R.I.P. Dick Clark

In the 7th grade, it was quite the ritual. I'd rush home from school, turn on the TV in my parents' bedroom, call a girlfriend on the phone, and we'd watch American Bandstand. We dissected every moment -- who was dancing with whom, who was wearing what, how they wore their hair, which guy looked the cutest that day, and which couple reportedly was breaking up. (We got that info from fan magazines.) My friends and I weren't the only ones. So many people are saying the same thing today on Twitter, Facebook and in blogposts. It was almost like a reality TV show.

The show aired from Philadephia back then, with, of course, Dick Clark as host.

Dick Clark, the "world's oldest teenager" died today at 82. R.I.P. Dick, and thanks so much for the memories.

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    I was a rock band roadie (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by Repack Rider on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 05:19:29 PM EST
    ...during the '60s and '70s, for a group called The Sons of Champlin.  We taped a Bandstand segment around 1974.  

    It was an amazing, experience, and of course we met Mr. Clark.  The performance was lip-synched, which didn't make the band very happy, but the stage crew put the band on stage in real time during a two-minute  commercial break.  It's a lot easier to do when the band isn't actually playing.  The gear was fake, and the guitars were not even plugged in.

    A week's worth of shows were being taped on a Saturday afternoon, when the kids were available, so we hung around with the four other bands who would appear.  Each taping session ran exactly the half-hour of broadcast time, with appropriate breaks for commercials, and all set changes were accomplished during commercial breaks.  After each segment was taped, the kids would change clothing so it wasn't obvious that it all took place on the same afternoon.

    Same here, Jeralyn. (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by caseyOR on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 06:31:10 PM EST
    It was my first experience with what later came to be called "appointment television." My sister and I watched American Bandstand with the same attention to detail that you described.

    "Good beat. Easy to dance to. I give it an 85."

    The travails of Justine & Bob (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by christinep on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 02:57:45 AM EST
    ...and Frank with Mary Belletrante (sp?). Good memories of good afternoons as my sister & I  danced along.

    Best Birthday Party I ever attended (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Peter G on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 07:52:45 PM EST
    as a kid, was when I was 9 or 10 years old, that is, around 1958 or 1959. (The same year I bought my first 45 rpm record: The Fendermen's version of "Mule Skinner Blues"). We lived in the NJ suburbs of NYC. Dick Clark not only had the weekday afternoon live show from Philadelphia, but on Saturday nights he did a live concert-type show from a TV studio in NYC, "The Dick Clark Show."  This kid's parents took about ten of his friends to be in the audience for one of those evening shows.  What I remember most clearly was seeing Dion and the Belmonts performing "(Why Must I Be) a Teenager in Love?" (clearly lip-synched, but what did I know?) - it was in the theater seen in the YouTube clip, but not that performance - and the live presentation of a Doublemint Gum commercial, complete with the two pair of clapping hands.

    Thanks Peter (none / 0) (#8)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 05:33:02 PM EST
    I hadn't thought about The Fendermens or Mule Skinner Blues in years. I clicked on it and was immediately back in Memphis driving with the top down and all of life in front of me.

    My pleasure (none / 0) (#9)
    by Peter G on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 07:22:24 PM EST
    "World's oldest teenager" (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 12:32:17 AM EST
    I've always loved that moniker because he did absolutely groove on the music almost all parental types disdained if not actively hated.

    I wasn't into the dancers, just the music, and I always loved it that Dick Clark didn't either patronize or keep his distance from it, he loved it as much as I did.

    From everything I'm hearing on the TV tonight from the people who performed on one of his shows, he was an all-around good guy, a very classy man.

    Good on you, Dick.  And thanks.

    I think Bandstand WAS the first reality show. (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by byteb on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 03:12:10 PM EST
    I have so many great memories of watching that show on our old tiny black and white TV.

    My wife too, Jeralyn (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by rdandrea on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 04:45:38 PM EST
    She grew up in Woodbury, NJ, just across the river from Philly.  She used to rush home from school to watch Bandstand when it was still a local show on WFIL.

    She knew all the dancers, and all the dances.

    Still does, as a matter of fact.