In recent years, as I watched the ball drop on New Years Eve with Dick Clark, I wondered if it would be the last. The pop culture icon, who will always be remembered as "America's oldest teenager," seemed to never age until recent years.
It was evident after his stroke in 2004 and made me so sad to watch the changing times through Dick Clark's deteriorating health and his struggle to simply speak. Since then, I had so much more respect for Dick Clark as a person for putting himself out there instead of going into hiding, although it was very difficult to watch. He so loved his place in our lives!
As a lover of pop culture in general, it is my opinion that Dick Clark was the pop culture king of our times . . . an entertainment innovator extraordinnaire and super media mogul!
In the beginning, he landed a gig as a DJ at WFIL in Philadelphia in 1952 with a show he called "Dick Clark's Caravan of Music." Little did he know that he was about to change pop music as we knew it back in the day . . . or did he? Dick Clark broke into the big time, hosting Bandstand, an afternoon dance show for teenagers.
American Bandstand was born in 1957 as ABC took over the show with the whole country watching. The show gave many new music artists their first exposure to national audiences . . . anyone who was or was going to be anyone in the music industry showed up on the show, launching the careers of too many megastars to mention. He was a starmaker who brought the music AND the performers to the masses and we loved him for it! American Bandstand ran from 1957 to 1987.
How many of us learned all the latest dance trends watching the show? I know I did!!
Dick Clark Productions formed in 1963 and cranked out one hit show after another with the "$25,000 "Pyramid" to "TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes" to the "American Music Awards."
In 1972, Dick Clark became synonymous with one of the biggest nights of the year and we have celebrated New Years Eve with him since.
Ryan Seacrest, who has taken the lead in recent years, will be ushering the new year for the first time without his mentor.
"Ryan Seacrest tells TMZ ... the countdown to 2013 will be a special one, because he'll be honoring his late friend and mentor ... the great Dick Clark." Read more here.
This year, ABC is set to air “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve: The 40th Anniversary Party,” a two-hour celebration of the show, which will lead into “Dick Clark’s Primetime New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest” . . . but it will never be the same again.
For now, Dick Clark. So long!