Thursday, April 19, 2012

Richard Wagstaff Clark (1929-2012)

There are already many tributes on the internet to Dick Clark, who died yesterday at the age of 82. Known throughout his professional life as "America's oldest teenager," he appeared to age little, if at all, as his Saturday afternoon TV dance show grew into an entertainment empire. Or, as he put it more simply:

“I played records, the kids danced, and America watched.”

As a boy growing up outside of Cincinnati, I watched the show only on occasion. My folks were not entirely convinced that "that infernal rock and roll music" (as it was known in our house) was not the downfall of a generation. But I can remember the local shows that were inspired by it, with hosts like Bob Braun and Glenn "Skipper" Ryle. It was also a relief as I was coming of age, to see an alternative to old geezers getting wasted while dancing to Guy Lombardo on New Year's Eve.

Some guys just knew how to stay young at heart. So long, Dick. Rest in peace.

(Of course, you know what this means, don't you?)

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