Wednesday, April 18, 2012

RIP Dick Clark

Dick Clark will be truly missed. He was instrumental in getting music out there to the masses - introducing the world to some of what are now the most famous names in music, along with plenty other acts who were deserving of recognition.
Clark endured accusations that he was in with the squares, with critic Lester Bangs defining Bandstand as "a leggily acceptable euphemism of the teenage experience." In a 1985 interview, Clark acknowledged the complaints. "But I knew at the time that if we didn't make the presentation to the older generation palatable, it could kill it."

"So along with Little Richard and Chuck Berry and the Platters and the Crows and the Jayhawks ... the boys wore coats and ties and the girls combed their hair and they all looked like sweet little kids into a high school dance," he said.

But Clark defended pop artists and artistic freedom, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame said in an online biography of the 1993 inductee. He helped give black artists their due by playing original R&B recordings instead of cover versions by white performers, and he condemned censorship.

He always seemed cheerful, regardless of the circumstances and seemed to revel in being always busy.

Not only was he a shrewd businessman who made the most of his opportunities and translated a job on American Bandstand into a multibillion dollar media empire. At the same time, he was always a highlight of the New Year's Eve show - and his successor Ryan Seacrest can only hope to have half the career that Clark did (and that would be pretty damn successful too).

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