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Dick Clark dies

Dick Clark diesDick Clark has passed away at age 82.  In recent years he has looked rather sickly when hosting New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, and there has certainly been reason enough for that.  Perhaps it is not a surprise that this New Yorker has passed on, but one must give kudos to his career with American Bandstand and many hosted and produced shows over the years.  He may be remembered mostly for New York’s New Year’s Eve show, but he was also important to the game show industry.

He is certainly a legend in his field.  Dick Clark became known for the variety show American Bandstand in the 50s.  It was the longest running show of its type.  It was in 1959 that he managed to gain national recognition with the show; when it first started it was a local Philadelphia show.

Dick Clark died from a heart attack a day after he was admitted for a hospital procedure on an outpatient basis.  In 2004 he suffered a stroke, but he still continued to perform as a host.  Many considered him the ‘world’s oldest teenager’, perhaps because of his music and traditional showbiz abilities.  He was often seen chatting with Sam Cooke about music or with TV Bloopers’ Ed McMahon.

A few of his other productions of great note include $10,000 Pyramid, American Music Awards, and TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes.  Dick Clark Productions had its hand in many pies with Clark at the helm of the decisions.  He also had his hands in the radio networks, with several radio programs.  In the 80s he was considered one of the wealthiest Americans.

It was his original show, though, that has helped us remember not only him but also many others.  The show was important in Buddy Holly and Madonna’s launches to stardom.  The show ran for 30 years, introducing numerous stars to us, and it made its way into the Smithsonian with a donation of the original podium by Clark.  For several years Clark defended pop artists and artistic freedom.  He worked alongside Little Richard and the Crows.  He even made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his influences on the music industry, and recognized R&B long before others did.

He will be a person the music and show business industry misses.  There is probably no one that can take over his New York position as the leader on the New Year’s Eve show.  In recent years he has had a lot of help due to his 2004 stroke, but no one has managed to give the show the same personality that Dick Clark did throughout all of those years.  There is one thing for certain: the world has lost a great man in the celebrity industry.  His ability to spot talent, to create shows that last and to really grow his production empire is unlike many others, though several have tried.  There is one thing for certain and that is that next New Year’s Eve he will certainly be remembered.

Jon Huser

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