Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dick Clark 1929 -- 2012

If truth be told, I'm just slightly too young to really have had Clark as one of my childhood icons -- although I have an aunt who actually was a genuine Philadelphia Bandstand girl -- but I will always be grateful to the guy for this.

Seriously -- that's the first time I saw The Bangles. And it changed my life.

Thanks, Dick.


Dave said...

I am old enough for Dick Clark and AB to be an important part of my youth. A lot has been written, and justifiably so, about the racial policies of American Bandstand (most notably recently, here: (

But I'm most thankful to Dick Clark for introducing his wide audience to the wonders of rhythm and blues, including many songs that the Top 40 stations in Los Angeles were not playing -- from Lloyd Price to Fats Domino to LaVern Baker to James Brown. None of his promotion of Philly teenage idols can negate this.

Plus he was my favorite game show host ever. Pyramid will never be the same without him.

Anonymous said...

He also helped torpedo Jerry Lee Lewis' career. Rock went from Bill Haley, Elvis, Chuck Berry, and Little Richard to Frankie Avelon, Fabian and Neil Sedaka. Clark wasn't the only person responsible for the decline in early Rock 'n Roll, but he certainly played a big part in it.

Anonymous said...

where's the piano player?

I'm sorry he kept up the charade that the artists were playing "live" on AB. He did have a very wide variety of acts. Saw a book on AB that every act listed, what they played, date etc. Impressive.

And I'll never forget seeing Public Image Ltd wreaking havoc on his set. But it dawned on me; he didn't air that "live." He made the choice to air something that lampooned him and his show.

Dick's love of money is pretty notorious. He sat on a ridiculous amount of great footage rather than make a few piddling bucks off it (in his mind).

And if you wanted to use it? I worked on a project regarding a local rockabilly act that appeared on AB in '59. Our local TV station was doing a "where are they now" story and contacted Clark about using footage of the group and he shot back an obscene amount of money charged PER SECOND of footage used.

What's the old saying? A shroud doesn't have pockets.....

dave™© said...

I saw Steely Dan on Bandstand - they lip-synced through "Show Biz Kids" (which I'd already heard on the radio) and "My Old School" (which I had not). Ran right out to the local variety store and bought "Countdown to Ecstasy." Thanks, Dick! (Here's a bad YouTube clip of that):

cthulhu said...

I saw one of my favorite early '80s bands, Haircut One Hundred, on Bandstand; talk about surreal...and I remember that PIL performance too! But I was never really a fan; it was just something to watch on Saturday mornings that had music.

FD13NYC said...

Hey Steve, why are you saying you were slightly too young to have Dick Clark as one of your childhood icons? You did grow up in the 60's right? All you needed to do was watch AB, no icons needed. It was landmark. Where The Action Is was pretty cool too.

I know I grew up watching it all the time, every Saturday from the early 60's up into the 70's, and I think you're older than me.

Anyway, Dick was alright. Good game show host too. I hope everyone isn't going to start bashing him now that he's gone. He certainly was a pioneer figure in the realm of music and TV.

Oh and, I truly hope you're kidding about The Bangles.

steve simels said...


I watched Clark's Saturday night half hour show, religiously.

But Bandstand? In its heyday, barely at all. Until the 80s, and then only occasionally.

pete said...

Prince borrowed this tune from another of his songs - what is it? "I was dreaming when I wrote this"?


When I was about 10 we had a lady who came in once a week to clean, a black girl in her late teens. She would set up the ironing board in front of the TV and watch Bandstand and I'd watch it with her. She taught me to do the stroll.