I remember looking forward to watching American Bandstand when I was growing up. Granted, its long run from 1952 through 1989 spanned from before I was even born till after I was married, but for the most part I recall the years I was a devoted viewer during my preteen and teen years. It was how I, a country kid, learned all the new dance moves. It was also a way for me to keep up with fashion and trends across the country…along with reading Tiger Beat and all the teen magazines of the day. I used to love the part of the show where they would usually pick two kids from the dancers and have them rate two new songs…and almost always they would rate the songs highly because “it has a good beat and is easy to dance to“. If we heard that once…we heard it dozens of times.
Dick Clark was the host of the show for more or less all these years. He was funny, he was always impeccable and he was loved by the kids. As I grew up it seemed he never changed. Years from the days when Bandstand was televised, he and Ed McMahon would appear on blooper shows or Dick would appear each New Year’s Eve and he always had the same twinkle in his eyes, the same dapper haircut and the same youthful appearance. I honestly thought he never looked to age at all.
Clark suffered a stroke in 2004 and disappeared from the television screens for quite some time. He appeared on the 2005 New Year’s Eve countdown while still suffering slurred speech from the stroke. Subsequent countdown shows showed improvement in his speech and dexterity as he continues to improve. Duties for these televised countdowns were shared greatly with Ryan Seacrest and others. But the important thing to me was that he was actually there.
Sunday, June 27, the Emmys paid tribute to Dick Clark for his forty years hosting American Bandstand. Dick Clark, along with his wife Kari Wigton, was in the audience as the tribute brought tears to his face. I, for one, appreciate all the years he has dedicated to his career in television. Leading me through years of rock music…even hosting some of my favorite game shows and, of course, the blooper shows which always made me laugh.
Congratulations Mr. Clark on a long and prestigious career in radio and in television. You have been and always will be a part of many baby boomers’ lives and I appreciate your enthusiastic performances.
I salute you, Mr. Clark, and for now….so long till next time,