Dick Clark

Last updated

Dick Clark
Dick Clark American Bandstand 1961.JPG
Dick Clark in 1961
Richard Wagstaff Clark

(1929-11-30)November 30, 1929
DiedApril 18, 2012(2012-04-18) (aged 82)
Other namesWorld's Oldest Teenager (nickname)
EducationA.B. Davis High School
Alma mater Syracuse University
OccupationRadio/television personality, businessman, game show host
Years active1945–2012
Home town Mount Vernon, New York
Board member of Dick Clark Productions
  • Barbara Mallery
    (m. 1952;div. 1961)
  • Loretta Martin
    (m. 1962;div. 1971)
  • Kari Wigton(m. 1977)
ChildrenRichard Augustus Clark III aka RAC Clark (b. 1957)
Duane Clark (b. 1963)
Cindy Clark (b. 1965)
Parent(s)Julia Barnard (1897–1973),
Richard A. Clark Sr. (1896–1989)
FamilyBradley Clark
Awards See Awards
Website DickClarkProductions.com

Richard Wagstaff Clark [1] [2] (November 30, 1929 – April 18, 2012) was an American radio and television personality, television producer and film actor, as well as a cultural icon who remains best known for hosting American Bandstand from 1957 to 1988. He also hosted the game show Pyramid and Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve , which transmitted Times Square's New Year's Eve celebrations. Clark was well known for his trademark sign-off, "For now, Dick Clark — so long!", accompanied by a facsimile of a military salute.

Radio personality person who has an on-air position in radio broadcasting

A radio personality or radio presenter is a person who has an on-air position in radio broadcasting. A radio personality who hosts a radio show is also known as a radio host, and in India and Pakistan as a radio jockey. Radio personalities who introduce and play individual selections of recorded music are known as disc jockeys or "DJs" for short. Broadcast radio personalities may include talk radio hosts, AM/FM radio show hosts, and satellite radio program hosts.

<i>American Bandstand</i> American music-performance show

American Bandstand is an American music-performance and dance television program that aired in various versions from 1952 to 1989, and was hosted from 1956 until its final season by Dick Clark, who also served as the program's producer. It featured teenagers dancing to Top 40 music introduced by Clark; at least one popular musical act—over the decades, running the gamut from Jerry Lee Lewis to Run–D.M.C.—would usually appear in person to lip-sync one of their latest singles. Freddy Cannon holds the record for most appearances, at 110.

<i>Pyramid</i> (game show) American television game show

Pyramid is an American television game show franchise that has aired several versions domestically and internationally. The original series, The $10,000 Pyramid, debuted on March 26, 1973, and spawned seven subsequent Pyramid series. Most later series featured a full title format matching the original series, with the title reflecting the top prize increase from $10,000, $20,000, $25,000, $50,000 to $100,000 over the years. The game features two contestants, each paired with a celebrity. Contestants attempt to guess a series of words or phrases based on descriptions given to them by their teammates. The title refers to the show's pyramid-shaped gameboard, featuring six categories arranged in a triangular fashion. The various Pyramid series have won a total of nine Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Game Show, second only to Jeopardy!, which has won 13.


As host of American Bandstand, Clark introduced rock & roll to many Americans. The show gave many new music artists their first exposure to national audiences, including Iggy Pop, Ike & Tina Turner, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Talking Heads, Simon & Garfunkel and Madonna. Episodes he hosted were among the first in which blacks and whites performed on the same stage, and likewise among the first in which the live studio audience sat without racial segregation. Singer Paul Anka claimed that Bandstand was responsible for creating a "youth culture". Due to his perennial youthful appearance and his largely teenaged audience of American Bandstand, Clark was often referred to as "America's oldest teenager" or "the world's oldest teenager". [3]

Iggy Pop American rock singer-songwriter, musician, and actor

James Newell Osterberg Jr., better known as Iggy Pop, is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and actor. Designated the "Godfather of Punk", he was the vocalist of influential proto-punk band The Stooges, who were formed in 1967 and have disbanded and reunited multiple times since. He began a solo career with the 1977 albums The Idiot and Lust for Life, recorded in collaboration with David Bowie. He is well known for his outrageous and unpredictable stage antics. Iggy possesses a baritone vocal range.

Ike & Tina Turner American musical duo

Ike & Tina Turner were an American musical duo, active during the 1960s and 1970s, composed of the husband-and-wife team of Ike Turner and Tina Turner. They performed live as the Ike & Tina Turner Revue, supported by Ike Turner's rhythm and blues (R&B) and soul group, the Kings of Rhythm and backing singers, the Ikettes. The Ike & Tina Turner Revue was regarded as "one of the most potent live acts on the R&B circuit". Rolling Stone ranked them #2 on their list of the "20 Greatest Duos of All Time" in 2015.

The Miracles American rhythm and blues vocal group

The Miracles were an American rhythm and blues vocal group that was the first successful recording act for Berry Gordy's Motown Records, and one of the most important and influential groups in pop, rock and roll, and R&B music history. Formed in 1955 by Smokey Robinson, Warren "Pete" Moore, and Ronnie White, the group started off as the Five Chimes, changing their name to the Matadors two years later. The group then settled on the Miracles after the inclusion of Claudette Robinson in 1958. The most notable Miracles line-up included the Robinsons, Moore, White, Bobby Rogers and Marv Tarplin. After a failed audition with Brunswick Records, the group began working with songwriter Berry Gordy, who helped to produce their first records for the End and Chess labels before establishing Tamla Records in 1959 and signing the Miracles as its first act. The group eventually scored the label's first million-selling hit record with the 1960 Grammy Hall of Fame smash, "Shop Around", and further established themselves as one of Motown's top acts with the hit singles "You've Really Got a Hold on Me", "What's So Good About Goodbye", "Way Over There", "I'll Try Something New", "Mickey's Monkey", "Going to a Go-Go", "(Come 'Round Here) I'm the One You Need", "Just A Mirage", "If You Can Want", "More Love", "I Don't Blame You at All", "Ooo Baby Baby", the multi-award-winning "The Tracks of My Tears","My Girl Has Gone' "Special Occasion", "I Second That Emotion", "Baby Baby Don't Cry", the number-one Pop smashes "The Tears of a Clown" and "Love Machine", "Do It Baby", and "That's What Love Is Made Of", among numerous other hits.

