Dick Clark, “the world’s oldest teenager,” the man best known for the television program American Bandstand, but also the host of The $10,000 Pyramid(which would eventually be impacted by inflation and become the $64,000 Pyramid).But his longest-lasting influence was with Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, helping to welcome the new year every year from 1972 through 2003-04. Clark’s influence in exposing people to new music cannot be over-estimated, though. With his charisma and boy-next-door good looks, Clark hosted American Bandstand, introducing new music to the youth of America from 1956 through to 1987, first from studios in Philadelphia, then from Los Angeles. Through his show, stars including Smokey Robinson, The Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel, Johnny Cash, and Fats Domino all gained their first major national exposure. Of course, many adults critical of new music considered Clark’s influence to be detrimental for youths, but that didn’t stop him.
His anthology album 20 Years of Rock N’ Roll includes thirty songs spanning the years 1953 through 1972, from the Orioles through to Gallery, with a little Shirelles, Everly Brothers and Otis Redding thrown in for good measure. “In the 1950’s,” Dick explains on the back cover, “people used to ask me, ‘How long can Rock last –.’ In the 1970’s, Rock rolls on….”