Dirk Clark died after suffering a massive heart attack. Dirk Clark who famous as a music and entertainment pioneer dies at age of 82 for heart attack after long battle with health issues since 2004. R.I.P. Dirk Clark!!!!!
Dick Clark, America’s enduring teenager, dies at age 82, leaving a legacy as a music and entertainment pioneer
Dick Clark united television and rock ‘n’ roll and created a legend in American Bandstand.
Dick Clark, whose “American Bandstand” made him rich, famous, influential and sometimes controversial by marrying rock ‘n’ roll with television, died Wednesday morning at the age of 82.
His agent, Paul Shefrin, said he suffered a massive heart attack. He had struggled with health issues since suffering a a serious stroke in 2004.
Before then he was often called “America’s oldest living teenager” because of his perpetual and almost eerily youthful look.
“I can’t imagine our world without Dick Clark,” said Bruce “Cousin Brucie” Morrow, the long-time radio host now on SiriusXM. “You’d just look at him — that face. I never thought we’d lose him.”
But behind Clark’s boyish, all-American look, he was one of the canniest music and media moguls of the late 20th century — starting with the way he cross-marketed the two biggest pop culture phenomena of the past 60 years, rock ‘n’ roll and television.
“The passing of Dick Clark removes one of the largest foundation stones of the entire pop music industry for the latter half of the 20th century,” said longtime friend Kal Rudman, publisher of “Friday Morning Quarterback.”
A Mount Vernon, N.Y., native who got his start as as radio deejay and TV weatherman, Clark inherited a local show called “Bandstand” from the popular Bob Horn on Philadelphia’s WFIL in 1955.
While other local TV shows featured teenagers dancing to popular music, Clark took it national when ABC starting airing up “American Bandstand” on Aug. 5, 1957.
“That move is what put rock ‘n’ roll into America’s living room,” said Morrow. “Dick Clark was the key to everything that followed.”
Clark was an unlikely standard-bearer for early rock ‘n’ roll, which built much of its reputation on the rebellious attitude and daring style of artists like Elvis Presley and Little Richard.
Clark was white bread, a totally unthreatening guy who could have been barbecuing hamburgers on the grill next door.
His critics have charged he also promoted blandness on his show, pushing “teen idols” like Fabian and Bobby Rydell, who were widely viewed by fans as a safe substitute for the harder-edged music of Jerry Lee Lewis or Chuck Berry.
Clark always denied he favored watered-down music. His defenders note he gave early exposure to artists like James Brown and his tours were among the first to integrate venues in the South.
But his wholesome image unquestionably served him well when he was questioned in the payola scandals of 1959-1960.
He survived those scandals, which ruined deejays like Alan Freed and scared many radio stations into putting a tighter leash on their music and their hosts.
Clark survived by promising to behave himself — and it didn’t hurt that he never promoted the music’s wilder side.
“Parents trusted him,” said Morrow. “And so did the kids. He was the bridge.”
Glenn Morgan, who created the “Dick Clark National Music Countdown” with Clark in 1981, was among those who said Wednesday that Clark’s demeanor and approach were genuine and that he was simply a smart, hard-working craftsman.
“He was the real deal,” said Morgan. “The same on the air as he was off. He was a gentleman and a consummate professional who understood what he had to do and was meticulous about getting it right.”
While “Bandstand” never had multimillions of listeners, its national reach made it extremely influential in the music business.
Spins on “Bandstand” could almost guarantee a hit, and most major artists appeared there, to lip-synch a tune or say hello. The show’s first national telecast featured a rare interview with Elvis.
As “Bandstand” wound down, finally ending in 1989, Clark hosted the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, produced TV shows like “The $10,000 Pyramid” and launched the iconic “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.”
Ryan Seacrest, to whom Clark passed the “New Year’s Eve” host torch, called Clark “ one of the greatest influences in my life.
“He was smart, charming, funny and always a true gentleman. He was a remarkable host and businessman and left a rich legacy to television audiences around the world. We will all miss him.”
Before the stroke, Clark said in 2003, one of the highlights of his year was coming to Times Square to host the New Year’s Eve show, then going to P.J. Clarke’s for a celebratory hamburger.
In recent years he made increasingly shorter cameo appearances with Seacrest on the show.
The Daytime Emmys honored Clark with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994. He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1990, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993 and Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame in 1993.
His syndicated radio countdown and retrospective shows are still heard on stations like WCBS-FM (101.1) in New York, which is paying tribute to Clark all day Thursday.
Morrow said he planned to devote his Wednesday night SiriusXM show to memories and phone calls about Clark.
Clark is survived by his third wife, Kari, two sons and a daughter. (David Hinckley – NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)