In his off-stage roles, Clark served as Chief Executive Officer of Dick Clark Productions (a financial interest in which he sold off in his later years). He also founded the American Bandstand Diner, a restaurant chain modeled after the Hard Rock Cafe.[ vague ] In 1973, he created and produced the annual American Music Awards show, similar to the Grammy Awards. [3]

Dick Clark Productions an entertainment production company founded by entertainer Dick Clark

Dick Clark Productions is an American entertainment production company founded by entertainer Dick Clark.

Hard Rock Cafe chain of restaurants

Hard Rock Cafe Inc. is a chain of theme restaurants founded in 1971 by Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton in London. In 1979, the cafe began covering its walls with rock and roll memorabilia, a tradition which expanded to others in the chain. In 2007, Hard Rock Cafe International (USA), Inc. was sold to the Seminole Tribe of Florida and was headquartered in Orlando, Florida, until April 2018 when the corporate offices were relocated to Davie, Florida. As of July 2018, Hard Rock International has venues in 74 countries, including 185 cafes, 25 hotels, and 12 casinos.

Clark suffered a stroke in December 2004. With speech ability impaired, Clark returned to his New Year's Rockin' Eve show a year later on December 31, 2005. Subsequently, he appeared at the 58th Primetime Emmy Awards in 2006, and every New Year's Rockin' Eve show through the 2011–12 show. He died on April 18, 2012, of a heart attack, at the age of 82, following prostate surgery. [4]

Stroke Medical condition where poor blood flow to the brain causes cell death

A stroke is a medical condition in which poor blood flow to the brain results in cell death. There are two main types of stroke: ischemic, due to lack of blood flow, and hemorrhagic, due to bleeding. Both result in parts of the brain not functioning properly. Signs and symptoms of a stroke may include an inability to move or feel on one side of the body, problems understanding or speaking, dizziness, or loss of vision to one side. Signs and symptoms often appear soon after the stroke has occurred. If symptoms last less than one or two hours it is known as a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or mini-stroke. A hemorrhagic stroke may also be associated with a severe headache. The symptoms of a stroke can be permanent. Long-term complications may include pneumonia or loss of bladder control.

58th Primetime Emmy Awards

The 58th Primetime Emmy Awards were held on Sunday, August 27, 2006 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California on NBC at 8:00 p.m. ET with Conan O'Brien hosting the show. The ceremony attracted 16.2 million viewers, 2½ million fewer than the previous year's ceremony, but still the ratings winner for the week. The Discovery Channel received its first major nomination this year.

Early life

Clark was born and raised in Mount Vernon, New York, [5] to Richard Augustus Clark and Julia Fuller Clark nee Barnard. His only sibling, older brother Bradley, was killed in the Battle of the Bulge during World War II.[ citation needed ]

Mount Vernon, New York City in New York, United States

Mount Vernon is a city in Westchester County, New York, United States. It is an inner suburb of New York City, immediately to the north of the borough of the Bronx. As of the 2010 census, Mount Vernon had a population of 67,292.

Battle of the Bulge German offensive through the Ardennes forest on the Western Front towards the end of World War II

The Battle of the Bulge, also known as the Ardennes Counteroffensive, was the last major German offensive campaign on the Western Front during World War II, and took place from 16 December 1944 to 25 January 1945. It was launched through the densely forested Ardennes region of Wallonia in eastern Belgium, northeast France, and Luxembourg, towards the end of the war in Europe. The offensive was intended to stop Allied use of the Belgian port of Antwerp and to split the Allied lines, allowing the Germans to encircle and destroy four Allied armies and force the Western Allies to negotiate a peace treaty in the Axis powers' favor.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Clark attended A.B. Davis High School (later renamed A.B. Davis Middle School) in Mount Vernon, where he was an average student. [6] At age 10, Clark decided to pursue a career in radio. [6] In pursuit of that goal, he attended Syracuse University, graduating in 1951 with a degree in advertising and a minor in radio. [6] While at Syracuse, he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity (Phi Gamma). [7]

Syracuse University University located in Syracuse, New York, United States

Syracuse University is a private research university in Syracuse, New York, United States. The institution's roots can be traced to the Genesee Wesleyan Seminary, founded in 1831 by the Methodist Episcopal Church in Lima, New York. After several years of debate over relocating the college to Syracuse, the university was established in 1870, independent of the college. Since 1920, the university has identified itself as nonsectarian, although it maintains a relationship with The United Methodist Church.

Delta Kappa Epsilon North American collegiate fraternity

Delta Kappa Epsilon (ΔΚΕ), commonly known as DKE or Deke, is one of the oldest North American fraternities, with 56 active chapters across America and Canada. The fraternity was founded at Yale College in 1844 by 15 sophomores who were disaffected by the existing houses on campus. They established a fellowship "where the candidate most favored was he who combined in the most equal proportions the gentleman, the scholar, and the jolly good fellow."

