Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dick Clark, R.I.P.

New Year's Eve will never be the same again.

Well another icon from my childhood is gone and it leaves me wondering who is left? Dick Clark was there for as long as I can remember. Dick Clark never seemed to age, he always had a very youthful appearance. When I was a kid I would dance in front of the television every Saturday afternoon to the pop tunes on American Bandstand. A studio full of teenagers would dance to the music and then rate the song, based on good it was to dance to and listen to. “I give it a 7” or an 8 or 9 even a 10. I would try to guess how the different songs would be rated. I tried to pick up some dance moves. I thought I was doing great, so did Dick Clark (in my mind), but my mother would walk in and say, “You have two left feet,” just to keep me grounded.

  (When I mentioned to my daughter that I was doing a blog on Dick Clark and started the story about American Bandstand, she replied, "Yes I know, you had two left feet." I said, "Oh you read my blog! Wait I didn't post it yet!" She said that shows you how often you have told the story! I really get no respect!)

When Guy Lombardo died in 1977, New Year’s Eve was up for grabs. My mother was so upset about Guy. Watching Guy Lombardo on New Year’s Eve, with all the family, was a tradition in our household. Guy’s band would play all the old songs until it was time for the ball to drop in Times Square. Once all the hugging and kissing and saying Happy New Year was over, my Aunt Mary handed us all pots and spoons to go bang outside. No Guy Lombardo meant no more New Year’s Eve. But, Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve was on another channel. It started in 1974 and so, when New Year’s Eve rolled around, we ended up putting him on. Actually, the younger members of my family, who had been dancing with Dick Clark every week, preferred his up to date popular music to the old tunes of Guy Lombardo. The show ended up lasting 38 years, compared to Guy Lombardo’s 21 years. Ryan Seacrest has hosted Dick Clarks Rockin’ New Year’s Eve the past few years and I guess he will be taking over from here on in. I can’t help, but be sad at the loss of Dick Clark. He was part of my childhood memories and New Year’s family celebrations.

I know Dick Clark lived a long, fulfilling, successful life. He has brought joy to generations of people over many decades. Yesterday I saw a young man tweet and ask, “Who is Dick Clark?” It made me even sadder to think how quickly he will be replaced and forgotten. I guess that’s to be expected. No one lives forever, not even the ever young looking Dick Clark. Time caught up with him in the end.  He will be missed by all of us who do know who Dick Clark is because we grew up with him.

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