Industry Mourns And Reacts To Dick Clark's Passing
April 18, 2012 at 5:22 PM (PT)
The news of DICK CLARK's passing has immediately impacting the entertainment world, reaction is coming swiftly and with great sincerity. Not only are some of the industry's biggest movers and shakers offered their condolences and reflections, but radio stations have dumped its normal programming for special tributes to the renown broadcaster/media icon.
"I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend DICK CLARK," RYAN SEACREST told USA TODAY in a prepared statement. "He has truly been one of the greatest influences in my life ... I idolized him from the start, and I was graced early on in my career with his generous advice and counsel. When I joined his show in 2006, it was a dream come true to work with him every NEW YEAR'S EVE for the last SIX years. He was smart, charming, funny and always a true gentleman. I learned a great deal from him, and I'll always be indebted to him for his faith and support of me. He was a remarkable host and businessman and left a rich legacy to television audiences around the world. We will all miss him."
He has truly been one of the greatest influences in my life ... I idolized him from the start, and I was graced early on in my career with his generous advice and counsel.
RICK DEES told ALL ACCESS, "DICK was truly amazing. He was very much like my older brother. He played a huge role in my life and career. It was 1976 and I was a 20-something DJ in MEMPHIS at WMPS. I got a phone call from DICK congratulating me on 'DISCO DUCK' going to #1!
"DICK invited me to come to L.A. to do DICK CLARK on AMERICAN BANDSTAND. I was so excited I told my audience about it -- promptly got fired. The management thought it was a conflict of interest for me to mention it. So I flew out to L.A. and did the song live on AMERICAN BANDSTAND and before I left he made a phone call to STAN KAPLAN who owned WAYS and WAPE, and STAN made me an offer.
"Well that started a bidding war with WHBQ/MEMPHIS -- and I ended up going there. That put me on the radar to come to KHJ-A, and eventually KIIS-FM in L.A. And while I was at KIIS, it was DICK CLARK and his partner NICK VERBITSKY who invested in me in 1983 to put the original version of the 'RICK DEES WEEKLY Top 40' syndicated show on the air. Thank you DICK CLARK, so very, very much."
UNITED STATION RADIO NETWORKS Chairman/CEO NICK VERBITSKY spoke for the entire company about CLARK, who co-founded USRN, served as an air personality and was Chairman Emeritus: "DICK was an icon to many, but a true friend, partner and mentor to those of us who worked closely with him," he said. "His impact on broadcasting is immeasurable, and his entrepreneurial spirit will be a part of our world at UNITED STATIONS forever."
"DICK CLARK was a true inspiration for an entire generation of radio and TV personalities, including myself," SCOTT SHANNON told ALL ACCESS. "He was a rare combination of a talented, always prepared on air talent,and and a skilled, driven, very successful businessman."
"I had the opportunity to work with DICK CLARK for 50 years, beginning when I wrote the theme for American Bandstand," record executive MIKE CURB said in a statement. "He has clearly been the most important figure during my lifetime in the industry."
"As fellow Philadelphians, we have admired DICK CLARK and the 'American Bandstand' brand for many years, as it promoted PHILADELPHIA music around the nation," said KENNETH GAMBLE and LEON HUFF 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.'
"I’m one of the lucky people who can say that I knew DICK CLARK personally," KENNY ROGERS noted. "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."
"He (DICK CLARK) was both my personal and professional friend for the past 52 years. He was the best in both categories," ART LABOE said. "I will miss him terribly."
"So sad hearing the news that DICK CLARK died," STYX's TOMMY SHAW said. Such an awesome man. I appeared several times on his productions. One of my favorites was on this clip. I remember just having gotten lingual braces (the hidden ones that go on the back side of your teeth) and as you can tell I was still getting used to speaking with them. He and his wife KARI were incredibly gracious and I will always remember how their gentle ways trickled down through the ranks at DICK CLARK PRODUCTIONS. He's up there with JOHNNY CARSON and ED SULLIVAN as pioneers in entertainment. He was a class act whose joy came through in all that he created for us to enjoy."
