Although my kids will sadly remember Dick Clark from his post-stroke days, struggling for coherence alongside Ryan Seacrest, he was much more than that in a career that cut across 8 decades. The Dick Clark I grew up with was a force of nature – he started well before my time as the man who brought rock’n’roll to the mainstream, spent 31 years as the host of the amazing American Bandstand, started an empire including American Music Awards, the Pyramid game shows, Bloopers, and so on. And of course he made New Year’s Eve a television event with Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve.
His pioneering spirit broke through race and gender boundaries, and as Little Richard said ‘he would look beyond labels and stereotypes and could see if you had it and gave you a chance … and if you didn’t have it he would STILL give you a chance – that is just the sort of person he was’.
While his ability to be everywhere and remain ‘America’s oldest teenager’ was greatly diminished the last several years, his work behind the scenes never let up. He will be missed!