Dick Clark, 82. America’s Oldest Teenager Dies. Host/Producer of American Bandstand, New Year’s Rockin’ Eve and many more.

Dick Clark Timeline by DJ Mr Ed Mullen (April 2012)
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Born Richard Wagstaff Clark on November 30, 1929 in Bronxville, New York.

Host, “Cactus Dick and the Santa Fe Riders” (TV)

Graduated from Syracuse University

Married (1) Barbara Mallery

Les Elgart records the instrumental ,“ Bandstand Boogie”, written by his band-mate, Charles Albertine. The host of Philadelphia’s teen dance show, Bob Horn, uses it, as the show’s theme song.

Dick Clark becomes the host, “Bandstand” on Philadelphia’s WFIL-TV.

Dick Clark Productions formed. A entertainment power-house.
It produced 30 series, 250 specials and more than 20 movies.


– “Top Ten” Records of the upcoming week. Clark standing behind a podium or bandstand would announce the movement of the hit records, up and down the charts. Dramatically, Clark revealed the titles.

Rate -A- Record
– Two audience members would listen to a pair of new records and score them between 35 and 98. Many would use the famous phrase “ IT’S GOT A GOOD BEAT AND YOU CAN DANCE TO IT”.

– “The Dance Contest” – Viewers mailed in their votes for favorite dances, many time with numbers taped to their backs. Much like voting for “American Idol” and “Dancing With The Stars”.

– Hundreds of career-making moments and debuts for new singers/ bands.

1957 “At The Hop” -AB Going Where The Action Is- (remote broadcast!)

1958 Dancing American Bandstand-style. “I Love You For Sentimental Reasons” by Sam Cooke

1960, The Twist on AB


“American Bandstand” (TV) teen dance show debuts nationally.
-The ABC network changed the program’s name to “American Bandstand”.
-Within four weeks, the program was rated number one.
-Scheduled at 4:00 pm, the show was marketed to teenagers.
-Longest-running variety show, in total from 1957 to 1987
-From 1957 to 1957 it was a daily show (Monday to Friday) in Philadelphia.
-From 1963 – 1987 it was a national weekly show, in Los Angeles.
-Studio announcer and on-camera sidekick, Charlie O’Donnell

Chuck Berry’s “Sweet Little Sixteen” lyric:
“ they’ll be rocking on Bandstand, in Philadelphia PA”

Edward R. Murrow interviews Clark on Murrow’s “Person To Person” about the youth culture in the early days of rock -n-roll, in part due to American Bandstand’s success.

“Caravan Of Stars”. Dick Clark Productions presents: A bus tour of singers/bands with current hit records, performing live with Dick Clark as emcee. Clark, the promoter, could attract top talent for this unconventional and uncomfortable road trip.

“This Is Your Life” (June 24, 1959) Dick Clark tribute. Host: Ralph Edwards. Sponsor: Prell shampoo.
Guests : his mother and father, Frankie Avalon, Fabian, Andy Williams, Connie Francis. His parents describe his depression having lost a brother in World War II. His wife, Barbara Mallery made an appearance.

“The Dick Clark Show” (in NYC) a Saturday night TV show, teen dance show, like Bandstand (in Philadelphia) which aired five days a week.

“This Week” magazine. Sunday column written by Clark, answering teen music questions.

Clark is credited with desegregating some areas of entertainment.
Including presenting African-American performers on national TV.
Also integrating his studio audience (FYI: See “Hairspray”, 1988)
Clark was criticized for the the opposite perception, as well.

Payola Scandal. Clark was called to testify during the Congressional Committee on payola. The pay-to-play music scandal that shook the radio industry. Clark was cleared of wrong-doing and was forced to separate himself from some music interests.

Married (2) Loretta Martin . This name is unintentionally mentioned in the Beatles’ “Get Back”.

ABC-TV hit, “Shindig”, popular bands performing live! (Shindig, 1964-66)

NBC-TV show, “Hulabaloo” . NBC answer to “Shindig” (Hulabaloo, 1965-66)

-“Soul Train” debuts, Don Cornelius host/producer. It aired new programming for 35 years.
This teen dance show featured new songs as the studio audience danced. Also, singing stars and bands were featured performing there hit singles, in almost all cases, lip-syncing. The most popular feature in the show was the Soul Train “Line”, where two rows/lines of dancers separated by the “briefly” featured dancer, who would put on an dancin’ exhibition … for a few seconds. Then, the “line” moved up and the next dancer, in that line, did their moves.
The Diamonds had a 1957 hit record called, “The Stroll” which pre-dates “the line”. The difference is “The Stroll” was set up the same way but had repeating dance steps, where the Soul Train line encouraged free-style moves.

