American Bandstand legend Dick Clark dies at 82

Veteran American broadcaster Dick Clark has died at the age of 82. For many Americans Clark’s American Bandstand, akin to the UK’s Top Of The Pops, provided their introduction to popular music.

Clark was affectionately mocked but also admired for his clean cut and unchanging image over 33 years of hosting the show, and critics respected Clark’s understanding of the importance of pop and rock.

Clark started life as a radio DJ, and was quick to understand the huge impact that the new rock n’ roll music would have on American teenagers. He was a canny businessman who produced and marketed the TV show as well as presenting it. He specialised in a cheesy, family-friendly form of presenting, encouraging kids to watch with their parents.

Behind the scenes, Clark was an obsessive fan himself, and his tastes stretched far beyond the wholesome mainstream fare that dominated American TV primetime. He loved disco and dance music, but wasn’t averse to the more experimental and extreme version of rock.

The Guardian reported on how Clark was willing to showcase all forms of music on his show, and was even open to the more extreme forms of punk. Exene Cervenka was the singer with legendary Los Angeles punks X, who appeared on American Bandstand. She tweeted a fond tribute to Clark: "Dick Clark was good to X, good for music, no one like him any more. Not a corporate puppet. Thank you, Mr Clark."

Janet Jackson said "Dick Clark changed the face of musical television. He was wonderful to many artists including our family. We will miss him. God bless."

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