Today In Pop Music History (11-30-2015)

REMEMBERING
THE WORLD’S OLDEST TEENAGER


When we needed someone to bring a new fad of music called rock and roll into our living rooms, he delivered.
 
Dick Clark was born 86 years ago Monday. He was 82 when he died April 18, 2012. Here’s one of the better tributes to him from that day…
 
 
And here is my tribute/obit to him from that time in its entirety…
 
SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA (RTDP) — Dick Clark, the legendary TV and radio personality icon known as “the world’s oldest teenager” and who thrilled at least two generations of people for over 54 years, died of a heart attack today (April 18, 2012). He was 82. According to Wikipedia, the heart attack happened after a medical procedure at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica.
 
Dick Clark brought a new fad of popular music called rock and roll into America’s living rooms in 1957 with his most famous TV show, “American Bandstand.” He would host “Bandstand” for over 30 years. Among his many other TV shows were “Where The Action Is,”  “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” “TV’s Bloopers And Practical Jokes” and “The $25,000 Pyramid.” 
 
He was also the driving force behind TV shows like “The American Music Awards,” “The Golden Globes” and “The Academy Of Country Music Awards.” 
 
The list of awards and achievements Dick Clark is attached to is endless but here’s the more notable ones: He’s won four Emmy Awards, one Peabody Award and one Daytime Emmy Lifetime 

Achievement Award.  He’s been inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the National Radio Hall of Fame, the Broadcasting Magazine Hall Of Fame, The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame and the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame.
According to writer Fred Bronson, Dick Clark became the first personality to host a top-ranked TV series on each of the three major networks (ABC, NBC and CBS) at the same time.
 
Clark overcame a stroke in 2004 and learned how to talk all over again. He made it back alongside Ryan Seacrest for “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” on December 31, 2005. He’d been part of that New Year’s Eve TV show since 1972.
 
Clark’s legacy goes back to the 1950’s. Starting in 1956, he’d been hosting a local Philadelphia-based TV show that critics said would never work. He’d prove the critics wrong when that TV show displaying teenagers dancing to rock and roll music, “American Bandstand,” debuted on national TV on August 5, 1957. Over the years, “Bandstand” would have hundreds of singers visit, lip-synch to their latest hit records, be interviewed by Clark and then sign autographs.
 
Virtually every famous performer imaginable would visit “Bandstand” with the notable exception of Elvis Presley, Rick Nelson, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
 
On the radio, Clark in 1982 kicked off a lookback show at pop music with his weekly weekend show, “Rock, Roll And Remember,” which was also the title of one of autobiographies. He began his own countdown show on Memorial Day weekend, 1981, with “The Dick Clark National Music Survey.”
 
However, it was a suggestion by Clark that would forever change weekend radio countdown show history. Since its birth in July, 1970, “American Top 40,” host Casey Kasem would be recorded to real time for the show’s first year and eight months of existence. That is, the jingles, records and Casey’s voice would all be recorded at once. If there was a mistake, the segment would have to be recorded all over again. Thus, Casey and his staff would have to hear all the records involved again in such segments.
 
When Dick Clark was preparing to fill in for Casey for the March 25, 1972 AT40 show, he was told about how everything would be recorded at once. Essentially, Clark told the AT40 staff that the show would be recorded easier if Casey’s voice tracks were recorded and edited in. Plus, it would sound better. Casey would hear the records he’s introducing and back-selling in his headphones to get the most of out his voice inflections. Clark’s suggestion was followed…and about a year later in 1973, AT40 stopped losing money and instead became a money-maker.
 
Clark was behind at least two major hit records. When a teenage group was trying to hit big with a song called “Do The Bop,” Clark suggested that the group change the song’s title to “At The Hop.” That song would become a huge #1 hit in late 1957 and early 1958 for Danny And The Juniors. Plus, “At The Hop” was the first song used to dance to for a “Bandstand” dance contest.
 
In 1960, Clark was amazed how teenagers would dance to a Hank Ballard dance song that was the B side of “Teardrops On Your Letter.” However, the song was a bit too suggestive and R&B-sounding in Clark’s opinion. He thought the song would be a hit for someone else. Freddy Cannon was suggested. 
 
Instead, that dance song would become a hit for the singer that Clark’s wife gave his stage name to. When Mrs. Clark first saw Ernest Evans, she mentioned that he reminded her of Fats Domino as “sort of a chubby checker.” Thus, “The Twist” by Chubby Checker became a #1 hit, the greatest dance song ever and the #1 song when Casey Kasem counted down the Top 40 hits of the rock era (1955-72) in July, 1972.
 
Dick Clark was also an established actor. Among his more memorable roles were as the murderer in the last Perry Mason TV show in 1966 and as a teacher in the 1960 movie,”Because They’re Young.”
 
When “American Idol” aired Wednesday night, Seacrest began the show by saying, “We can’t begin tonight’s show without acknowledging the passing of a television pioneer and my dear friend, Dick Clark. Without Dick, a show like this would not exist. He will be missed greatly.” 
 
Seacrest pointed to his watch and added, “I know he’s in a better place, saying, ‘Hey let’s get on with this show.’ YOU GOT IT, BOSS!”

TOMORROW:
THE GREATEST BROTHER-SISTER DUO HITS THE TOP
…AND A SCARECROW MOVIE IS REMEMBERED



 

 

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