I was sad to learn this afternoon that a major hero in my life passed away. My wife texted me that Dick Clark had died. We owe so much to Dick Clark as a music impressario. We grew up watching and dancing with Dick Clark on American Bandstand. My favorite part of his show was when they would choose audience members and let them rate the latest 45 r.p.m. records. The classic response was, “It’s got a good beat and you can dance to it.”
Much will be written and remembered about Dick Clark in the ensuing days. He deserves much high praise for his vision for music broadcasting, his production efforts and his passionate enthusiasm for music. I loved how courageous he was in spite of his past stroke on national television every New Year’s Eve.
My warmest personal memory of Dick Clark took place one week night in 1976 at Bloomingdale’s in Stamford, Ct. My wife, my sister-in-law and I went to buy his book, Rock, Roll & Remember and get it signed by him. We never anticipated we would get such an exclusive audience with Dick Clark at Bloomingdales. It was about 90 minutes before closing time when we found Dick Clark’s signing area in the store. We couldn’t believe our luck. Hardly anyone was there. The majority of book purchasers and fans had been in earlier that evening to see him. He was so cordial to us, we found him to be a very genuine and down to earth person. He let me talk with him for over an hour. He was genuinely interested in my college disk jockey experience and what I knew about music. We spoke at length about his shows American Top 40, S10,000 Pyramid, and the music broadcasting field. He was an engaging speaker and I listened to him intently, working actively to keep my hero-worship at bay. Dick Clark treated me as an equal, a fellow broadcaster (I was doing a Sunday radio show on WVOF-FM 88.5 at Fairfield University at that time). He thanked us for stopping in and for buying his book. He had a great smile. We considered ourselves fortunate that we got such quality time with Dick Clark.
Rock and Roll Heaven has the premier music host now. I can hear the echoes of American Bandstand playing as I write…
God Bless You Dick Clark. Our hearts go out to your spirit. We send your lovely wife and family our deep sympathy and prayers.
- Dick Clark Dead at 82 (abcnews.go.com)