- Posted April 18, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Memories of Dick Clark
Dick Clark - Saturday's Sinful Pleasure
All afternoon I have been taking in the news and remembering back through the years to when Dick Clark was not there or a part of the American life. Even now listening and watching American Idol, my thoughts keep wondering how this contestant or that contestant would have fared back in the day when Clark was THE star maker.
Back then if you wanted to know you had arrived it was one of two ways: The Ed Sullivan Show or American Bandstand. That's how we knew who were stars, were the hitmakers, were the ones who would take America by storm.
In those years of the '60s I was the son and grandson of conservative, fundmental, evangelical, