Dick Clark 1929-2012 R.I.P.

 

One of the hands-down,
no-contest legends of the music and broadcast worlds.

 

By Fred Mills

 

The legendary Dick Clark is dead today, April 18, at the age
of 82. He apparently was having outpatient work done last night at St. John’s Hospital
in L.A. and
subsequently suffered a heart attack this morning. Clark, a diabetic, had been
in declining health since 2004, when he suffered a stroke. However, despite
having to curtail much of his work following that stroke, which affected his
speech ability – he eventually turned over the reins of Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve to Ryan Seacrest – he was still
able to resume occasional music-related appearances, so his sudden passing
comes as a shock.

 

The testimonials on social media and via press releases
started appearing almost immediately after the news broke (initially, via TMZ reports), including this one from longtime industry
veteran (and “Monday Morning Quarterback” publisher) Kal Rudman:

 

“The passing of Dick Clark removes one of the largest
foundation stones of the entire pop music industry for the latter half of the
20th century. Starting with ‘Bandstand,’ his shows absolutely made most of the
hits from the beginning. Others in radio might aspire to the title, but they
had to follow what Dick Clark played – especially, and obviously, dance music.
I mourn his death. He took me under his wing and became my guide in reaching
the tastemakers of the record and radio industries. On behalf of the staff of
the Friday Morning Quarterback, we send our deep condolences to Dicks’s wife,
Kari, and the entire Clark family.”

 

Meanwhile, Seacrest issued his own statement, writing, “I am deeply
saddened by the loss of my dear friend Dick Clark. He has truly been one of the
greatest influences in my life. I idolized him from the start, and I was graced
early on in my career with his generous advice and counsel. When I joined his
show in 2006 , it was a dream come true to work with him every New Year’s Eve
for the last six years. He was smart, charming, funny and always a true
gentleman. I learned a great deal from him, and I’ll always be indebted to him
for his faith and support of me. He was a remarkable host and businessman and
left a rich legacy to television audiences around the world. We will all miss
him.”

 

Is there anyone in music not touched at some point by Clark and his Rockin’
Eve
or American Bandstand activities? Speaking personally, I’ll never forget the time in 1980 he had Public Image Limited on Bandstand – I sat there with my jaw dropping. Let’s revisit some highlights, including (at the end) his 1994 acceptance speech for the Lifetime Achievement Award at
the Emmys:

 

 






 

 

 

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