Musicians and industry leaders are mourning the loss of the legendary Dick Clark (shown here with Connie Francis).
Clark, who was nicknamed “America’s Oldest Teenager,” died April 18, 2012, following a massive heart attack. Clark was well known for his work on a variety of TV shows, including “American Bandstand” and his annual “Rockin’ New Year’s Eve” event.
For a more detailed obituary, check out this posting at ABC News.
Clark touched the entertainment industry in so many ways, but his ties ran particularly deep in Philadelphia.
“As fellow Philadelphians, we have admired Dick Clark and the ‘American Bandstand’ brand for many years, as it promoted Philadelphia music around the nation,” songwriters Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff said in a joint statement. “Dick Clark was one of our inspirations for creating the ‘Sound of Philadelphia’ music brand. More importantly, we thank him for being one of the pioneers in promoting the Philly Dance and Music scene for the nation and world to enjoy. We send our sincere and deepest condolences to Dick Clark’s family.”
The Dovells were Philadelphia ‘Bandstand’ regulars. Known for “The Bristol Stomp” and “You Can’t Sit Down,” the group was planning to celebrate its 50th anniversary with a special concert April 21 at the Scottish Rite Auditorium in Cherry Hill, N.J. In honor of Clark, the group’s members are putting together a special tribute that will be part of the concert.
“Dick Clark was a legend who helped a lot of acts, including us, gain stardom and have many, many hit records,” said Jerry Gross, lead singer of The Dovells. “The entertainment world will sorely miss Dick Clark.”
The Dovells did many tours with Clark in the 1960s and 1970s, including a tour that pulled into Dallas the morning of that fateful day in November 1963, when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
Kal Rudman, publisher of “Friday Morning Quarterback” and one of the many people Clark mentored, shared this statement with Goldmine: “The passing of Dick Clark removes one of the foundation stones of the entire pop music industry for the latter half of the 20th century. Starting with ‘Bandstand,’ his shows absolutely made most of the hits from the beginning. Others might aspire to the title, but they had to follow what Dick Clark played — especially, and obviously, dance music.”
Country music superstar Kenny Rogers said he was thankful for the opportunities he had to work with Clark.
“I’m one of the lucky people who can say that I knew Dick Clark personally. Dick produced almost every awards show I was on during the ’80s, and he constantly encouraged me toward success. He will be missed by everyone — especially by those who knew him well,” Rogers said.