Radio and television career

In 1945, Clark began his career working in the mailroom at WRUN, an AM radio station in Rome, New York, that was owned by his uncle and managed by his father. Almost immediately, he was asked to fill in for the vacationing weatherman, and within a few months he was announcing station breaks. [6]

While attending Syracuse, Clark worked at WOLF-AM, then a country music station. After graduation, he returned to WRUN for a short time where he went by the name Dick Clay. [6] After that, Clark got a job at the television station WKTV in Utica, New York. [6] His first television-hosting job was on Cactus Dick and the Santa Fe Riders, a country-music program. He later replaced Robert Earle (who later hosted the GE College Bowl ) as a newscaster. [8]

In addition to his announcing duties on radio and television, Clark owned several radio stations. From 1964 to 1978, he owned KPRO (now KFOO) in Riverside, California under the name Progress Broadcasting. [9] [10] In 1967, he purchased KGUD-AM-FM (now KTMS and KTYD respectively) in Santa Barbara, California. [11] [12]

American Bandstand

In 1952, Clark moved to Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia, where he took a job as a disc jockey at radio station WFIL, adopting the Dick Clark handle. [13] WFIL had an affiliated television station (now WPVI) with the same call sign, which began broadcasting a show called Bob Horn's Bandstand in 1952. Clark was responsible for a similar program on the company's radio station, and served as a regular substitute host when Horn went on vacation. [6] In 1956, Horn was arrested for drunk driving and was subsequently dismissed. [6] On July 9, 1956, Clark became the show's permanent host. [6]

Bandstand was picked up by the ABC television network, renamed American Bandstand , and debuted nationally on August 5, 1957. [14] The show took off, due to Clark's natural rapport with the live teenage audience and dancing participants as well as the non-threatening image he projected to television audiences.[ citation needed ] As a result, many parents were introduced to rock and roll music. According to Hollywood producer Michael Uslan, "he was able to use his unparalleled communication skills to present rock 'n roll in a way that was palatable to parents." [15]

In 1958, The Dick Clark Show was added to ABC's Saturday night lineup. [6] By the end of year, viewership exceeded 20 million, and featured artists were "virtually guaranteed" large sales boosts after appearing. [6] In a surprise television tribute to Clark in 1959 on This Is Your Life , host Ralph Edwards called him "America’s youngest starmaker," and estimated the show had an audience of 50 million.

Clark moved the show from Philadelphia to Los Angeles in 1964. [6] The move was related to the popularity of new "surf" groups based in Southern California, including The Beach Boys and Jan and Dean. The show ran daily Monday through Friday until 1963, then weekly on Saturdays until 1987. Bandstand was briefly revived in 1989, with Clark again serving as host. By the time of its cancellation, the show had become longest-running variety show in TV history. [6]

In the 1960s, the show's emphasis changed from merely playing records to including live performers. During this period, many of the leading rock groups of the 1960s had their first exposure to nationwide audiences. A few of the many artists introduced were Ike and Tina Turner, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, The Beach Boys, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Simon and Garfunkel, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, Bobby Fuller, Johnny Cash, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino and Chubby Checker. [16] [17]

During an interview with Clark by Henry Schipper of Rolling Stone magazine in 1990, it was noted that "over two-thirds of the people who've been initiated into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame had their television debuts on American Bandstand, and the rest of them probably debuted on other shows [they] produced." [18] During the show's lifetime, it featured over 10,000 live performances, many by artists who were unable to appear anywhere else on TV, as the variety shows during much of this period were "antirock." [18] Schipper points out that Clark's performers were shocking to general audiences:

The music establishment, and the adults in general, really hated rock and roll. Politicians, ministers, older songwriters and musicians foamed at the mouth. Frank Sinatra reportedly called Elvis Presley a "rancid-smelling aphrodisiac." [18]

Clark was therefore considered to have a negative influence on youth, and was well aware of that impression held by most adults:

I was roundly criticized for being in and around rock and roll music at its inception. It was the devil's music, it would make your teeth fall out and your hair turn blue, whatever the hell. You get through that. [19]

In 2002, many of the groups he introduced appeared at the 50th anniversary special to celebrate American Bandstand. [20] Clark noted during the special that American Bandstand was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as "the longest-running variety show in TV history." In 2010, American Bandstand and Clark himself were honored at the Daytime Emmy Awards. [21] Hank Ballard, who wrote "The Twist," described Clark's popularity during the early years of American Bandstand:

The man was big. He was the biggest thing in America at that time. He was bigger than the president! [22]

As a result of Clark's work on Bandstand, journalist Ann Oldenburg states "he deserves credit for doing something bigger than just putting on a show." [22] Los Angeles Times writer, Geoff Boucher, goes further, stating that "with the exception of Elvis Presley, Clark was considered by many to be the person most responsible for the bonfire spread of rock 'n roll across the country in the late 1950s," making Clark a "household name." [15] He became a "primary force in legitimizing rock 'n' roll," adds Uslan. Clark, however, simplified his contribution:

I played records, the kids danced, and America watched. [23]

Shortly after taking over, Clark also ended the show's all-white policy by featuring black artists such as Chuck Berry. In time, blacks and whites performed on the same stage, and studio seating was desegregated. [16] During the late 1950s and 1960s, Clark produced and hosted a series of concert tours around the success of American Bandstand, which by 1959 had a national audience of 20 million. [22] However, Clark was unable to have the Beatles appear when they came to America. [15]

The reason for Clark's impact on popular culture was partly explained by Paul Anka, a singer who appeared on the show early in his career: "This was a time when there was no youth culture — he created it. And the impact of the show on people was enormous." [24] In 1990, a few years after the show had been off the air, Clark considered his personal contribution to the music he helped introduce:

My talent is bringing out the best in other talent, organizing people to showcase them and being able to survive the ordeal. I hope someday that somebody will say that in the beginning stages of the birth of the music of the fifties, though I didn't contribute in terms of creativity, I helped keep it alive. [18]

