Now is not the time to debate Dick Clark vs Alan Freed in the history of Rock and Roll. Dick Clark died today, age 82 of a heart attack. Not thinking of New Years Eve or the game shows. Thinking of American Bandstand and Where The Action Is, and how he brought the music to the television. This seems like one hundred years ago, when you could not videotape, DVR, or watch on demand a show on TV. There was no internet or youtube. But there was Dick Clark, showing us what these musicians looked like, and featuring all those kids who showed us the newest dances. Thanks, Dick. It was essential to our teen years. Here are some of the moments I won’t forget.
Big Bopper was on that plane with Buddy Holly. He was a disc jockey with a novelty hit. Should have kept his radio job. Safer.
Not a lot of African American artists getting face time on TV back in the day. Dick featured some of the current greats, including Sam Cooke. There are lots of clips like this that I use to illustrate my point at my class at Columbia College, that white kids can’t clap. The students think I’m weird to say that until they see a couple clips…then they get it.
One of those moments every parent dreaded…when their daughter would see the Killer on American Bandstand….Jerry Lee Lewis. Lord have mercy. The end of western civilization.
Dick had a chat with a little kid named Michael Jackson.
In the 60’s we’d run home in the afternoon to check out Where The Action Is…lip syncing in weird places. Worked for us. Love the Garage Band stuff. Like Music Machine.
The British Invasion was well represented by The Kinks.
And one of the coolest things on TV in 1965…James Brown.
Dick Clark. Thanks for the memories.