Say "Goodnight" Dick !
Dick Clark passes away April 18, 2012
To be sure ... Dick was the man who made American Pop music the social phenomenon that it became.
American Bandstand was the vehicle for this but Dick Clark was the driver and the talent ... I've never seen a better show host or MCee in any venue.
The show itself was never very good ... production values were barely adequate... lip synch performances laughable ... even insulting to performers and knowledgeable viewers.
But the the show quality was not the point .... it was the greatest marketing tool of the 20th century.
All they needed to do was attract enough viewers to pitch the products that ranged from the musicians to the pimple cream. Wrapped up in the excitement of a first time ever (back in the 50s) opportunity to participate in a venue that made them so much a part of the happenings.... those viewer tuned in and bought in to the whole schtick.
The faces of pop celebrities right there in the living and rec rooms of the nation ... shiny faced kids dancing the latest (mostly not invented on the spot) moves and creating instant fads of fashion and taste. Powerful stuff.....
The power of TV realized and the largest and most easily manipulated demographic in history ... hungry and eager to lap it all up.
Well ... that was Dick's gift .... he was the guy with the special talent to see what was happening and make the most of it. Not that he was wrong at all to be doing it ... it was just that Dick was at the heart of that perfect storm. To be sure ... there were many other efforts to pull the same media magic .... but NONE of those other shows had Dick Clark.
Hats off to Dick .... he was really one of a kind.