Payola hearings

In 1960, the United States Senate investigated payola, the practice of music-producing companies paying broadcasting companies to favor their product. As a result, Clark's personal investments in music publishing and recording companies were considered a conflict of interest, and he sold his shares in those companies. [25]

When asked about some of the causes for the hearings, Clark speculated about some of the contributing factors not mentioned by the press:

Politicians . . . did their damnedest to respond to the pressures they were getting from parents and publishing companies and people who were being driven out of business [by rock]. . . . It hit a responsive chord with the electorate, the older people. . . . they full-out hated the music. [But] it stayed alive. It could've been nipped in the bud, because they could've stopped it from being on television and radio. [18]

Game show host

Beginning in late 1963, Clark branched out into hosting game shows, presiding over The Object Is . [26] The show was cancelled in 1964, and replaced by Missing Links , which had moved from NBC. Clark took over as host, replacing Ed McMahon. [26]

Dick Clark as host of The $10,000 Pyramid Dick Clark $10000 Pyramid.JPG
Dick Clark as host of The $10,000 Pyramid

Clark became the first host of The $10,000 Pyramid , which premiered on CBS March 26, 1973. [27] The show — a word-association game created and produced by daytime television producer Bob Stewart — moved to ABC in 1974. Over the coming years, the top prize changed several times (and with it the name of the show), and several primetime spinoffs were created. [27]

As the program moved back to CBS in September 1982, Clark continued to host the daytime version through most of its history, winning three Emmy Awards for best game show host. [28] In total, Pyramid won nine Emmy Awards for best game show during his run, a mark that is eclipsed only by the twelve won by the syndicated version of Jeopardy! . [29] Clark's final Pyramid hosting gig, The $100,000 Pyramid, ended in 1988.[ citation needed ]

Clark subsequently returned to Pyramid as a guest in later incarnations. During the premiere of the John Davidson version in 1991, Clark sent a pre-recorded message wishing Davidson well in hosting the show. In 2002, Clark played as a celebrity guest for three days on the Donny Osmond version. Earlier, he was also a guest during the Bill Cullen version of The $25,000 Pyramid, which aired simultaneously with Clark's daytime version of the show.[ citation needed ]

Entertainment Weekly credited Clark's "quietly commanding presence" as a major factor in the game show's success. [27]

Clark hosted the syndicated television game show The Challengers , during its only season (1990–91). The Challengers was a co-production between the production companies of Dick Clark and Ron Greenberg. During the 1990–91 season, Clark and Greenberg also co-produced a revival of Let’s Make a Deal for NBC with Bob Hilton as the host. Hilton was later replaced by original host Monty Hall. Clark later hosted Scattergories on NBC in 1993; and The Family Channel's version of It Takes Two in 1997. In 1999, along with Bob Boden, he was one of the executive producers of Fox's TV game show Greed , which ran from November 5, 1999, to July 14, 2000, and was hosted by Chuck Woolery. At the same time, Clark also hosted the Stone-Stanley-created Winning Lines , which ran for six weeks on CBS from January 8 through February 12, 2000.[ citation needed ]

Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve

In 1972, Dick Clark first produced New Year's Rockin' Eve, a New Year's Eve music special for NBC which included coverage of the ball drop festivities in New York City. Clark aimed to challenge the dominance of Guy Lombardo's New Year's specials on CBS, as he believed its big band music skewed too old. After two years on NBC, and being hosted by Three Dog Night and George Carlin respectively, the program moved to ABC and Clark assumed hosting duties. Following Lombardo's death in 1977, Rockin' Eve experienced a surge in popularity and later became the most watched annual New Year's Eve broadcast. Clark also served as a special correspondent for ABC News's ABC 2000 broadcast, covering the arrival of 2000. [30] [31] [32]

Following his stroke (which prevented him from appearing at all on the 2004–05 edition), [33] Clark returned to make brief appearances on the 2005–06 edition, while ceding the majority of hosting duties to Ryan Seacrest. Reaction to Clark's appearance was mixed. While some TV critics (including Tom Shales of The Washington Post , in an interview with the CBS Radio Network) felt that he was not in good enough shape to do the broadcast, stroke survivors and many of Clark's fans praised him for being a role model for people dealing with post-stroke recovery. [31] [34] Seacrest remained host and an executive producer of the special, taking over full duties after Clark's death. [35]

Radio programs

Clark's first love was radio, and in 1963 he began hosting a radio program called The Dick Clark Radio Show. It was produced by Mars Broadcasting of Stamford. Despite Clark's enormous popularity on American Bandstand, the show was only picked up by a few dozen stations and lasted less than a year. [36]

Photo of Clark in 1963. His ABC radio show was called "Dick Clark Reports". Dick clark radio show 1963.JPG
Photo of Clark in 1963. His ABC radio show was called "Dick Clark Reports".

On March 25, 1972, Clark hosted American Top 40 , filling in for Casey Kasem. [37] In 1981, he created The Dick Clark National Music Survey for the Mutual Broadcasting System. [28] The program counted down the top 30 contemporary hits of the week in direct competition with American Top 40. Clark left Mutual in 1986, and Charlie Tuna took over the National Music Survey. [28]

Clark then launched his own radio syndication group with partners Nick Verbitsky and Ed Salamon called the United Stations Radio Network. That company later merged with the Transtar Network to become Unistar, and took over the countdown program Countdown America. The program ran until 1994, when Unistar was sold to Westwood One Radio. The following year, Clark and Verbitsky started over with a new version of the USRN, bringing into the fold Dick Clark's Rock, Roll & Remember , written and produced by Pam Miller (who also came up with the line used in the show and later around the world: "the soundtrack of our lives"), and a new countdown show: The U.S. Music Survey, produced by Jim Zoller. Clark served as its host until his 2004 stroke. [28] United Stations Radio Networks continues in operation as of 2013.

