Dick Clark

Dick Clark was an American radio and television personality. He was a cultural icon best known for hosting American Bandstand. The show was responsible for introducing Rock and Roll to many Americans. It gave many new musicians a chance to be seen by the nation. It was also among one of the first television shows to feature both blacks and whites performing on the same stage and holding an audience that was not segregated.

Clark had humble beginnings at the start of his career in 1945. He began working in the mailroom at WRUN, a morning radio show in New York. He quickly moved up as he filled in for other people and would eventually find himself working in television stations. In 1952, he had begun working as a DJ for a radio station, WFIL, in Pennsylvania that also had an affiliated television station by the same call sign. In 1952, WFIL began broadcasting a show called “Bob Horn’s Bandstand.” Clark often filled in for Horn when he would go on vacation, but ended up taking over the show after Horn had been arrested for drunk driving. The show would later become known as “American Bandstand.”

Clark’s charisma and non-threatening image really helped the show take off. He had a way of communicating that spoke to the teenagers of the time and their parents as well. It was for this reason that parents were able to be introduced to rock and roll music during a time when it was thought of as “the devil’s music.” By 1958, American Bandstand would have more than 20 million viewers and nearly granted any artists a large sales boost for appearing on the show. About one year later, the show would have an estimated 50 million viewers. At the beginning, Clark had been viewed as a negative influence on young people because of his association with rock and roll, but he didn’t let that stop him. This was during a time when Elvis Presley was also being given a hard time because of his Rock and Roll music. Obviously, many Americans came around to enjoying his show and being able to relate with the younger generation. It was commented later that “[Clark] was big. He was the biggest thing in America at that time. He was bigger than the president.”

Over two-thirds of the people who had been initiated into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame had their television debut on American Bandstand. The other third of people most likely debuted on the other shows that the network had produced. Clark recognized that his own talent was in bringing out the talent in others and showing them to the world. He said, “I hope someday that someone will say that in the beginning stages of the birth of the music of the fifties, though I didn’t contribute in terms of creativity, I helped keep it alive.” We certainly recognize his importance during those turbulent times in helping create a youth culture and bringing about understanding during an age of blind ignorance. We dedicate a star to this showman and put him on display as he has done for some many other people.

View or Dedicate a star near Dick Clark's Star at YourStarForever.com

Posted on May 25, 2015 by Ryan Hart

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