photo Credit:  Klaus Hiltscher/flickr

Dick Clark referred to himself as America's Oldest Teenager. He brought African Americans onto the music scene through his program American Bandstand. The weekly Dance Show, American Bandstand hosted Philadelphia black teens from Junior and Senior High Schools who danced on the show.  Dick Clark paved the way for black artists featuring black artists such as Fats Domino, The Silhouettes, The Supremes, Percy Sledge and Gladys Knight and the Pips on American Bandstand. American Bandstand changed the music and race relations in the United States.  According to, Chubby Checker was known as Chubby before Dick Clarke's wife added the Checker to the end.  History was made the day Chubby Checker went on American Bandstand with "The Twist".

History was made the day Chubby Checker went on Bandstand with ‘The Twist’,” says Checker. “Because with “The Twist,” you were looking at your girl, and she was looking at you. And “The Twist” did that. And
it was all because of Dick Clark."
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Dick Clark launched a lot of music careers.  Aretha Franklin stated that, "If you didn't go on American Bandstand you just hadn't made it yet."

 American Bandstand was on the air from 1957-1989.

Dick Clark on This is Your Life

Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve was first on the air in 1972 and has been on every New Year's Eve since.

Dick Clark's production company, Dick Clark Productions, produced The Golden Globe Awards, the Daytime Emmy Awards and the American Music Awards. Dick Clark hosted the $25,000 Pyramid and some other game shows.

Dick Clark was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.

Many tributes were made to Dick Clark after celebrities heard of his passing yesterday.  Dick was a very likeable, sincere and caring man:

Ryan Seacreast tweeted at 4:27 p.m. on April 18, 2012:
"I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend Dick Clark.  He has truly been one of the greatest influences in my life."

Alan Osmond spoke on CNN.  Alan said this about Dick Clark:
"He helped our career tremendously.  He was very open to everybody he knew. He was at the top of the industry.  If you called in a favour, he would say yes.   He had an intuition. He had a gift.  I honour him as a very bright and a very loving and kind man who had a gift."

Tony Orlando pays tribute to Dick Clark (on CNN) by saying: 

"March 15, 1961--the day that my first record was released, Dick Clark had me on the show as a newcomer." (Tony Orlando performed "Bless You" on American Bandstand).

Tony Orlando also stated this about Dick Clark:
"He was the manufacturer of the music industry we know today.  He was a mentor and cared for you as a person.  He is the fabric of the music business.  As a man I don't think I have ever met a man that was the same in person as on stage--humble, generous, kind and caring." 

Dick Clark's Lifetime Achievement  Emmy Award speech in 1994 included this:

"I don't have time to thank every person that has helped me along the way, I want to thank the thing American Bandstand... For almost 40 years kids got together in a social atmosphere they got to know one another, they exchanged cultures and they didn't hurt each other and there wasn't any violence. And we could all learn a little something from that show--It was a good one."

Many of Dick Clark's fans have placed flowers, cards and notes on his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The family is still deciding on whether they will be having a public memorial. 

TMZ has a photo slide show of Dick Clark through the years.

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