The program's mix of lip-synched performances and its "Rate-a-Record" segment captivated teenagers, propelling Clark to fame. Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, the long-running special broadcast that aired on December 31 each year, began in , and he created numerous other shows over the years. Sometimes known as "America's oldest teenager," Dick Clark was one of the most influential figures in popular music. Born Richard Wagstaff Clark on November 30, , he was the son of a sales manager for radio stations. Clark decided he wanted to pursue a career in radio in his early teens.
He was A spokesman, Paul Shefrin, said Mr. With the boyish good looks of a bound-for-success junior executive and a ubiquitous on-camera presence, Mr. Clark was among the most recognizable faces in the world, even if what he was most famous for — spinning records and jabbering with teenagers — was on the insubstantial side.
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Episodes he hosted were among the first in which blacks and whites performed on the same stage, and likewise among the first in which the live studio audience sat without racial segregation. Singer Paul Anka claimed that Bandstand was responsible for creating a "youth culture". Due to his perennially youthful appearance and his largely teenaged audience of American Bandstand , Clark was often referred to as "America's oldest teenager" or "the world's oldest teenager". In his off-stage roles, Clark served as Chief Executive Officer of Dick Clark Productions a financial interest in which he sold off in his later years. Clark suffered a stroke in December He died on April 18, , of a heart attack, at the age of 82, following prostate surgery. Clark attended A. Davis High School later renamed A. Davis Middle School in Mount Vernon, where he was an average student.