Thursday, April 19, 2012


Marion Pellicano Ambrose
Dick Clark, America’s odest teenager, died Wednesday at the age of 82.

Clark was the creator of “American Bandstand”,  one of network TV's longest-running series as part of ABC's daytime lineup from 1957 to 1987. It later aired for a year in syndication and briefly on the USA Network. Over the years, it introduced stars ranging from Buddy Holly to Madonna. The show's status as an American cultural institution was solidified when Clark donated Bandstand's original podium and backdrop to the Smithsonian Institution.

Clark joined "Bandstand" in 1956 after Bob Horn, who'd been the host since its 1952 debut, was fired. Under Clark's guidance, it went from a local Philadelphia show to a national phenomenon.

 Clark also was known for hosting the $25,000 Pyramid,  TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes, the American Music Awards, and of course, Rockin New Years Eve each year from Times Square. He missed only one year, 2004 when he suffered a stroke. He returned the following year in a limited capacity, slurring his speech, but cheerful and youthful looking as ever!
 I remember watching a program on TV about 2 Autistic Savant women who just adored Dick Clark. Their whole life centered around watching American Bandstand, then the $25,000 Pyramid. They wrote to Dick Clark and had pictures of him all over their apartment. When the Pyramid finally went off the air, the girls were devistated. They went into a deep depression. Family members were so worried, they contacted Clark and arranged for a visit. The girls were thrilled and Clark was just wonderful. He called them regularly after that.

When Clark had his stroke, again the girls were devistated. When he returned home, he allowed them to visit again. No cameras or other people were allowed in his room but the girls and his wife. They came out crying, but happy. I feel so sorry about how they will react to Clark’s death!

Dick Clark was a huge part of America’s history. He should be remembered as the pioneer for music, racial equality, and positive thinking that he truly was.

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