The music world lost one of its greatest ambassadors today with the passing of Dick Clark. America’s Oldest Teenager died at 82 from a massive heart attack. He had gone into St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica last night for what was reported to be an outpatient procedure.
Clark started working in radio right out of high school and remained in the industry throughout his time at Syracuse University. After a series of jobs at various radio and TV stations, he settled in at WFIL in Philadelphia, PA. The station aired an afternoon dance show called Bob Horn’s Bandstand on which Dick regularly substituted. On July 9, 1956, Clark took over the show permanently and, on August 5, 1957, American Bandstand debuted on the ABC television network.
Bandstand introduced the public to many of the upcoming artists of the day but the show was even more with many of the dancers becoming household names and such regular segments as rate-a-record.
Beyond his huge influence on music, Clark was also a masterful businessman, forming Dick Clark Productions in the late-50’s. The company would produce a myriad of shows for both himself and for others including Where the Action Is, TV Bloopers and Practical Jokes, So You Think You Can Dance, the American Music Awards, the Academy of Country Music Awards, the Golden Globes and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. Overall, his company produced over twenty TV and feature films, 30 series and 250 specials.
Clark’s hosting duties included Bandstand, the New Year’s Eve show, Bloopers & Practical Jokes (with Ed McMahon), the Pyramid game shows, radio’s Dick Clark’s National Music Survey and Rock, Roll & Remember. At one point in the 80’s, Clark hosted shows on all three major U.S. networks (Bandstand (ABC), Pyramid (CBS), Bloopers (NBC)).
Dick sold his production company in 2002 and, two years later on December 8, 2004, had a massive stroke that left him permanently disabled. He did come back to do short stints on the annual New Year’s Eve shows that were now hosted by Ryan Seacrest.
Reaction has been swift from around the world.
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. – Ryan Seacrest
Dick Clark changed the face of musical television. He was wonderful to many artists including our family. We will miss him. God bless. – Janet Jackson
Dick Clark was our mentor and validation. Being on Bandstand and his tour gave us credibility. He leaves an empty space, can’t be replaced. – B.J. Thomas
Rest in Peace my good friend Dick Clark. A pioneer who’s mark on American culture will be felt forever. – Quincy Jones
Dick Clark was the heart of Rock and Roll. He called Barry “my long lost son” Never saw the resmebence but we loved the guy. RIP Dick Clark – Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil
In 1974, my first time on BandStand, I thought Dick Clark was the most handsome man in show business. In 1998, when he created and produced the Donny & Marie talk show, I realized that was truly the hardest working man in show biz. And, now in 2012, I will always remember him as one of the most honorable men in show business. Thank you, Dick, for every great way you encouraged me in my career. You are loved. – Marie Osmond
Back in the 1960’s the pop culture catch-phrase was “Never trust anyone over 30”. Dick Clark was trustworthy all the way home. Rock on Sir! – Ann Wilson (Heart)
This is a sad day.
He was a dear friend, supporting me and my music for all of my years in the business.
A great businessman and a true gentleman.
My heart is so heavy now. – Barry Manilow
New Year’s Eve will never be the same. Rest in peace, Dick Clark. – Paul Shaffer
The CDB regrets the loss of our friend Dick Clark who we had the honor of working with many times. Nobody did TV like Dick. Rest In Peace. – Charlie Daniels
Dick Clark’s profound contributions to music, television and popular culture will reverberate throughout time. R.I.P. Mr. American Bandstand – L.A. Reid
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. – Snoop Dogg
Clark is survived by his third wife, Kari, two sons and a daughter.
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