The announcement at around 4 PM yesterday of the death of music entrepreneur Dick Clark hit like a shock wave to millions of Americans, many of them senior citizens, who “grew up” with Dick Clark from 1956 on, when he became the icon of young America, and somehow, never seemed to age, until he had his stroke in 2004.
His death brought back memories of what it was to be a teenager, a young man, and to focus on the growth of rock and roll and other popular music, which he advertised and promoted for more than 40 years on American Bandstand.
His death made us realize that our youth is past us, and that it will never return, as the fans of Dick Clark age!
Clark gave us the American Music Awards, and many television shows, He won numerous Golden Globe Awards and Daytime Emmy Awards, and introduced us to each New Year through his New Year’s Eve countdown from 1972 through 2011, with the exception of 2004, when he was recovering from his stroke.
He was a wonderful human being, genuine in his warmth and friendliness, and started many careers. He also promoted the development of African American musicians in a time when race still divided the music world, but he made the transition to integration at his Philadelphia and Los Angeles dance crowds on American Bandstand seem natural and normal.
His effect on American culture was massive, and he will always be remembered for his contributions, as one of the most prominent personalities in television history.
We will not see his kind again, and we have lost some of our innocence with his death at age 82. May he rest in peace!