Wednesday, April 18, 2012

In Memoriam: Dick Clark (1929-2012)

"For now, I'm Dick Clark.  So long."

America's oldest teenager is gone.

Dick Clark, a hero of mine in the radio/tv industry, died this morning at the age of 82.

Growing up, Clark was a constant friend on the television for me.  He was the host of one of my favorite weekend shows, American Bandstand.  He also hosted one of my favorite game shows, the $100,000 Pyramid.  If you knew me as a little kid, you know that I loved music, radio, and television.  I was a little entertainment junkie who spent parts of my weekends listening to Dick Clark's Rock, Roll & Remember.

People will long remember Clark for his brave post-stroke appearances on the New Year's Rockin' Eve show that he created in 1972.  Clark suffered a debilitating stroke in December of 2004 and missed the New Year's program that year. He worked his way back to the anchor chair in the next year, and he was back every year after that.  In recent years, TV and radio personality Ryan Seacrest had taken on a more active role in helping Clark host the program.

Clark had a long career beginning his career as a disc jockey in the days of radio.  He began hosting Bandstand in 1956.  He also built a media empire with Dick Clark Productions owning everything from syndicated television shows to the American Music Awards.  He also was a successful restauranteur opening Dick Clark's American Bandstand Grill locations across the country.

All this time, Clark maintained a youthful appearance that belied his age.  It was only after his stroke that Clark finally started aging.

I'll miss you Mr. Clark.  Rest in Peace.  So long!

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