Dick Clark (Photo credit: Alan Light)For those of you who, like your beloved Peasant, were growing up
in the 1960s and '70s, "American Bandstand" was likely a show
that you made a regular staple of television entertainment in your
lives. The joyful, energetic music by the pop stars of the day and
the impossibly youthful-looking host, Dick Clark, who brought it
all to you every week, provided heady, enjoyable escapism from
the cares of school, household chores, and admonitions from parents,
other adult family members, and teachers to adhere to their rules
at home and in class. Dick Clark and his show gave youngsters
the happiest of respite.
Dubbed "The World's Oldest Teenager", Dick Clark held on to
his age-belying visage through the years, as well as a major stroke
which affected his speech but not his enthusiasm for his adoring
public or for life itself. Yesterday, the renown host of "American
Bandstand", at least one TV game show (The $10,000 Pyramid and
a few higher-stakes editions), and a televised annual event, the
New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square, died after a heart
attack in Santa Monica, California, while undergoing a routine
medical procedure during a checkup. He was 82 years YOUNG.
Yes, your mindful Peasant intentionally put the word "young" in
caps! Clark brought such great artists as Simon & Garfunkel,
Buddy Holly, James Brown, Ike & Tina Turner, and The Lovin'
Spoonful to the teens and pre-teens of America, helping the
musicians and singers to build huge fan bases by connecting
them with young people hungry for invigorating music that
they could claim as their own, most decidedly NOT their
mom and dad's music. The pop music of that time, however,
had an innocence about it which was its greatest charm. This
in contrast to the pop music of today, with its wild and
oft-times violent lyrics; this is before getting around to
discussing rap and hip-hop!
Dick Clark is an icon of a happier time in our culture
and our society. And now, like that era, he has drifted into
history. Through the years, he kept the good times rolling.
We shall keep his memory rolling, remembering those good
times and the man who brought them to us. Thanks, Dick,
for all the fun.