Dick Clark selects a record in his station library in Philadelphia.Image Source.
America’s oldest teenager and broadcasting legend, Dick Clark changed the lives of adults and teenagers throughout the decades. He brought new music to the homes of 20 million viewers and counted down to the New Year with Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve in Time Square.
Clark hosted American Bandstand (1959-1989) for three decades, making it the longest running variety show in television history. Bandstandwas one of the first shows to have both African Americans and Caucasians perform on the same stage and have an integrated live audience on national television.
Dick Clark and his show American Bandstand was one of John Waters’ inspirations for the character Corny Collins on The Corny Collins Show featured in his film Hairspray (1988).
Hairspray was performed live on stage at the Fine Arts Center May 10–June 3, 2012.
After Bandstand ended, Clark continued his broadcast career with hosting and producing game shows and variety shows with his production company, Dick Clark Productions. The $25, 000 Pyramid and TV’s Bloopers & Practical Jokes were the most successful game and variety shows.
Dick Clark Production also produced films and the American Music Awards. The Grammys is the American Music Awards rival, which often times has more viewers.
Since 1972, Clark remained in the spot light, producing hosting Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. Millions have traveled to Time Square and many more have watched as home as Clark counted down to the New Year and watched the ball drop at midnight.
Clark passed away April 18, 2012 from a heart attack, and while his presence will be greatly missed in the entertainment industry, his legacy continues to influence TV programming and American pop culture.