Dick Clark's longest running radio show began on February 14, 1982. Dick Clark's Rock, Roll & Remember was a four-hour oldies show named after Clark's 1976 autobiography. The first year, it was hosted by veteran Los Angeles disc jockey Gene Weed. Then in 1983, voiceover talent Mark Elliot co-hosted with Clark. By 1985, Clark hosted the entire show. Pam Miller wrote the program and Frank Furino served as producer. Each week, Clark profiled a different artist from the rock and roll era and counted down the top four songs that week from a certain year in the 1950s, 1960s or early 1970s. The show ended production when Clark suffered his 2004 stroke. However, reruns from the 1995–2004 era continue to air in syndication and on Clark's website, dickclarkonline.com. [28]

Other television programs

At the peak of his American Bandstand fame, Clark also hosted a 30-minute Saturday night program called The Dick Clark Show (aka The Dick Clark Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show). It aired from February 15, 1958, until September 10, 1960, on the ABC television network. It was broadcast live from the "Little Theater" in New York City and was sponsored by Beech-Nut gum. It featured the rock and roll stars of the day lip-synching their hits, just as on American Bandstand. However, unlike the afternoon Bandstand program, which focused on the dance floor with the teenage audience demonstrating the latest dance steps, the audience of The Dick Clark Show sat in a traditional theater setting. While some of the musical numbers were presented simply, others were major production numbers. The high point of the show was Clark's unveiling, with great fanfare at the end of each program, of the top ten records of the previous week. [38] This ritual became so embedded in American culture that it was imitated in many media and contexts, which in turn were satirized nightly by David Letterman on his own Top Ten lists.

From September 27 to December 20, 1959, Clark hosted a 30-minute weekly talent/variety series entitled Dick Clark's World of Talent at 10:30 p.m. Sundays on ABC. A variation of producer Irving Mansfield's earlier CBS series, This Is Show Business (1949–1956), it featured three celebrity panelists, including comedian Jack E. Leonard, judging and offering advice to amateur and semi-professional performers. While this show was not a success during its nearly three-month duration, Clark was one of the few personalities in television history on the air nationwide seven days a week. [38]

One of Clark's best-known guest appearances was in the final episode ("The Case of the Final Fade-Out") of the original Perry Mason TV series, in which Clark was revealed to be the killer of an egomaniacal actor during the production of a television show. [39] [40] He appeared as a drag-racing-strip owner in a 1973 episode of the procedural drama series Adam-12 .

Clark's most humorous appearance was on an episode ("Testimony of Evil") of Police Squad! in which he asks an informant about ska and borrows his skin cream to keep himself looking young, a parody of the fact that Clark was known for his perennial youthful appearance.

Clark attempted to branch into the realm of soul music with the series Soul Unlimited in 1973. The series, hosted by Buster Jones, was a more risqué and controversial imitator of the popular series Soul Train and alternated in the Bandstand time slot. The series lasted for only a few episodes. [41] Despite a feud between Clark and Soul Train creator and host Don Cornelius,[ citation needed ] the two men later collaborated on several specials featuring black artists.

Clark hosted the short-lived Dick Clark's Live Wednesday in 1978. [42] In 1980, Clark served as host of the short-lived series The Big Show , an unsuccessful attempt by NBC to revive the variety show format of the 1950s/60s. In 1984, Clark produced and hosted the NBC series TV's Bloopers & Practical Jokes with co-host with Ed McMahon. Clark and McMahon were longtime Philadelphia acquaintances, and McMahon praised Clark for first bringing him together with future TV partner Johnny Carson when all three worked at ABC in the late 1950s. The Bloopers franchise stemmed from the Clark-hosted (and produced) NBC Bloopers specials of the early 1980s, inspired by the books, record albums and appearances of Kermit Schafer, a radio and TV producer who first popularized outtakes of broadcasts. [40] For a period of several years in the 1980s, Clark simultaneously hosted regular programs on all three major American television networks – ABC (Bandstand), CBS (Pyramid), and NBC (Bloopers). [43]

In July 1985, Clark hosted the ABC primetime portion of the historic Live Aid concert, an all star concert designed by Bob Geldof to end world hunger. [44]

Clark also hosted various pageants from 1988–93 on CBS. He did a brief stint as announcer on The Jon Stewart Show in 1995. [45] He also created and hosted two Fox television specials in 2000 called Challenge of the Child Geniuses , the last game show he hosted.[ citation needed ]

From 2001 to 2003, Clark was a co-host of The Other Half with Mario Lopez, Danny Bonaduce and Dorian Gregory, a syndicated daytime talk show intended to be the male equivalent of The View . Clark also produced the television series American Dreams about a Philadelphia family in the early 1960s whose daughter is a regular on American Bandstand. The series ran from 2002 to 2005. [40]

Other media appearances

Clark wrote, produced and starred in the 1968 film Killers Three , a Western drama that served as a promotional vehicle for Bakersfield country musicians Merle Haggard and Bonnie Owens.