-Over the years, Cornelius disliked the inevitable comparisons with “American Bandstand”.
From 1971-1993, Cornelius was the host. As the genre evolved, he stepped down as host. From 1993 to 2006 the show saw a variety of hosts, in the “Soul Train’s” hip-hop era.

– “Soul Unlimited”. Clark launched a similar program, in 1973, to attempt to draw African-American viewers away from “Soul Train”. It was called, “Soul Unlimited”.
This unsuccessful program aired only a few episodes.


New Year’s Rockin Eve debuts in 1973.
New Year’s Eve was marked by “Auld Lang Syne” played by Guy Lombardo.
From 1929-59, Guy Lombardo played the New Years Eve radio show from the Roosevelt Hotel, NYC. From 1956-76, Lombardo performed “Auld Lang Syne” at midnight, on TV, from the Waldorf Astoria Hotel , NYC.

Once again targeting the youth market, Dick Clark produced a live variety show on New Year’s Eve from 1972-2011. He appeared 38 times appearing as host. Missing only the 1999/2000 Eve, a ABC News millennium special, and 2004/2005 Eve because of his stroke recovery. In 2004, Regis Philbin substitutes as host.
The 2005-2011 programs feature Ryan Seacrest, his protege, as co-host.

The Ball Drop. It is so familiar now, but Dick Clark embraced this odd way to mark midnight of the new year and made it the “moment we’ve all been waiting for”.
In a tall building called “One Time Square”, in Times Square (NYC), the ball first dropped in 1907.

Vinyl: Dick Clark: 20 Years of Rock and Roll. 2-LP set.
A disc jockey favorite. Easy to spot purple / blue graphics on album. At a time when songs were not always easily found in record stores. This collection of hits was a DJ’s treasure chest. For instance, “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison was virtually unavailable anywhere else. “Wooly Bully” “Louie Louie”, “Hang On Sloopy” and “Rock Around The Clock” were solid dance hits. One of the top collections in the vinyl era.

Host, $10,000 Pyramid. ( similar to “Password”, except lots more clues given)
Also, The $20K, $25K, $50K and $100,000 Pyramid as the show grew.
Hosts included Clark (1973-88) , Bill Cullen (1974-79 syndicated) , John Davidson (1991) and Donny Osmond (2002-04) .

American Music Awards : Dick Clark invented the AMA’s in 1973. These awards are determined by a poll of music buying public. Unlike the Grammys which are decided by music industry voting. Since 2005, the AMA’s have tallied on-line ballots.

“America’s Oldest Living Teenager”. Dick Clark’s popular nickname.

Hollywood Walk Of Fame. Dick Clark gets “his” star.

Barry Manilow, in concert, explaining and performing “Bandstand Boogie”.

Lyrics to “Bandstand Boogie” (lyrics: Manilow, Sussman / music: Albertine)

We’re goin’ hoppin’, we’re goin’ hoppin’ today
Where things are poppin’ the Philadelphia way
We’re gonna drop in on all the music they play
On the bandstand

We’re goin’ swingin’, we’re gonna swing in the crowd
And we’ll be clingin’ and floatin’ high as a cloud
The phones are ringin’, my mom and dad are so proud
I’m on Bandstand

And I’ll jump and hey, I may even show ’em my handstand
Because I’m on, because I’m on the American Bandstand
When we dance real slow I’ll show all the guys in the grandstand
What a swinger I am, I am on American Bandstand

We’re goin’ hoppin’, we’re goin’ hoppin’ today
Where things are poppin’ the Philadelphia way
We’re gonna drop in on all the music they play
On the Bandstand

Bandstand, Bandstand, Bandstand
Bandstand, Bandstand, Bandstand

Hey I’m makin’ my mark, gee, this joint is jumpin’
They made such a fuss just to see us arrive
Hey it’s Mr. Dick Clark, what a place you’ve got here
Swell spot, the music’s hot here, best in the east
Give it at least a seventy five

Now for all you Joe’s, here goes my American handstand
Because I’m on, because I’m on the American Bandstand
As we dance real slow, I’m showin’ the guys on the grandstand
That I like my girl but I love American Bandstand

The singers’ croonin’, he ain’t the greatest but gee
My baby’s swoonin’ in front of all of TV
So if you tune in, you’ll see my baby and me
On the Bandstand

And now we’re hoppin’ and we’ll be hoppin’ all day
Where things are poppin’ the Philadelphia way
And you can drop in on all the music they play
On the Bandstand

And we’ll rock and roll and stroll on American
Lindy hop and slop, it’s American
Tune in, I’m on, turn on, I’m in, I’m on
Today, Bandstand .

