Yesterday morning, our affiliate K-EARTH in Los Angeles featured some legendary artists who were fortunate to get their start by appearing on American Bandstand with Dick Clark. Everyone calling in shared their memories of the working with the legendary TV host/producer.
Some of the callers included Freddy Cannon (who holds the record for most appearances on American Bandstand with 110), Chubby Checker, Peter Asher and Wink Martindale.
Wink Martindale: Legendary game show host talks about his longtime friendship with Clark and how he was even one of the names being considered to host American Bandstand. He shares his memories and stories about his dear friend.
“The first thing that came to my mind when I heard of Dick’s passing yesterday…he said of Elvis, ‘There was only one Elvis and there’ll never be another,’ and I thought the same could be said of Dick Clark,” said Wink. “He was more than a pioneer in our business. He was first to go with something new in popular music in the mid ’50s, something called, that stuff you guys play right there, rock and roll.”
Chubby Checker: Dick Clark was a big part of Chubby Checker’s life. Checker debuted his dance craze ‘The Twist’ on American Bandstand, which changed dance forever. Dick’s wife even gave him his moniker.
“The king of the disc jockeys has died and he’s not with us anymore,” says Chubby Checker. “I think everything he did in his life lives on in all of us in the entertainment business…Without Dick Clark, Chubby Checker’s career would not have happened, because nobody would have seen the dances we put together.”
Peter Asher: Producer and musician Peter Asher knew Dick Clark for a very long time and worked with him on bus tours that he put together. He credits Clark for bringing regional music to the masses and playing the rock and roll records no one else was playing at the time.
“Dick was so charming, that the people who worried that rock and roll was going to be a bad influence and that it was evil music…that if this charming, boyish chap endorsed it, I think it made parents worry a great deal less,” says Peter.
Freddy Cannon: Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon became friends with Dick Clark (unsurprisingly, as he appeared on the show so frequently).
“This man is one of the legends that brought me and thousands of artists around the world everywhere, made them big stars. This guy really did so much for everybody,” remembers Freddy.
Brian Beirne: Mr. Rock N’ Roll himself, Brian Beirne returns to the airwaves of K-EARTH 101 to share his memories and an embarrassing moment for Dick Clark. He tells a story about how Dick was starting back up his music tours in the ’70s with Ronnie Spector headlining and showcasing it to buyers before the launch.
“Ronnie had probably a little more than a buzz going on that night and decides halfway through the song to lift up her dress over her head - nothing underneath – falls back into the drummer, knocking over the drum kit,” explains Brian. “Dick said, ‘I just buried my hands – I couldn’t crawl under the chair fast enough, and the buyer next to me said, ‘Well Dick, this is a sure fire winner.'”
Paul Peterson: Known for playing ‘Jeff’ on the Donna Reed Show and his biggest hits like “My Dad” and “She Can’t Find Her Keys,” Paul has been friends with Dick Clark all through years since he helped launch his career.
“Dick Clark was one of the good guys. He was so supportive,” remembers Paul.