After graduating from A.B. Davis high school, Dick Clark attended Syracuse University Majoring in Advertising and minoring in Radio. In 1945 before his college career, he worked at his uncle’s radio station in the mailroom. One day he was asked to fill in for a vacationing weatherman, which led to him later announcing station breaks. While in college, he worked at WOLF-AM, a country music station. He graduated with his degree in 1951 and was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity.
After graduation, he returned to WRUN for a short stay before landing his first Television gig. A show called Cactus Dick and the Santa Fe
Riders*, a country music program.
In 1952, He moved to Drexel Hill, a Philadelphian suburb, and took a job as a DJ for WFIL and used the handle Dick Clark. This radio station was affiliated with a television station that ran a show called Bob Horn’s Bandstand. He would be a substitute host for days that Bob would be off of the show (Pre re-runs it seems.) In 1956, Horn was arrested for a DUI and was fired from the show. On July 9th, 1956, Dick Clark became the shows new host permanently.
In 1957, ABC picked up the show and ran it nationally. The show was renamed American Bandstand and debut on August 5th, 1957 with Dick Clark interviewing Elvis. The show’s success was based around two things, one was Dick Clarks ability to relate with the teenage audience naturally and the way it presented Rock ‘n Roll to parents as non-threatening.
In 1958, the show moved to Saturday night’s line up and was being viewed by 20 million Americans nationwide. Featured artist were almost guaranteed large sales boost after being on the show. Dick Clark was called America’s Youngest Star maker by Ralph Edwards.
In 1964, the show moved from Philadelphia to Los Angeles. It ran every Saturday until the shows end in 1987. It briefly came back in 1989 but it wasn’t long running before cancelation.
With the ongoing fame of American Bandstand, in 1972 Dick Clark launched his New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, a show that ABC still run live in New York every New Year’s Eve. Dick Clark was not the host after 2004 due to his stroke, but in 2005 and the years after
he did co-host. In 2012, we look to see him be honored on New Year’s Eve. Maybe, we might have a hologram appearance by the late great Dick Clark just as Tupac graced his presence in concert with Snoop Dog at Coachella.
Dick Clark won five Emmy’s with one being a lifetime achievement award. He is also winner of the Peabody Award in 1999. He is an Inductee in several Halls of Fame including, the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, National Radio Hall of Fame, Hollywood Walk of Fame, and others as well. He was and will always be a Legend.
*Could not find much about this show. If anymore is found will add it to this post.
Photo's from Google images, provided by the AP.