For now … so long

He was such a big part of our lives for so long that it’s hard to believe he is gone. We haven’t seen much of Dick Clark directly since his stroke in 2004, except for during the final seconds of each New Year’s Rockin’ Eve when we watched him struggle to speak and couldn’t decide whether to congratulate him for overcoming obstacles or change the channel because it was so uncomfortable to see.

The direct connection between Dick Clark and every generation from boomers to millennials was the on-camera part of his career. American Bandstand was a ground-breaking national television show that made every new generation of popular music palatable to the generations that tried to latch onto the past and dismiss the future. It started as a local show in Philadelphia and Elvis was the first guest on its first national broadcast in 1957. During its thirty-year run, the show helped launch careers of everybody from Buddy Holly to the Talking Heads.

We also saw him extend the variety of music connection to the annual celebration of welcoming in another year as well as well as his hosting duties on Pyramid and TVs Bloopers and Practical Jokes.

We weren’t always aware of his ubiquitous presence in other parts of pop culture in the form of Dick Clark Productions projects like the American Music Awards Show, So You Think You Can Dance and the Academy of Country Music Awards show.

He was called the World’s Oldest Teenager, partly because of his connection with trends in young music and partly because of his boyish good looks. He never looked his age, right up through the last time most of us saw him this past December 31st.

There are some interesting quotes attributed to Dick Clark, including "If you want to stay young-looking, pick your parents very carefully" and "Music is the soundtrack of your life." His famous sign-off was "For now, Dick Clark ... so long."

Interviews Commodores:

Interviews James Brown: