Sunday , December 3 2023
Needless to say, New Year's Eve will never be the same without Dick Clark.

Dick Clark Dies at 82 – Bye, Bye, Mr. American Pie

Dick Clark never seemed to age and, to many of us, he was the eternal teenager. Transfixed as America is with youth and its culture, Clark seemed to transcend generational boundaries and appeal to an audience across decades and musical genres. He remained until his death a beloved figure; more importantly, he leaves a musical legacy that will not be forgotten.

If you mention American Bandstand to people of a certain age (over 45), they will remember fondly watching a show that brought their favorite musical acts to TV. Bandstand lasted 30 years (1957-1987) and brought diverse acts to the viewing public like Buddy Holly, Michael Jackson, and Madonna. I know as a kid that I took for granted that when I turned on the TV on a Saturday morning that Dick would be there, and the funny thing is that our parents liked Dick (and by default the groups and singers appearing on his show) almost as much as we did.

If Bandstand wasn’t enough, Clark also founded a production company and had a hand in making many other hit shows. He also brought to us a wonderful new concept: Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. This show also became a historic broadcast each year, finally giving the kids some alternative to their parents listening to Guy Lombardo. It was immediately a hit and certified his legacy as a rock and roll pioneer and ultimately a legend.

In later years Dick had the stroke (2004) and that impaired his speaking ability, but he bounced back and hosted the New Year’s Eve show each year with able assistance from American Idol’s Ryan Seacrest. Since there are many other shows that have tried to be like Clark’s New Year’s show over the years, its impact may have been diminished, but I still tuned every year to see Dick before, during, and after the ball in NYC’s Times Square dropped.

Needless to say, New Year’s Eve will never be the same without Dick Clark. The man changed television and rock and roll—not a bad legacy. He was also a genuine good guy and well liked by all, and you could tell that his musical guests on Bandstand were as happy to sign that wall as they were to appear on the show.

So bye, bye, Mr. American Pie. Rest in peace, Dick Clark.

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About Victor Lana

Victor Lana's stories, articles, and poems have been published in literary magazines and online. His books 'A Death in Prague' (2002), 'Move' (2003), 'The Savage Quiet September Sun: A Collection of 9/11 Stories' (2005), and 'Like a Passing Shadow' (2009) are available in print, online, and as e-books. 'Heartbeat and Other Poems,' 'If the Fates Allow: New York Christmas Stories,' 'Garden of Ghosts,' and 'Flashes in the Pan' are available exclusively on Amazon. His newest books 'The Stranger from the Sea' and 'Love in the Time of the Coronavirus' are available as e-books and in print. After winning the National Arts Club Award for Poetry while attending Queens College, he concentrated on writing mostly fiction and non-fiction prose until the recent publication of his new book of poetry, 'Heartbeat and Other Poems' (now available on Amazon). He has worked as a faculty advisor to school literary magazines and enjoys the creative process as a writer, editor, and collaborator. He has been with 'Blogcritics Magazine' since July 2005 and has written many articles on a variety of topics; previously co-head sports editor, he now is a Culture and Society and Flash Ficition editor. Having traveled extensively, Victor has visited six continents and intends to get to Antarctica someday where he figures a few ideas for new stories await him.

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