With his TV show American Bandstand he introduced and promoted an impressive number of new Rock, Pop and Soul artists from the 1950’s throughout the 1980’s
The legendary Dick Clark was born 91 years ago today
Dick Clark was born Richard Wagstaff Clark on November 30, 1929 in Mount Vernon, New York. was an American radio and television personality, television producer and film actor, as well as a cultural icon who remains best known for hosting American Bandstand from 1957 to 1987. He also hosted the game show Pyramid and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, which transmitted Times Square’s New Year’s Eve celebrations. Clark was well known for his trademark sign-off, “For now, Dick Clark — so long!”, accompanied by a facsimile of a military salute.As host of American Bandstand, Clark introduced rock & roll to many Americans. The show gave many new music artists their first exposure to national audiences, including On an impressive ecletic music choice, few of the many artists that Dick Clark introduced were Ike and Tina Turner, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, The Beach Boys, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Simon and Garfunkel, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, Johnny Cash, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, Chubby Checker, Michael Jackson, a large part of the hotest Psychedelic, Pop and Rock acts from the late 1960’s including The Mamas & the Papas, Sonny and Cher, Jefferson Airplane, The Doors, Blue Cheer,The 13th Floor Elevators,Steppenwolf and the Iron Butterfly, 1970’s Rock and Pop acts such as Aerosmith, ABBA and David Bowie, 1980’s modern Pop and Rock bands, including several European ones such as INXS, Wham!, A-ha, Culture Club, Madonna, R.E.M. and Billy Idol . During the 1950’s and 1960’s, the episodes he hosted were among the first in which blacks and whites performed on the same stage, and likewise among the first in which the live studio audience sat without racial segregation. Singer Paul Anka claimed that Bandstand was responsible for creating a “youth culture.” Due to his perennial youthful appearance and his largely teenaged audience of American Bandstand, Clark was often referred to as “America’s oldest teenager” or “the world’s oldest teenager”Clark suffered a stroke in December 2004. With speech ability still impaired, Clark returned to his New Year’s Rockin’ Eve show a year later on December 31, 2005. Subsequently, he appeared at the 58th Primetime Emmy Awards in 2006, and every New Year’s Rockin’ Eve show through the 2011–12 show. He died on April 18, 2012, of a heart attack, at the age of 82, following a medical procedure.
Watch an early Madonna performance and interview at “American Bandstand” in 1984.
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