Dick Clark was one of those individuals who you could never imagine dying. “Americas Oldest teenager” was dubbed so because he never seemed to age! I thought he might have been a Highlander or Vampire at one point in time. Year after year he would appear on his “Rockin’ Eve” show and look the same as he did the year before. It wasn’t until that he suffered a stroke a few years ago that it did start to sink in that yes, he is human. Sadly, we realize that again as he makes that last journey in the cycle of life.
His memory will forever live on! Inducted into the musical hall of fame’s non-performer category in 1993 there are little that can argue that today’s music is what it is because of Dick Clark. Dick Clark was the FIRST television personality to take a forward moving stance to back “black” music. Dick Clark was the first to have integrated black and white teenagers dancing together on his show. He faced death threats from the Ku Klux Klan and great personal struggle to bring new and innovative music to millions of television viewers across America. Dick Clark was no doubt just as responsible in helping to erase racism, stereotypes and barriers of the day as the political activists of the time. Music was his platform, his weapon of choice.
His influence is still seen today in shows like TRL and Soul Train. He was responsible for creating the American Music Awards and hosted the Million Dollar Pyramid. Dick Clark productions is also the driving force behind some of Americas Current favorite reality TV shows…I’m not too sure if I’m actually thankful for Dick Clark on that note, but hey no one’s perfect, even Dick Clark. Who in the 50’s was charged with accepting cash and gifts from record companies to play their artists. Dick admitted to accepting gifts but not money. His career recovered from the tiny hiccup and hey, who can blame him! It was the 50’s for Pete’s sake! An era when people understood the meaning of kickbacks and hookups!
America says farewell to one of its most beloved musical and media Icon’s tonight. Dick Clark, host of one of the worlds most musically and culturally influential television shows ever, “American Bandstand”, succumbed to a heart attack in a Santa Monica hospital, he died at the age of 82. Immortal he will forever remain in our hearts.
“…and the beat goes on” ~ Ed. Note