NARM Pres. JIM DONIO offered these words: "This is a very sad day. The world has lost a brilliant entertainment business visionary, humanitarian, and a true gentleman. DICK was a long-time friend, supporter and partner of NARM from the organization’s beginnings. He hosted many dinners and awards ceremonies through the years, notably the 30th and 40th anniversary events in 1988 and 1998, at which he received the NARM Presidential Award for Sustained Achievement. Personally, I had the great pleasure of working with him and his colleagues on developing and executing promotional campaigns for the AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS and the ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS. He approached each project with great creativity and enthusiasm and always had a particular appreciation and respect for the music retail community. As a native Philadelphian, I also have fond memories of DICK hosting the Bandstand program and of watching my sister dancing on the show. On behalf of NARM’s members, I extend my deepest sympathies to DICK’s entire family, his friends and his business associates. He was one of a kind."
More Reflections Come In
The ASSOCIATED PRES compiled the following reactions:
"MICHELLE and I are saddened to hear about the passing of DICK CLARK. With 'American Bandstand,' he introduced decades' worth of viewers to the music of our times. He reshaped the television landscape forever as a creative and innovative producer. And, of course, for 40 years, we welcomed him into our homes to ring in the New Year. But more important than his groundbreaking achievements was the way he made us feel -- as young and vibrant and optimistic as he was. As we say a final 'so long' to DICK CLARK, AMERICA's oldest teenager, our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends, which number far more than he knew." -- President BARACK OBAMA.
"DICK CLARK was a true pioneer who revolutionized the way we listened to and consumed music. Before 'American Idol,' 'X Factor' and 'The Voice,' even before MTV, it was 'American Bandstand,' which brought the most popular music of the day straight to the nation's living rooms. Many artists made their debut on the Bandstand stage, and for generations he steadfastly welcomed millions of fans to his celebrations of the best of contemporary music. For me he ranks right up there with the giants of our business." -- CLIVE DAVIS
"This is a sad day. He was a dear friend, supporting me and my music for all of my years in the business. A great businessman and a true gentleman. An inspiration. My heart is so heavy now." -- BARRY MANILOW
CNN. COM collected these remembrances:
"DICK CLARK's profound contributions to music, television and popular culture will reverberate throughout time. R.I.P. Mr. American Bandstand." -- EPIC RECORDS CEO ANTONIO "L.A." REID
"DICK CLARK was eternally young. No matter what culturally phenomenon was happening, he always embraced it. RIP ... " -- DEF JAM RECORDS co-founder RUSSELL SIMMONS.
"I think only God is responsible for making more stars than DICK CLARK. I really do. I think he really was the manufacturer of the music business as we know it today. He was the pied piper, he was the guy who created careers (but) he was also a mentor and cared about you as a person." -- TONY ORLANDO
"I loved DICK CLARK. He was so instrumental in my career as well as all the other Motown acts and so many others in the recording business. Goodbye, my friend, rest in peace." -- SMOKEY ROBINSON
"TIMES SQUARE is considered the crossroads of the world in no small part because DICK CLARK's NEW YEAR'S EVE celebrations there were beamed across the globe. I remember one NEW YEAR'S EVE, he and I stood in TIMES SQUARE marveling about how much the area -- and the city -- had improved over the years. But DICK CLARK never had to change -- he was a great entertainer who stood the test of time." -- NEW YORK Mayor MICHAEL BLOOMBERG
Collected by the SEATTLE P-I:
With the passing of DICK CLARK, we lost a real hero who had untold influence on both world culture and the art form we call rock and roll. Inducted into the ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME in 1993, CLARK was a trendsetter who helped guide our tastes in music, dance and fashion for more than three decades. His show American Bandstand was instrumental in showing the world that rock and roll was here to stay." -- TERRY STEWART, Pres./CEO of the ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME AND MUSEUM.
