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Dick Clark Touched Millions and Generations Through TV and Radio [VIDEO]

dick clark mural
AB Mural @ Newark Airport - Sousveilance / flickr

The Twitter universe has been exploding this Wednesday afternoon as the legend Dick Clark died of a massive heart attack at 82.  His career touched millions – from the famous to the regular TV watcher – and he has transcended generations with his eternally young spirit.

Tweets have come people in every area of the news and entertainment business – ranging from the world of politics  – Chuck Todd, the host of The Rundown on MSNBC (“He looked 49 for 25 years”), to morning TV – Al Roker of the Today show (“I was meeting with Dick in his office as the OJ verdict was being revealed – it was surreal”), to Hollywood – for example Melissa Joan Hart (“New Year’s will never be the same”) and Matthew Morrison of Glee (“A sad day”), and even the world of sports from ESPN columnist Rick Reilly (“I give his life a 97″) to Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Of course just about everybody in the recording industry has tweeted about their deep sadness over the loss of a man who came to Philly in 1952 to being a journey that would be influential to the music industry for 4 decades.

Before the MTV generation was born, there was Dick Clark and American Bandstand.  During his run from 1956 to 1989,  Clark has had thousands of musical acts stop in and perform (or lip-sync) their latest song.  The list of talent ranges from legends to The Brady Kids – you might be surprised who once sung on Bandstand when you click here for the list.

American Bandstand paved the way for shows like Soul Train, Solid Gold, Club MTV, Dance Party USA, Video Soul, Planet Groove and America’s Top 10 to name a few.  Dick Clark has also pave the way for other emcees; the likes of Don Cornelius, Marilyn McCoo, Downtown Julie Brown, Martha Quinn, Daisy Fuentes, AJ Hammer, Donnie Simpson, and Casey Kasem (just to name drop).

I can only hope that VH1 will resurrect memories of Saturday late morning on ABC and have a AB marathon.  They have done this before, and it would be fitting to bring back some of the memorable moments like Madonna’s performance and interview in 1984.

GSN should follow suit with a marathon of Pyramid.  Dick Clark hosted for over 15 years on one of the popular game shows in history.  I can remember looking forward to watching the $25,000 and $100,000 Pyramid on ABC- Clark was always warm, inviting, and had a knack getting solid guest stars to be on the show.  Hard to believe that Dick Clark hosted over 3,500 episodes of the Pyramid franchise (averaging over 225 episodes a year!), starting with Rob Reiner as a celebrity guest on the 1st episode in ’73 ($10,000 Pyramid).  Check out Betty White in the Winner’s Circle in 1987.

Clark also had an impact on radio with his syndicated National Music Survey in the 70s and 80s.  I can remember Dick Clark giving you the top-30 songs of the week, and he battled Casey Kasem’s American Top-40, but I was a Dick Clark supporter growing up (did I not admit to watching the Pyramid earleir?)

Clark has created memories for another generation with TV Bloopers and Practical Jokes, and his New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.  I remember many people wanted him off his New Year’s special after he suffered the stroke that affected his speech.  ABC did the right thing by having Dick Clark back every year – the network owed a great deal to the talent who has found a way to be a part of everyone’s life on earth today.

Fergie has just vowed “to carry on his legacy every New Year’s Eve” – speaking volumes of what why the world’s oldest teenager’s legacy will never die.

Just for a laugh – Dennis Leary tweeted in response to Dick Clark’s passing “So I;m starting to get a little more concerned about this 2012 Mayan #$%*)

The last words here should be what the man always said at the end of every American Bandstand and Pyramid episode – “for now, Dick Clark ……. so long”.

 

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