Clark also appears in interview segments of another 2002 film, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind , which was based on the "unauthorized autobiography" of Chuck Barris. (Barris had worked at ABC as a standards-and-practices executive during American Bandstand's run on that network.) [46]

In the 2002 Dharma and Greg episode "Mission: Implausible", Greg is the victim of a college prank, and devises an elaborate plan to retaliate, part of which involves his use of a disguise kit; the first disguise chosen is that of Dick Clark. During a fantasy sequence that portrays the unfolding of the plan, the real Clark plays Greg wearing his disguise. [47]

He also made brief cameos in two episodes of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air . In one episode he plays himself at a Philadelphia diner, and in the other he helps Will Smith's character host bloopers from past episodes of that sitcom. [48]

Business ventures

Dick Clark's AB Grill in Branson, Missouri (November 2007) Dick Clarks AB Grill.jpg
Dick Clark's AB Grill in Branson, Missouri (November 2007)

In 1965, Clark branched out from hosting, producing Where The Action Is , an afternoon television program shot at different locations every week featuring house band Paul Revere and the Raiders. [6] In 1973, Clark began producing the highly-successful American Music Awards. [6] In 1987, Dick Clark Productions went public. [6] Clark remained active in television and movie production into the 1990s. [6]

Clark had a stake in a chain of music-themed restaurants licensed under the names "Dick Clark's American Bandstand Grill", "Dick Clark's AB Grill", "Dick Clark's Bandstand — Food, Spirits & Fun" and "Dick Clark's AB Diner". There are currently two airport locations in Newark, New Jersey and Phoenix, Arizona, one location in the Molly Pitcher travel plaza on the New Jersey Turnpike in Cranbury, New Jersey, and one location at "Dick Clark's American Bandstand Theater" in Branson, Missouri. Until recently, Salt Lake City, Utah had an airport location. [49]

"Dick Clark's American Bandstand Theater" opened in Branson in April 2006, [50] and nine months later, a new theater and restaurant entitled "Dick Clark's American Bandstand Music Complex" opened near Dolly Parton's Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. [51]

From 1979 to 1980, Clark reportedly owned the former Westchester Premier Theatre in Greenburgh, New York, renaming it the Dick Clark Westchester Theatre. [52]

Personal life

Clark was the son of Richard A. Clark, who managed WRUN radio in Utica, New York. [53]

He was married three times. His first marriage was to Barbara Mallery in 1952; the couple had one son, Richard A. Clark, and divorced in 1961. He married Loretta Martin in 1962; the couple had two children, Duane and Cindy, and divorced in 1971. His third marriage, to Kari Wigton, whom he married in 1977, lasted until his death. [54]

Health problems and death

During an interview on Larry King Live in April 2004, Clark revealed that he had type 2 diabetes. [55] [56] His death certificate noted that Clark had coronary artery disease at the time of his death. [57]

In December 2004, the 75-year-old was hospitalized in Los Angeles after suffering what was initially termed a minor stroke. Although he was expected to be fine, it was later announced that Clark would be unable to host his annual New Year's Rockin' Eve broadcast. Clark returned to the series the following year, but the dysarthria that resulted from the stroke rendered him unable to speak clearly for the remainder of his life. On April 18, 2012, Clark died from a fatal heart attack [57] at the age of 82 while undergoing a transurethral resection procedure to treat an enlarged prostate. [4] [15] Clark's family did not immediately decide whether to have a public memorial service, but stated "there will be no funeral". [37] He was cremated on April 20, and his ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean. [58]


Following his death, U.S. President Barack Obama praised Clark's career: "With American Bandstand, he introduced decades' worth of viewers to the music of our times. He reshaped the television landscape forever as a creative and innovative producer. And, of course, for 40 years, we welcomed him into our homes to ring in the New Year." [59] Motown founder Berry Gordy and singer Diana Ross spoke of Clark's impact on the recording industry: "Dick was always there for me and Motown, even before there was a Motown. He was an entrepreneur, a visionary and a major force in changing pop culture and ultimately influencing integration," Gordy said. "He presented Motown and the Supremes on tour with the "Caravan of Stars" and on American Bandstand, where I got my start," Ross said. [60]




Branded/ starring Chuck Conners. 1965.


Honors and awards

Clark received the following awards:

Related Research Articles

Fabian Forte American singer and actor

Fabiano Anthony Forte, professionally known as Fabian, is an American singer and actor.

<i>Soul Train</i> American music show

Soul Train is an American music-dance television program which aired in syndication from October 2, 1971, to March 27, 2006. In its 35-year history, the show primarily featured performances by R&B, soul, dance/pop, and hip hop artists, although funk, jazz, disco, and gospel artists also appeared. The series was created by Don Cornelius, who also served as its first host and executive producer.

Freddy Cannon American musician

Frederick Anthony Picariello Jr., known as Freddy Cannon, is an American rock and roll singer, whose biggest international hits included "Tallahassee Lassie", "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans", and "Palisades Park".

WFIL Philadelphia AM radio station

WFIL is an AM radio station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, owned by Salem Media Group and broadcasting with a Christian radio format consisting of teaching and talk programs. The station's studios and transmitter facilities are shared with co-owned WNTP in Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania. The station's daytime coverage includes Philadelphia and portions of the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania, as well as parts of New Jersey and Delaware.

Charlie Gracie American musician

Charles Anthony Graci, known professionally as Charlie Gracie, is an American rock pioneer and rhythm and blues singer and guitarist.

Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve (NYRE) is an annual New Year's Eve television special broadcast by ABC. The special broadcasts primarily from New York City's Times Square, and prominently features coverage of its annual ball drop event, along with live and pre-recorded musical performances by popular musicians from Times Square and Hollywood, respectively, in addition to live performances and coverage of festivities from New Orleans.

Jim Lounsbury was an early pioneer in rock and roll music and a radio news anchor.

The Buddy Deane Show was a teen dance television show, created by Zvi Shoubin, hosted by Winston "Buddy" Deane (1924-2003), and aired on WJZ-TV in Baltimore, Maryland from 1957 until 1964. It was similar to Philadelphia's American Bandstand. The Buddy Deane Show was taken off the air because home station WJZ-TV was unable to integrate black and white dancers..

Fredric M. "Fred" Bronson is an American journalist, author and writer. He is best known for his appearances on American Idol, the weekly "Chart Beat" column in Billboard magazine, and as the author of books related to #1 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and other books related to other music charts as well.