"DICK CLARK was an entertainment icon, bringing music into the homes of millions of Americans over his nearly 60-year career. His shows 'American Bandstand' and 'DICK CLARK's NEW YEAR'S Rockin' Eve' blazed new trails in pop music and became pivotal celebrations of music on television, spotlighting both established and emerging artists. Our deepest heartfelt sympathies go out to his family, friends, fans, and all who have enjoyed his great contributions to music and entertainment. He will be terribly missed, and his legacy will live on forever." -- NEIL PORTNOW, Pres./CEO of THE RECORDING ACADEMY
"Rest in Peace my good friend DICK CLARK. A pioneer who's mark on American culture will be felt forever." -- QUINCY JONES
"DICK CLARK changed the face of musical television. He was wonderful to many artists including our family. We will miss him. God bless." -- JANET JACKSON.
"DICK CLARK will be truly missed. We will carry on his legacy every NEW YEAR'S EVE." — FERGIE of the BLACK EYED PEAS.
"DICK CLARK was a great friend, true legend, & a master journalist. Nobody did what he did better. It was a pleasure to be in his company." -- LARRY KING
The TWITTER-sphere has erupted with tributes: Here's a sampling courtesy of E! ONLINE:
BLAKE SHELTON: "So proud I had the chance to shake hands with DICK CLARK in my lifetime... Great man.."
JENNY MCCARTHY: RIP DICK CLARK. You were amazing to work with. U will be missed. Xxxoo"
MATCHBOX TWENTY frontman ROB THOMAS: "The end of an era. R.I.P. DICK CLARK."
DEBORAH GIBSON: "Just heard about DICK CLARK. Oh man.... So sad :-("
HEART: "Back in the 1960's the pop culture catch-phrase was 'Never trust anyone over 30'. DICK CLARK was trustworthy all the way home. Rock on Sir! -ANN WILSON -- HEART"
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER: RIP Dick Clark, an American icon & great NYer who grew up in MT. VERNON, went to @SYRACUSEU & got his start @WKTV. You will be missed
GLORIA ESTEFAN: "Our sincerest condolences to DICK CLARK's wife, KARI, his family & all who loved & admired him which includes the whole Estefan clan!"
LANCE BASS: "Farewell to one of my all time idols DICK CLARK- genius pioneer in music/television and just a great guy! You will be missed!"
Singer MICHELLE WILLIAMS: "Sad to hear about the passing of DICK CLARK! His contribution to music and the platform he gave people will always be remembered."
SNOOP DOGG: "REST IN PEACE to the DICK CLARK!! U were pioneer n a good man!! Thank u sir"
PARAMORE's HAYLEY WILLIAMS: "RIP DICK CLARK. Will think of you every NYE."
CHRIS DAUGHTRY: "RIP Mr. DICK CLARK. You will be missed"
BILLY RAY CYRUS: "R. I. P. DICK CLARK. Thoughts and prayers with the CLARK Family."
Radio Tributes Now Underway
On the radio side, CBS RADIO's Classic Hits and Oldies stations reacted to CLARK's passing with impromptu special programming. At 5p ET, Classic Hits WCBS/NEW YORK aired audio of "DICK CLARK countdown" into "Old Lang Syne," "NEW YORK NEW YORK" and "Bandstand Boogie." Starting at 7p and running all day THURSDAY will be "CBS-FM Remembers DICK CLARK and 'America' Bandstand.'"
Oldies WOGL/PHILADELPHIA is running special tributes TODAY at 4p and 5:15p ET; tomorrow's ROSS BRITTAIN morning will celebrate CLARK's life with many listener memories. KLUV/DALLAS. Classic Hits KLUV/DALLAS has already posted a DICK CLARK tribute on its website and will air a special "Bandstand" program TONIGHT.
RESULTS RADIO Classic Hits KCCL (K-HITS)/SACRAMENTO Dir./Programming & Promotion RICO GARCIA told ALL ACCESS about a tribute being done with morning host JOEY MITCHELL, who once worked for CLARK. Audio can be found on the station's website.
Dick Clark's Final Public Thoughts