The POP EXPOSE ‘Happy New Year Dick Clark’ by Mitchell Smith!

Happy New Year Dick Clark.

Richard Augustus Wagstaff Clark Jr. was born in November 1929 in Mount Vernon, NY and passed away in April 2012. Remembered most recently for the New Years Rockin’ Eve show which he hosted since 1972. Clark had 1 older brother Bradley who was killed during WWII in the Battle of the Bulge. He went to A.B. Davis High School in Mount Vernon, and was interested in radio broadcasting at the young age of 10. Clarke attended Syracuse University (which is still one of the leading broadcast schools in America), and graduated in 1951 with a degree in Advertising and radio. In 1945 Clark had already been in pursuit of a radio career and got a job 30 miles east of Syracuse in Rome, NY at WRUN an AM radio station. Then a little further east in Utica, NY Clark got a job with local TV station WKTV.

Then in the 1960s Clark made his way to California and became principal in pro broadcasts operator of 1440 KPRO and later owned KGUD in Santa Barbara, CA. Clark was the face of American Bandstand, he was host to the popular game show $10,000 Pyramid, and was the face and voice to many other TV and radio shows.
I didn’t realize the local Syracuse history of Clark until I started writing this piece. Clark had been the face of greeting millions of people into the New Year for so long, and he was a house hold name for sure. I remember watching $10,000 Pyramid and many New Years trying to stay up till midnight, but I always fell asleep to Dick Clark leading up to the New Year, even if I didn’t make it. In 2004 Clark suffered a stroke and with his speech still impaired he stood proud a year later and did his normal New Years show.

He showed such strength and pride to host the show as usual. Ryan Seacrest stepped in to help out and Clark’s speech would not get better, and eventually Clark phased out as Ryan took over. Clark would stay a part of the show right up till his death in 2012. Dick Clark has been missed but his legacy will live on.


Did you grow up watching Dick Clark on New Years? Let us know AFTER THE JUMP!


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