DICK CLARK R.I.P. ROCK IN PERPETUITY!
April 19, 2012
LIKE EVERY KID IN THE LATE FIFTIES, I GREW UP WITH AMERICAN BANDSTAND AS A SAFE PLACE TO GO WHEN I WAS CHASED HOME AFTER SCHOOL. THE DANCERS WERE BROTHERS AND SISTERS I NEVER HAD, AND DICK CLARK WAS THE FATHER I NEVER KNEW.
IN MY SPECTROPOP INTERVIEW WITH PRODUCER JERRY ROSS (“SUNNY”, “SUNDAY WILL NEVER BE THE SAME”, “98.6”) JERRY REMEMBERS DICK,
“When I was starting out, One of my instructors took a liking to me and she set up a live on-camera audition with the general manager of WFIL-TV, Jack Steck. He handed me a copy of the Daily News and said, “OK, now ad lib.” AW: And then what? JR: They hired me! I found out that they had just fired the host of the local Bandstand show, Bob Horn, that day, and brought in radio personality Dick Clark to replace him. Dick had an afternoon DJ show called the Caravan Of Music and played artists like Joni James, the Four Aces and Tony Bennett. Dick didn’t know Chuck Berry from a strawberry! But, he learned very quickly by surrounding himself with local and national promotion people, who knew where the hits were happening – Red Schwartz, Matty Singer, Danny Davis. Dick was doing both shows, so I took over as DJ for Caravan Of Music three days a week. I was a DJ for WFIL radio, and then I would go over to the TV studio and do the station breaks, introduce Dick and do some commercials for Bandstand! AW: [Laughs] Sounds like they had you running! JR: Two months later the TV show went national and became American Bandstand! I was one of Dick’s first announcers. I was staff there for about two years. . AW: Those were the golden years of Bandstand – the first national TV show that was totally dedicated to playing pop music! JR: Between the charisma of the kid’s dancing – they were the stars – that great “music of your life” and the “Dick Clark appeal”, the show just exploded! During that time, we didn’t have a green room, and all of the top artists of the day – Bobby Darin, Chubby Checker, Connie Francis, Pat Boone, Neil Sedaka – would come in and hang out in my booth with their managers and promotion people while waiting to go on the show. So I got to meet a lot of movers and shakers early on.”
ABOUT TWENTY LATER I WAS OUT IN MALIBU VISITING MY FRIEND AND CLIENT RADIO SPOT MAKER JOE KLEIN…
We were walking down the beach when we run across a couple of girls from Pepperdine, who tell us about a party at Dick Clark’s house. I always wanted to meet, one of America’s most popular DJs, TV hosts, and creator of the American Music Awards, and there’s no better time than now. As we boldly walk into his house, I tell Joe I that I don’t know Dick, but just act like we belong there. Then a suspicious Charlie O’Donnell, Dick’s long time announcer, walks over to us. I shake his hand and tell him we met in Mel Bly’s office, up at Warner Brothers Music. He breaks into a smile, and welcomes us to Dick’s private birthday party, and takes us in to meet the man himself! We wish him a Happy Birthday, and he acts as if he’s known us all of our lives. Although he’s been talking to some of his friends, he takes a few minutes to bring a couple of ice teas over to Joe and me, who are sitting on the couch. As Dick leans down to hand me the tall frosty glass, I imagine that the drink is a microphone, and he is interviewing me on American Bandstand. I suddenly have an urge to say, “I’m Artie Wayne, from the East Bronx, and I go to the High School of Music and Art.”, I but I don’t. I learned a long time ago that by sometimes saying less, you can leave more of an impression.
Joe Klein…Radio and TV commercial producer
Dear Artie, In 1963,after growing up watching American Bandstand ,Steve Duboff,my writing partner and I fond ourselves with a top 40 hit called “The Pied Piper”.There we were performing on Dicks show.After the show Mr.Clark requited that we meet him and wanted to talk about our unusual success landing all the even minor hits we had.He was a gentleman and gracious.I flashed back to watching Bandstand and then running out to buy “Get a Job”.Bandstand built my record collection and lit the fires that led to mr success making music.
JIGGS- THE ANGELS (“MY BOYFRIENDS BACK”) I remember what a thrill it was to do the Dick Clark Show back in the early 60′s. I was recently looking at pictures taken at those shows. It was even better years later doing concerts with him at casinos and other huge venues. I used to make up stories about Dick and us in the back seat of some old classic car and got great response from the audiences. I believe he has been totally taken for granted as he was always around on TV in one production or other. He will always be with us because of his legacy, but will be greatly missed by those of us who directly benefited from his brilliance.