Donald Loyd "Bob" Horn was an American radio and television personality in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, best known for being the original host of Bandstand.

NBC's New Year's Eve is a television special which airs on New Year's Eve annually on NBC. The special is broadcast from Times Square in New York City, and prominently features coverage of its annual ball drop event, along with live and pre-recorded musical performances by popular musicians from Rockefeller Center and Los Angeles. Premiering for New Year's Eve 2004-05, the special competes against similar specials that also cover the ball drop, such as ABC's New Year's Rockin' Eve. The special is hosted and produced by Carson Daly—better known since 2011 as host of The Voice, through his self-named production company, in association with Universal Television.

Ryan Seacrest American television host, radio host and television producer

Ryan John Seacrest is an American radio personality, television host, and producer. Seacrest is known for hosting the competition show American Idol, the syndicated countdown program American Top 40, and iHeartMedia's KIIS-FM morning radio show On Air with Ryan Seacrest.

<i>Six OClock Rock</i>

Six O'Clock Rock was an Australian Rock and Roll television show which showed on ABC from 28 February 1959 to 1962 and was broadcast at 6PM on Saturday evenings.

Pat St. John is an American radio personality and voice-over artist. He began his radio career on Windsor, Ontario's CKLW in 1969 and 1970, followed by WKNR in late 1970 to early 1972, followed by WRIF FM (101.1) to April 1973. St. John is best known for the 42 years he spent in the New York City radio market working for WPLJ, WNEW-FM, WAXQ and WCBS FM. He can now be heard on Sirius XM Radio '60s on 6 Weekdays 3PM to 7 PM ET and on Classic Rewind Weekends 6PM to midnight ET. St. John has done television voiceover work, including announcing for Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve from 2000 to 2010.

WQMA was a broadcast radio station licensed to Marks, Mississippi. The station was owned by Jason Konarz with an oldies format on 1520 kHz. Its F.C.C. license was cancelled May 31, 2006. WQMA had operated under Special Temporary Authority from the F.C.C., but it was denied August 20, 2010. The station exhausted its appeal options, and its application for license renewal was dismissed by the FCC on May 20, 2015.

American Music Awards of 2009 US television program

The 37th Annual American Music Awards took place on November 22, 2009 at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles, California. The nominees were announced on October 13, 2009. For the first time in history, there was no host for the year's ceremony. Instead, various celebrities introduced the performers similar to the procedure at the Grammy Awards. Taylor Swift won five of six categories she was nominated for. Jay-Z and The Black Eyed Peas both won two awards. Michael Jackson's brother Jermaine Jackson accepted his awards on his behalf.

Kathleen "Bunny" Gibson is an actress and former regular dancer on the American Bandstand television program. NBC'S "2016" "Hairspray Live", asked Bunny to represent American Bandstand. Teen magazines referred to her as "American Bandstand's Sweetheart" and Dick Clark called her a "national symbol" receiving thousands of letters each week

Edward (Eddie) Lawrence Kelly is an actor and dance and music consultant born August 26, 1943 at the Episcopal Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, best known as a dancer on American Bandstand.


