I was saddened to learn that America’s oldest teenager, Dick Clark, has passed away at the age of 82 following a massive heart attack. It’s surprising in spite of the fact that his health took an unfortunate turn for the worse back in 2004, when he suffered a major stroke.
I don’t usually post about people passing away. I tend to be flippant in what I say, and trying to write an obituary should be done by someone who has the proper respect, and the ability to convey the facts of someone’s life. I’m not that person.
However, I was reading through various reports and I found one on examiner.com. It read in part, “Clark was in many way the original Ryan Seacrest….” No disrespect is meant to Mr. Seacrest, but what?!
Dick Clark in many ways shaped music for generations. His contributions to music are legendary. Through American Bandstand he helped introduce new musical act to America at large. It is my belief that he helped popularize many artists. Ryan Seacrest has yet to reach that level of importance. The media being what it is today, it’s all too possible that no one person will have the enormous reach Dick Clark enjoyed.
Outside of music, he started Dick Clark Productions, where he produce his shows, and many others. He, along with Ed McMahon, hosted TV’s Bloopers & Practical Jokes, where he gave viewers a backstage peek at the production of many of television’s hit shows. He hosted Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve special, with the help of Ryan Seacrest for the past several years. He also hosted the Pyramid game shows.
Many of my generation, and those preceding mine have seen Dick Clark as a fixture on television. As he aged, his presence may have diminished, but had not entirely vanished, until today. Hopefully his influence will continue to guide those who come after him. While no one will be able to replace him, the baton has been passed to a newer generation.
So for now, a nation will mourn. To Dick Clark…”so long.”