Generations of teenagers will remember his name, as Dick Clark was for decades the face behind the cultural phenomenon known as “American Bandstand”. Although Dick Clark passed away this past week, his legacy and the love of the music that he left behind will be remembered forever. Dick Clark will always be considered by many to be the face behind rock and roll music, and many legendary acts did indeed get their initial catapult to infamy on the stage of American Bandstand. Music legends and acts such as Buddy Holly, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5 and Madonna appeared on the show in the early days of their musical careers — and of course many a wild costume debuted on the show as well.
American Bandstand had its inception in 1957. The concept of the show was really quite simple. A studio was filled with wholesome, fresh scrubbed teenagers who would dance to the tunes of America’s Top 10 hits. The teens would then rate new music and give various songs a brief critique, talking about the great dance beat or cool lyrics, etc.
Maybe it was the music. Or perhaps it was because teenagers constantly surrounded him, but Dick Clark always retained his youthful appearance and ebullience about the music he so readily embraced. Kids loved Rock n’ Roll music and obviously, so did Dick Clark.
After 30 years of American Bandstand, Dick Clark went on to host “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” where he counted down the hits on New Year’s Eve until the ball dropped at midnight in New York’s Times Square. American Bandstand still is considered to be one of network TV’s longest running series, as it for 30 years introduced rock n’ roll music to generation after generation of teenagers.
“Music is the soundtrack of your life” –Dick Clark
Here’s a video clip of Dick Clark interviewing the Beach Boys on American Bandstand in 1964.