The theme song. Originally “Bandstand Boogie” by Les Elgart, a big band leader. Elgart’s career was revived with his “Hooked On Swing” series of records.

Manilow’s version was “American Bandstand”’s theme song from 1977-87. Manilow and song-writing partner, Bruce Sussman wrote original lyrics to it and included it on Manilow’s 1977 hit album, “Tryin’ To Get The Feeling”.

Married (3) Karen Wigton

Donna Summer. The only other person to host “American Bandstand”. It occurred during her promotion of the movie, “ Thank God It’s Friday”, in which Summer appears.
DISCO ERA on AB: Boogie Fever
DISCO ERA “Shake Your Body Down” 1979. Jacksons Day on AB. Jumpsuits. Comedy at 2:55. Smooth Jackson Five dancing.

Book. “Rock, Roll Remember” by Dick Clark and Richard Robinson.

In the 1980’s, Clark hosted programs on three different networks, simultaneously.
ABC- “American Bandstand”, CBS – “Pyramid” and NBC – “Bloopers”.

MTV debuts.
August 1st, 1981 MTV begins broadcasting, on cable TV, (that made it a ‘cable-cast’) with a video of the song “ Video Killed The Radio Star” by the Buggles.

“TV’s Bloopers & Practical Jokes”
Hosted by Dick Clark and Ed McMahon, co-produced by Johnny Carson and Dick Clark’s production companies , “Bloopers” was assured a foothold in NBC’s schedule. It was a mix of “Candid Camera” of years before and “Punked” from years after.
ABC launched a copycat program, “ Foul-Ups, Bleeps & Blunders” . (“Bloopers”, 1982-1998) Dedicated to Kermit Schafer who collected film/video “bloopers”.

Ed McMahon .
– McMahon worked at Philadelphia television station , WCAU-TV, where McMahon met Dick Clark. Clark moved to Philadelphia in 1952. Clark worked at Philadelphia’s WFIL from 1952-64 on American Bandstand.
– From 1957-62 (“Who Do You Trust”, TV game show) McMahon worked with Johnny Carson, before they took over “The Tonight Show” in 1962. (Carson/McMahon, 30 years 1962-1992)
– “Star Search” talent show, hosted by Ed McMahon (1983-95).
– “TV’s Bloopers & Practical Jokes”. McMahon and Clark co-hosted “Bloopers” from 1982- 1998.

30th Anniversary Special for American Bandstand. See 11 episodes on YouTube.

Madonna. In her debut appearance she responds to Clark’s question, what is her ambition. She replied, “ to rule the world”. In many ways, this prophesy came true. In pop music, since her first album and hit single, “Holiday” Madonna has become the most successful female artist of all-time, by topping many Billboard charts.

Dick Clark guests on Crooke & Chase talk show (mid-80’s). Fashions of AB. See Little Richard at 5:55.

“HAIRSPRAY”, loosely-based on American Bandstand. John Waters’ film.
Starring many familiar faces making cameos. It made Ricky Lake a star.
2002 – Broadway musical, “Hairspray”, wins 8 Tony Awards
2008 – “Hairspray” (starring John Travola as the Ricky Lake character!) becomes one of the top grossing musicals of all-time (4th highest musical film in US history)

Hall of Fame, Broadcasting inductee.

Hall Of Fame, Rock ‘n’ Roll inductee.

Hall Of Fame: Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, inductee.

“American Bandstand: 50th Anniversary Special.
“Guinness Book of World Records, says Clark, American Bandstand is the
“longest running variety show in TV history”.

Suffered a stroke. “New Year’s Rockin Eve”, 2004.
In a pinch, the show was hosted by colleague Regis Philbin, who was still busy with “Live with Regis and Kelly” and “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire -special version-.

Ryan Seacrest, American Idol host. Now, co-hosts New Years Rockin Eve with the recovering Clark, his protege. Seacrest is executive producer of many shows.

Dick Clark Died. April 18, 2012 age 82. In California hospital. Heart attack.

Ryan Seacrest: “I idolized him” (host , “American Idol”)

Chubby Checker: “the king of the DJ’s died today” (“The Twist”)