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Dick Clark, Entertainment Icon Nicknamed 'America's Oldest Teenager,' Dies at 82


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story?id=16076252ABC News:

Dick Clark, the music industry maverick, longtime TV host and powerhouse producer who changed the way we listened to pop music with "American Bandstand," and whose trademark "Rockin' Eve" became a fixture of New Year's celebrations, died today at the age of 82.

Clark's agent Paul Shefrin said in statement that the veteran host died this morning following a "massive heart attack."

Born in Mount Vernon, N.Y., on Nov. 30, 1929, Richard Wagstaff Clark began his lifelong career in show business began before he was even out of high school. He started working in the mailroom of WRUN, a radio station in upstate New York run by his father and uncle. It wasn't long before the teenager was on the air, filling in for the weatherman and the announcer.

Clark pursued his passion at Syracuse University, working as a disc jockey at the student-run radio station while studying for his degree in business. After graduating in 1951, Clark went back to his family's radio station, but within a year, a bigger city and bigger shows were calling.

Clark landed a gig as a DJ at WFIL in Philadelphia in 1952, spinning records for a show he called "Dick Clark's Caravan of Music." There he broke into the big time, hosting Bandstand, an afternoon dance show for teenagers.

Within five years, the whole country was watching. ABC took the show national, and "American Bandstand" was born.



RIP! New Year's Eve won't be the same without him.

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RIP! New Year's Eve won't be the same without him.


Nope. Just like the Tonight Show isn't the same with out Johnny, and the Price is Right isn't the same without Bob. And movies haven't been the same since Cary Grant and Grace Kelly.


Time marches on, for better or for worse. Its the end of an era.

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Dick Clark: America's Last Niche-free Entertainer

Richard Rushfield



The idea that entertainment - or any form of communication for that matter - would seek to reach not a niche or a narrow slice of the public but everybody today seems more than just antiquated, it is downright madness. But Dick Clark, who passed away today at age 82, carved out one of the longest careers in entertainment history doing just that.


Clark’s list of projects reads like a roll call of American culture at its widest point. Among the mountains he conquered: the dance party, the quiz show, the awards show and New Year’s Eve. No one would mistake a Dick Clark opus for Shostakovich, and indeed for his part in creating television’s never-ending story of red carpets and gala awards nights, Clark has much to answer for. His shows were often gaudy, creaky and coated with 17 layers of schmaltz, but compared to the toxic sludge which shows up every night across the dial and in the multiplex, it was benign schmaltz. Clark’s work sought to capture America not perhaps at its brightest, but at its most big-hearted, and appeals to the kind of hateful lewdness we hardly even notice anymore would have been as foreign to the Clark oeuvre as atonal chamber pieces.


In Clark’s line-up one can see an entertainer stretching his arms as wide as possible to take in the entire nation and bring every last person into his audience. It is not a happy moment to realize that in this era of niche channels and micro-targeted messaging, after Dick Clark no one is left on the field who even tries to reach the whole nation anymore. His successor Ryan Seacrest, producer of The Kardashians and Shahs of Sunset, radio buddy to Paris Hilton and her set, certainly plays very comfortably speaking to a certain youngish, jaded demographic to the exclusion of many who do not share his fascination lifestyles of the dead-inside and famous.



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