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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Where the jockey was the smoothest and the music was the coolest

It's truly the end of an era with the news that Dick Clark has died. We have watched that guy on the telly for more than 50 years. Back when we were five years old, Clark's "American Bandstand" show, out of Philadelphia, was on the ABC affiliate in New York every weekday afternoon at 3 or 4. We'd watch it faithfully, committing the week's Top 10 countdown to memory.

At our parents' suggestion, we wrote Clark a brief fan letter. A while later, a note of reply arrived -- along with an autographed picture, if memory serves correctly. Clark went on to become one of the giant moguls of the entertainment industry. But we'll never forget him from the days when he wasn't such a big shot, and we were just a little kid watching the 45's spin around on the Victrola. Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee, Bill Haley, and Danny & the Juniors -- with live black-and-white video of those cats brought into our living room by Dick Clark.

Comments (17)

Agreed. Ironically, less than a week ago I stumbled across a Dick Cross profanity-laced rant, which in his justification, seems warranted. Holy cow, this also serves as a rant against all the search engines - I'm unable to find it now!

Dick Clark apparently was supposed to recite a dedication to someone (maybe a pet?) who recently died, immediately after playing an upbeat song. Understandably, he gets upset and rants about his producers being unable to schedule the song to *not* play after an upbeat song. Wish I could find it.

A little-known footnote in Dick Clark's career:

In the last episode of the original CBS Perry Mason series, "The Case of the Final Fadeout," Dick Clark played the killer unmasked by Mason with the usual last-minute courtroom confession.

RIP for a true American cultural icon.

CM: The rant you're thinking of was Casey Kasem doing one of his long-distance dedications on his weekly "American Top 40" program. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDYK2H0ldbo

I admired Dick Clark tremendously for fighting back from a very serious stroke to take part in the annual New Year's Eve telecast. That took a lot of guts.

CM --- You're confusing your DJs.

Try Casey Kasem.

The one and only Hollywood awards banquet I went to was filmed by Dick Clark productions so he spoke a little at the beginning. Unfortunately, it was never picked up for telecast so I couldn't get a copy.

Lately, big chunks of the rock and roll landscape are falling away. I just read "Wheels on Fire" by Levon Helm and now they say he's in the final stages of cancer.

I also am reading, "Cornflakes with John Lennon" by the LA rock critic back in the day, and I've read Keith Richards' book and Bob Dylan's.

Suddenly it hit me why. Look at the charts. The age of rock and roll - when it really mattered - is most likely over.

Relevent bands seem to be going the way of Mom and Pop grocery stores. Reality shows focus on the delivery systems - the singers - rather than original artists with something to say.

It's a business and just as orchestras were replaced by bands, bands have been supplanted by producers and sampling machines. When Snoop appeared at Coachella this weekend he rapped alongside a hologram of Tupac, and there was no band in sight. There's talk of a tour. Really.

Television was the new technology that really helped rock and roll, and soul music get huge. Now Dick Clark and Don Cornelius are both gone. The people who gave us rock and roll are signing off, one after another.

I'm not saying rock and roll itself will die, but it's like swing music now. It'll always be there but it could only be young, original and brilliant once, and those days are over. Rock and roll is now 50 or 60 years old, and it's fading. Just look at the charts.

Of course, it makes it tough when you're a huge rock and roll fan, and those 50 or 60 years have been your life.

Nuts. Getting old(er) is really starting to suck.

RIP. One of my childhood memories indelibly imprinted on my brain. American Bandstand was a Saturday favorite of mine way back in the shadows of time.

I remember American Bandstand playing away on the old B&W tv. My mom hated it! She didn't like the Beatles much either, but I can remember telling her, "this will be elevator musak one day".
Rock and roll is already being featured in nursing homes....now if we can only get pot legalized in time for my dotage!

Another one of the greats has left the building. RIP. That Saturday favorite lasted until it really ISN'T in the shadows of time. Which says something. And hey, you know that place? The one where they "Got a Hell of a Band?" I think we know who's doing the intro.

Ladies and gentlemen, Little Richard!

American Bandstand and Dick Clark who never seemed to age for many decades. Such memories. A real loss. The Victrola, a revered piece of furniture with a prominent place in the living room, didn't fare as well over the years.

And watching the parent's New Year's Eve was torture until Rockin' with Dick Clark. Guy Lombardo. The Waldorf. Utter torture. Always thought of Rockin' as the new show.

I didn't realize until today that Dick Clark was as old as my father.

Don't know why, but this song after all these years popped into my head.

Dick Clark Dead at 82 ABC best video with links

My comedian friend from Florida had a good take: The Mayans could be right. Now that Dick Clark is dead there may not be another New Year's Eve.

In the 90s I interviewed Mitch Miller (Sing Along With Mitch)and he told me that during the days when he was head of A&R at Columbia Records, "Dick Clark was the worst with the payola thing". While in that position, it should be noted, Mitch passed on signing Elvis Presley to Columbia

As it happened, this past Monday KPTV ran that Perry Mason episode with Clark in it. Keeping it on my DVR for a while...

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