Dick Clark Dies at 82

American Bandstand Host Had Country Music Connections

Dick Clark, the television personality with numerous ties to the country music industry, died Wednesday (April 18) from an apparent heart attack. Known as “America’s Oldest Teenager,” Clark was 82.

One of Clark’s earliest career achievements was hosting a 1951 country music TV program in Utica, N.Y., titled Cactus Dick and the Santa Fe Riders, according to the Museum of Broadcast Communication’s website.

One year later, Clark moved to a Philadelphia radio station and later became host of that city’s afternoon television series, Bandstand. ABC picked up the show in 1957 and changed the name to American Bandstand. The show ran through 1987.

Starting in 1972, Clark hosted the famous New Year’s Rockin’ Eve specials from Times Square in New York City. He suffered a stroke in 2004, yet returned to the air the following year.

In addition, Dick Clark Productions’ credits include the Academy of Country Music Awards. Clark’s son, RAC Clark, has produced the ACM Awards for CBS since 1999. A new 10-year agreement was announced by the ACM, CBS and Dick Clark Productions in January.

Dick Clark Productions also produce the American Music Awards, the Golden Globe Awards and the Fox talent competition, So You Think You Can Dance.