1993 Hall of Fame Inductee and famed host of American Bandstand, Dick Clark, passed away on Wednesday, April 18, 2012. He was 82.
Affectionately known as “America’s oldest teenager,” Clark was significant in transforming the record business into an international industry. As host of American Bandstand, Clark provided many acts with the opportunity to reach a national audience via television, spreading the gospel of rock and roll to teenagers across the country.
Born Richard W. Clark in 1929, he entered the music business as a sales manager for an upstate New York radio station at age 17. In 1952, he began doing a radio show ("Caravan of Music") at WFIL in Philadelphia. The station’s TV affiliate had a teen-oriented show called Bandstand that was taken over in 1956 by Clark. He was such an affable, magnetic host that Bandstand was picked up for national distribution by ABC in 1957. With Clark as businessman, personality, music lover and host, American Bandstand catapulted to popularity and, in 1996, celebrated its 40th anniversary.
Although his demeanor was low-key and agreeable, Clark did not shrink when it came time to defend rock and roll. He stood up for the music when it ...