Monday, January 4, 2010
HONORING THE WORLD'S OLDEST TEENAGER - DICK CLARK ON THIS IS YOUR LIFE - NBC-TV - CIRCA 1959
Most 1950's, teenage television viewers became aware of Dick Clark as the host of a rock and roll dance show that changed the face of nascent television as it showcased adolescent America.
But it wasn't until the early 1970's, when Eisenhower-era, teens grew to comprise the adult television audience, that Clark was finally and fully embraced as television's man of the midnight hour on New Years Eve.
In December of 1972, Richard Nixon was president of the United States, American troops were fighting in Viet Nam, All IN THE FAMILY was the most watched TV show in the nation and, from his post, high above New York's Times Square Dick Clark rocked New Year's Eve for the very first time on ABC-TV.
Dick Clark is one of the most prolific, accomplished and successful performers and producers in television history. A true entrepreneur, Clark is many times a millionaire. While he suffered a debilitating stroke in 2004,the 80 year old continues to appear on ABC-TV'S NEW YEARS ROCKIN'EVE telecast.The yearly LIVE special continues to rule the ratings, 37 years later.
But, before he achieved this rarefied level of success, Dick Clark was known as the world's oldest teenager and Philly's pied piper of rock and roll.Long before MTV planted its psychedelic flag on the Moon, the affable Clark was truly the world's first VJ, hosting a show that made television history.
A staff announcer at Philadelphia's ABC affiliate, WFIL-TV, the Utica New York native, auditioned to host a local teen dance show called BANDSTAND.As a performer,Clark was a dichotomy, of sorts. Had a youthful presence, but a mature demeanor. Legendary WFIL program manager, Lew Klein hired Clark to replace the show's original host, Bob Horn, who had run afoul of the law.
On July 9, 1956 Dick Clark debuted on BANDSTAND, which aired weekday afternoons on Philadelphia's Channel 6. In August 1957,the ABC-TV network, anxious to capitalize on new viewers who were watching THE MICKY MOUSE CLUB, elected to carry the rock and roll dance party, rechristened as AMERICAN BANDSTAND,nationally.
AMERICAN BANDSTAND set teen trends in style, made musical careers and launched Clark as a presence on the national stage.He took the show to California in 1964 and hosted the hop until it's cancellation on ABC-TV. The last dance for AMERICAN BANDSTAND came in 1987.
As Clark rose to national prominence, he was the surprised subject of NBC-TV's THIS IS YOUR LIFE WITH RALPH EDWARDS. The show was a hit series that took the form of a sentimental tribute to famous faces in show business, culture. sports, science and politics.
From 1959,posted below, from the HWY61MEDIA YOU TUBE site, in 3 parts, is Dick Clark being honored on NBC-TV'S THIS IS YOUR LIFE WITH RALPH EDWARDS.Enjoy!!!!!