  1. "Dick Clark on". TV. July 19, 2010. Retrieved September 2, 2010.
  2. Dick Clark's death record at Family Search
  3. 1 2 "Dick Clark Biography". The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
  4. 1 2 "Dick Clark, Entertainment Icon Nicknamed 'America's Oldest Teenager,' Dies at 82". ABC News. April 18, 2012. Retrieved April 18, 2012.
  5. Bruce Weber (April 18, 2012). "TV Emperor of Rock 'n' Roll and New Year's Eve Dies at 82". The New York Times . Retrieved April 18, 2012.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 DK Peneny. "Dick Clark". The History of Rock 'n' Roll. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
  7. "Dick Clark". AskMen.com. Archived from the original on December 9, 2010. Retrieved September 2, 2010.
  8. Clark, Dick; Robinson, Richard (1976). Rock, Roll and Remember. New York City, New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co. ISBN   978-0-690-01184-5.
  9. "KPRO, WLOB sales announced" (PDF). Broadcasting. Broadcasting Publications Inc. December 28, 1964. p. 9. Retrieved June 2, 2018.
  10. "Changing Hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. Broadcasting Publications Inc. March 27, 1978. p. 43. Retrieved June 2, 2018.
  11. "Changing Hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. Broadcasting Publications Inc. November 13, 1967. p. 51. Retrieved June 2, 2018.
  12. Tiegel, Eliot (July 8, 1967). "Smothers Set Youthful Pace" (PDF). Billboard. Billboard Publications Inc. p. 32. Retrieved June 2, 2018.
  13. Dan Deluca, Sam Wood and Michael D. Schaffer (April 18, 2012). "Dick Clark, legendary host of 'American Bandstand,' dies at 82". The Philadelphia Inquirer. KansasCity. Archived from the original on April 21, 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  14. "Dick Clark — Elvis 1961 Interview; American Bandstand Compare: Dick Clark; Dick Clark's Elvis Collection Sold at Auction". elvispresleynews.com. Archived from the original on January 22, 2009. Retrieved December 31, 2009.
  15. 1 2 3 4 Geoff Boucher (April 19, 2012). "Dick Clark dies at 82; he introduced America to rock 'n' roll". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  16. 1 2 Milner, Andrew (ed.) Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, Vol. I, St. James Press (2000) pp. 525–527.
  17. American Bandstand 30 Year Special – 1982 (2/11) on YouTube
  18. 1 2 3 4 5 Schipper, Henry. "Dick Clark", Rolling Stone, April 19, 1990 pp. 67–70, 126.
  19. "The Legacy of Dick Clark, 'The Fastest Follower in the Business'", Rolling Stone, April 18, 2012.
  20. American Bandstand 50th Anniversary clip 2002 on YouTube
  21. Natalie Abrams (May 27, 2010). "Dick Clark to be Honored at Daytime Emmys". TVGuide.com. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
  22. 1 2 3 Oldenburg, Ann. "TV legend Dick Clark dies at age 82", USA Today , April 18, 2012.
  23. "Dick Clark dead at 82", CBS News, April 18, 2012.
  24. "Reactions to Death of Dick Clark, New Year's Eve Icon" The New York Times blog, April 18, 2012.
  25. Furek, Maxim W. (1986). The Jordan Brothers — A Musical Biography of Rock's Fortunate Sons. Berwick, Pennsylvania: Kimberley Press. OCLC   15588651.
  26. 1 2 "The Object Is". TV. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
  27. 1 2 3 Ken Tucker (April 18, 2012). "A Dick Clark appreciation: The deceptively laid-back, conservative revolutionary". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
  28. 1 2 3 4 5 "Dick Clark's Rock Roll & Remember" . Retrieved April 20, 2012.
  29. Duane Byrge (April 18, 2012). "Dick Clark Dead of Heart Attack at 82". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media . Retrieved April 20, 2012.
  30. Moore, Frazier (December 26, 2001). "Next week to be 25th New Year's Eve without Guy Lombardo". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. Retrieved January 1, 2007.
  31. 1 2 Memmott, Carol (December 27, 2011). "Dick Clark: Rockin' it on New Year's since 1972". USA Today. Retrieved March 2, 2012.
  32. Terry, Carol Burton. "New Guy Lombardo? Dick Clark sees New Year's tradition". The Milwaukee Sentinel . Retrieved December 19, 2012.
  33. de Moraes, Lisa (December 14, 2004). "Dick Clark Hands Off The Big Ball Drop". The Washington Post. p. C1. Retrieved December 31, 2011.
  34. "Clark Outing Cheers Stroke Survivors". CNN. Associated Press. January 4, 2006. Archived from the original on January 11, 2006. Retrieved December 31, 2009.
  35. Oldenburg, Ann (October 23, 2013). "Ryan Seacrest extends 'New Year's Rockin' Eve' deal". USA Today. Retrieved November 6, 2013.
  36. "Beyond 'American Bandstand': Dick Clark's career highlights, from Philly to Hollywood". The Washington Post . Associated Press. April 18, 2012. Archived from the original on December 9, 2018. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
  37. 1 2 Alan Duke; Chelsea J. Carter (April 19, 2012). "'Only God is responsible for making more stars than Dick Clark'". CNN. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
  38. 1 2 Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle (2003). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable Shows, 1946 – present (8th, revised and updated ed.). Ballantine Books. ISBN   978-0-345-45542-0.
  39. "The case of the Final Fade-Out". IMDb.com. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
  40. 1 2 3 Lynn Elber (April 18, 2012). "Dick Clark, TV and New Year's Eve icon, dies at 82". Google. Associated Press. Archived from the original on April 21, 2012. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
  41. "Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About "Soul Train"". NewsOne. February 2, 2012. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
  42. "Dick Clark's Live Wednesday". TV.com. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
  43. Dick Clark is Thriving on Three Major Networks – NY Times.com
  44. "Dick Clark Dies of "Massive Heart Attack"; Secret Service Resignations Amidst Scandal". CNN. April 18, 2012. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
  45. Pop Will Eat Itself on The Jon Stewart Show on YouTube
  46. "Dick Clark: A Big-Screen Tribute" . Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  47. "Dharma & Greg Mission: Implausible TV.com" . Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  48. "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: The Philadelphia Story:Overview". Archived from the original on June 28, 2013. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  49. Archived December 26, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  50. "Tornado-damaged theater to reopen April 14". Springfield News Leader. April 5, 2012. Archived from the original on June 3, 2015. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  51. Jeanna Contino (April 18, 2012). "The Eventful Life of Dick Clark". BUnow. Bloomberg. Archived from the original on April 25, 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  52. Kanwar, Tanuja. "Westchester Native Dick Clark Dead at 82". The Rivertowns Daily Voice. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
  53. "TV Star Clark Buys Inland Empire Station KPRO," San Bernardino Sun-Telegram, June 20, 1965, page D-4
  54. "Dick Clark dead at 82: The TV legend's life in photos (slides 6, 7, 11 & 12)". New York Daily News. April 18, 2012. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  55. "Dick Clark dies at 82". Patriot Ledger. Quincy, Massachusetts. April 2012. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  56. [transcript] "CNN Larry King Live — Interview With Dick Clark". CNN. April 16, 2004. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  57. 1 2 Dick Clark death certificate, autopsyfiles.org; accessed November 16, 2016.
  58. Rene Lynch (April 19, 2012). "Dick Clark dies at 82: He was a symbol of hope to stroke victims". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  59. "Celebrities react to the death of Dick Clark". Archived from the original on April 21, 2012. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
  60. "Celebrities react to the death of Dick Clark". NPR. Associated Press. April 18, 2012. Archived from the original on April 19, 2012. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
  61. "Dick Clark". National Radio Hall Of Fame. 2017. Archived from the original on January 10, 2017. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Richard Dawson
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host
Succeeded by
Peter Marshall
Preceded by
Bob Barker
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host
Succeeded by
Bob Barker
Media offices
Preceded by
First host
Host of Pyramid
Succeeded by
John Davidson
Preceded by
Alan Thicke
Miss USA host
Succeeded by
Bob Goen
Preceded by
John Forsythe
Miss Universe host
Succeeded by
Bob Goen
Preceded by
Tony Mammarella
American Bandstand host
Succeeded by
David Hirsch