Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dick Clark: 1929-2012

America lost a titan in the entertainment industry today, as "America's Oldest Teenager," Dick Clark, passed away at 82 years of age.

After gaining notice as a Top 40 Disc Jockey, Clark became host of one of the most well-known and ever-loved television shows, American Bandstand; a position he held for many years. This show was revolutionary for many reasons, as it eventually became the showcase, in America for what's cool and "in;" as pop-culture goes. Furthermore, at a time when the US was struggling with racial segregation, he can be credited with the mainstreaming of R&B music, and also didn't prevent African-American youths from joining in on the Bandstand fun in that studio in Philadelphia because their skin color was different.

Building on his Bandstand image, he hosted Dick Clark's New Years Rockin' Eve from Times Square every year, while running and owning one of the biggest production companies. He also hosted game shows, owned Awards shows, inspired television shows and even slightly inspired my curtain call when in my roles during High School theater! (Those of you who knew me back in the day likely remember that!)

In his later years, Dick Clark suffered from a debilitating stroke, yet still appeared on Rockin' Eve; a sad image for many that age was catching up to "America's Oldest Teenager."

Dick Clark will be missed and always remembered for his vision and the significant positive influence he held over American pop culture for the latter years of the 20th century and into the 21st.

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