Dick Clark, the man who introduced rock ‘n’ roll to America, died Wednesday morning of a heart attack. Clark was best known as the host of the show American Bandstand, on which he appeared for 31 years. He was 82.
CBS News wrote about Clark through its Celebrity Circuit blog. They said:
Long dubbed “the world’s oldest teenager” because of his boyish appearance, Clark bridged the rebellious new music scene and traditional show business, and was equally comfortable whether chatting about music with Sam Cooke or bantering with Ed McMahon about TV bloopers. He thrived as the founder of Dick Clark Productions, supplying movies, game and music shows, beauty contests and more to TV. Among his credits: “The $25,000 Pyramid,” “TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes” and the American Music Awards.
For a time in the 1980s, he had shows on all three networks and was listed among the Forbes 400 of wealthiest Americans. Clark also was part of radio as partner in the United Stations Radio Networks, which provided programs – including Clark’s – to thousands of stations.
In 1974, at ABC’s request, Clark created the American Music Awards after the network lost the broadcast rights to the Grammy Awards. The American Music Awards have nominations based on sales, airplay, activity on social networks, and video viewing. For the last five years, the winners are determined by online voting.
Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard had the opportunity to work with Clark in 2003. Clay and Ruben performed at the American Music Awards, singing for the first time in front of their peers. The day before the broadcast of the AMA’s, Dick Clark was a guest on the Howard Stern show. Clark mentioned some of the guests that would be on the show, including Clay and Ruben. Howard asked about Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard. Dick said:
“Yes, this number they do together…well, they each sing one song by themselves then they do a number together. I was at rehearsal, and I gotta tell, you it is something special. I feel quite confident that they will receive a standing ovation. All the hairs on the back of my neck stood up.”
Clark was certainly right. Clay and Ruben did get a standing ovation and everyone was talking about the 17 – second note that Clay held during the duet of Jesus Is Love. And, to top off a great night, Clay won the Fan’s Choice Award.
I will never tire of watching Clay and Ruben on the 2003 American Music Awards. It is a night to remember.
Dick Clark – May You Rest In Peace