“WHEN I WAS A STAFF WRITER FOR ALDON MUSIC, I WOULD STAY HOME ON THURSDAY AND REPORT BY PHONE TO DONNY KIRSHNER HOW WELL THEIR SONGS WERE RATED ON AMERICAN BANDSTAND (AT THE TIME YOU COULDN’T GET GOOD TV RECEPTION AT 1650 BROADWAY)
EVERYTIME ONE OF THE KIDS SAID THEY GIVE AN ALDON SONG THE HIGHEST RATING BECAUSE THEY COULD DANCE TO IT, I’D HEAR CHEERS OVER THE PHONE FROM DONNY, CAROLE KING, NEIL SEDAKA, AND JACK KELLER…”
Dick Clark was an icon and the bridge for many generations. Always decent, always consistant, always making othe people comfortable.
It was an honor to work and play with Dick, whether on American Bandstand, traveling with him on tour, or just being his friend out of the spotlight. He helped me and many of my friends become part of Rock & Roll History.
Dick, we will all miss you. Lou Christie “LIGHTNING STRIKES”, “TWO FACES HAVE I”
was his absolute attention to the details of his guests. He had savant level retention for names and little personal facts. Another icon in the biz with that kind of capacity is Clive Davis….almost total retention of all he takes in. Strange that both of them were so straight, so not musicians themselves, but had such unelivable impact on transcultural aesthetics. One of my favorite takes on Dick was offered by Johnny Carson who imagined Clark getting home from another day of Show Biz moguldom, stepping into his Malibu beach front home…his wife handing him favorite cocktail, they chat for a minute and then he steps out of his house, walks across the beach sand step into the surf and takes a sunset walk upon the water….. what a symbol of exciting times past!
HERE’S CHUBBY AND “THE TWIST”
Remembering Dick Clark, who gave generations the chance to dance!
By Dawn Lee Wakefield of the National Examiner Classic Rock Music Examiner
Baby boomers and music lovers have lost another icon today, as Dick Clark, host of “American Bandstand,” is dead, at age 82. WKYT, the CBS affiliate inPhiladelphia announced that Mr. Clark’s representative, Paul Shefrin, said that the perennially youthfulClark “had suffered a massive heart attack” and died. CNN reporter Alan Duke noted that the death occurred during an outpatient procedure atSt. John’sHospital inSanta Monica. Just 10 years ago this week, Mr. Clark had hosted the taping of “American Bandstand’s 50th: A Celebration” program at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium inPasadena,California.
Unquestionably, his passing strikes a chord in the hearts of four decades of teenage viewers, who grew up watching “American Bandstand,” with Mr. Clark as their favorite host. In the industry of showcasing great rock and roll music, Mr. Clark reigned supreme. He presented chart-topping recording artists each week, as he brought national stars into your own living room with such frequency that you never wanted to miss a broadcast. He also introduced the country to new, up and coming artists, who were destined to become household names. The “Bandstand” show itself had a format that was ever as much as a showcase for initially unknown Philadelphia high school students to be considered “the dancers to emulate,” as teenagers across the country learned how to do the latest steps by watching the teens each week. Dick Clark gave all of us a chance to dance.
Continue reading on Examiner.com Remembering Dick Clark, who gave generations the chance to dance – National classic rock music | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/classic-rock-music-in-national/remembering-dick-clark-who-gave-generations-the-chance-to-dance#ixzz1sSAbiNNG
EXTRA! WHILE SEARCHING FOR SOME AMERICAN BANDSTAND VIDEOS I FOUND A 14 MINUTE CLIP OF THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY SHOW IN 1982…WHICH IS EXTRAORDAINARY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4E5xy6gjnt4&feature=related
EXTRA! EXTRA!! THEN I FOUND A RALPH EDWARDS “THIS IS YOUR LIFE” FEATURING DICK CLARK THAT WAS JUST POSTED WITH ONLY 33 VIEWS SO FAR! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgPxz1VNU0E&feature=related
BARRY MANILOW TELLS THE STORY AND SINGS THE AMERICAN BANDSTAND THEME http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-2Zgc8Aqug
L to R – DICK CLARK, FABIAN, BOBBY RYDELL, AND FRANKIE AVALON
Thank you Dick Clark for all that you’ve given us R.I.P., MAY YOU ROCK IN PERPETUITY!
HERE’S THE SONG THAT PAYS TRIBUTE TO DICK AND ALL OF HIS FRIENDS WHO ARE NO LONGER HERE. WRITTEN BY ALAN O’DAY AND JOHNNY STEVENSON, “ROCK AND ROLL HEAVEN” VOCAL BY RONNIE KIMBALL
Copyright 2012 by Artie Wayne
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