The Death of an American Icon

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

April 18, 2012 long time television maverick Dick Clark passed away at the age of 82 from a massive heart attack. The heart of New Year’s Eve, Dick Clark’s career spanned sixty years within the entertainment industry. As a host of multiple successful shows such as popular programs as American Bandstand and The $10,000 Pyramid, Dick Clark gave the public so many memories associated with his programming.

American Bandstand, the program in which Dick Clark’s popularity exploded, was known best for inviting teenagers on to dance, playing records and introducing artists to national audiences such as Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly and Chubby Checker.

Dick Clark and the producers at ABC would change formats to include live performances a few years later, introducing America to music artists like Ike and Tina Turner, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, and Simon and Garfunkel. In 2002 many of the groups returned to celebrate the 50th Anniversary and success of the show, making it the longest running variety show in TV history.

Dick Clark established in 1972 what is infamously known as Dick Clark’s Rockin New Year’s Eve, hosting the biggest party in the world in New York City’s Time Square. Millions of people would attend or watch from home, the dropping of the New Year’s Ball and celebrate the holiday. Each year top musical acts and family programming are scheduled for this ritualistic event, bringing incredible ratings to the networks hosting the event.

As Dick Clark’s heath declined, “America’s Oldest Living Teenager” passed the torch to media personality Ryan Seacrest who hosts Fox’s American Idol. Dick Clark is an American Icon who will be forever known for his personality, shows, and great moments and forever live on as a part of television history. This December 31st marks the 40th anniversary of Dick Clark’s Rockin New Year’s Eve.

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