Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dick Clark 1929-2012

In this post only nine days ago, I briefly mentioned the Rolling Stones concert in San Francisco. One thing I remember from that show is a couple dancing together (very well), and when they finished, someone shouted out, "Let's hear it for couple number 14 from Milwaukee!" and everyone standing around applauded, whistled and laughed appreciatively.

I realized that a lot of Americans would not get that joke now. And it made me sad.

His name was Dick Clark, and we grew up with him. Now he is gone, along with his black counterpart, Don Cornelius. And with them passes a whole way of life, memorialized in musicals like Grease: young people dancing on live TV to the popular songs of the day.

Upon hearing of Clark's passing, my first thought was the 'tribute song' by Barry Manilow (a remake of Les Elgart's big-band original, with updated lyrics mentioning the show and Clark by name)-- which Clark liked so much he closed out American Bandstand with it from 1977 until the show's demise.

The song sums it up.

Bandstand Boogie - Barry Manilow

(He actually starts DANCING in the middle, and then continues singing. I very much doubt he smoked!)

We're goin hoppin
we're goin happin
Where things are poppin
The Philadelphia way
Were gonna drop in
On all the music they play
On the Bandstand

Bandstand, bandstand, bandstand

Hey! I'm makin my mark
Gee, this joint is jumpin
They made such a fuss
just to see us arrive
Hey, it's Mister Dick Clark
What a place you've got here!
Swell spot, the music's hot here
Best in the east,
Give it at least
A seventy five!

And as you know, lots of the songs were worth the whole hundred percent. :)

This list gives you a partial idea of the impact of American Bandstand on mass media and pop culture.

Goodbye Dick, and thanks for the jams.


senchi said...

great song! and great post.

i love big band music

JoJo said...

I am so sad, having grown up w/ Dick Clark as part of the fabric of my musical life. I loved American Bandstand. I loved New Years Rockin Eve. I loved the blooper shows he did with Ed McMahon. :( He was ageless and timeless and will be missed.