On The Passing Of Dick Clark

Is it possible? Was Dick Clark the last survivor from the live black and white era?

Dick Clark has died.

I met him once. It was at 95PEN (WPEN) on Walnut Street in Center City, Philadelphia. He once worked there. Me too. He was cordial.

I also did a talkback satellite interview with him one New Years Eve on Channel 8. He was in Times Square. It was promotion for the affiliates. Nothing worth noting.

I’ve watched him all my life. I was a little young to watch Bandstand myself, but I was around when it was on and caught it in passing. There was also the Beech-Nut Show (It’s flavor-ific) on Saturday nights and Where The Action Is weekday afternoons.

What you saw of Dick on-the-air was important, but his professional life was much more complex. A very successful businessman, he owned most of the shows he was on! He also owned a lot he wasn’t on including a few made for TV awards shows.

I’ve heard he was less than happy he was only an employee on Pyramid.

Dick Clark was very interesting as a performer. He was exceptionally consistent. There are no memorable Dick Clark moments because his performance had no highs or lows! He was always the same.

That being said what he did was very good. There are few who came close. And he worked fast! Dick was not a “Take 2” guy. Doing voice tracks or ins-and-outs with few takes saves a lot of money over the long run.

Dick was very wealthy. Very, very wealthy. He watched and earned every penny.

My friend says Dick was really the successor to Gary Moore. Dick’s obvious successor is Ryan Seacrest who possesses the same skillset.

Is it possible? Was Dick Clark the last survivor from the live black and white era?

12 thoughts on “On The Passing Of Dick Clark”

  1. Geoff, I remember his visit to our 95PEN studio on Walnut Street in Philly very well. I thanked him for coming to do the show and he, very humbly, responded by thanking me for having him…continuing with how grateful he was to 95PEN for the 950 Club which was, what he said, the prelude to American Bandstand. He said if it wasn’t for WPEN he would not be where he was. I was impressed with how he was so warm and sincere. It was quite a day meeting this broadcast giant!

    1. Here’s a spot where having this blog is valuable to me. Mariana worked with me at WPEN. Her memory of the day is much more vivid than mine. Yes, Dick did get his big break at WPEN stepping in for someone with an alcohol abuse problem.

      1. Hey Geoff,
        He came in to do our Philadelphia Forum show with Reggie Bryant. It was 1976 – we were still downtown Philly. He was there to promote his book, “Rock, Roll & Remember”…and his wife-to-be, Kari was with him (they married the following year)…I remember standing at the top of that big flight of steps on the third floor right after our receptionist buzzed me to tell me he had arrived, and as he climbed the stairs, I stood there thinking…OMG, here comes Dick Clark…he immediately put me at ease with his kind manner… like I said, it was quite a day!

  2. Have you ever seen anyone as proficient as Dick in everything he tried — emcee, producer, businessman? He had a rare, instinctive understanding of what would become mass appeal. His on-air work was always smooth and consistent, and avoided the emotional highs and lows or needless negativity.

  3. I think Merv Griffin was a similar type – performer, businessman, excellent predictor of audience taste. I was never a huge Bandstand fan, but it’s clear Dick Clark played a tremendous role in the development of a lot of music careers. It was sad to see him on the New Year’s Eve shows after his stroke, but it was clear that it meant a lot to him to be there.

  4. Geoff, though I am 38, I have watch Dick Clark in some fashion or another in the 80’s…Mainly though Pyramid and the Bloopers/Practical Jokes shows with Ed McMahon. His laugh was also very distinctive especially when he got caught in some bloopers of his own…like this one for example from The $20,000 Pyramid

  5. Dick Clark was the consummate professional, husband, and gentleman.
    As Patty said, it does beg research, but his loss is great, as was the recent loss of Mike Wallace.
    He will be missed.
    *salute* – so long

  6. Geoff? PLEASE don’t compare Ryan Seacrest to him. (Yes, I know you work for a FOX affiliate, so that kind of thing is expected sometimes.) Ryan Seacrest will NEVER have the class in which Dick Clark had.

    R.I.P. Mister Clark! <:(

  7. Let me tell you something about Merv Griffin-he was the cheapest sob! He owned radio stations in CT and the working conditions were sickening. Ryan Seacrest is milk toast and that’s it. There is absolutely no one original anymore except for Howard Stern.

  8. I have Gsn and they have playing the pyramid game show for a few years. Dick Clark was
    A great host. I line Ryan Seacrest he is a great host keeps the
    show going and seems to put everyone at ease.

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