Dick Clark, 1961

Dick Clark was my VJ

Dick Clark, 1961
Dick Clark in 1961, the year I graduated from high school

American music icon Dick Clark died this morning at age 82. Hard to imagine that, really. He’d been a part of the music scene since I first became aware there was a music scene. I watched him on “American Bandstand,” in black and white, when I was in junior high and high school. The show was quite a curiosity to me, a shy girl who didn’t date or go to parties or hang out with the in-crowd. I watched “American Bandstand” to see what the cool kids did when they got together. I watched to see what the kids in Philadelphia did (they were so much more progressive than kids in Oklahoma — and some of them were even black!). I watched to see how the popular kids danced — on the off chance that I might have to dance someday. (Thank goodness Clark and Chubby Checker taught me The Twist before I left for college.) And of course I watched because it was my only chance to see the artists I listened to on the radio every day (aside from “The Ed Sullivan Show” and “Your Hit Parade,” of course).

“American Bandstand” was my MTV and Dick Clark was my VJ, twenty years before either was invented. In later years, Clark did other things, but I never cared for the New Year’s Eve broadcasts — his or any of the others; they were two-hour-old reruns by the time I saw them. Besides, my Dick Clark would always be that young guy in the black-and-white photo, the one who hosted Bandstand in the ’50s.

6 thoughts on “Dick Clark was my VJ

  1. It’s funny how news you’ve been expecting for a long time can still feel like a puch to the gut when it finally arrives. This is truly a very sad day for America – indeed, for the whole world…

... and that's my two cents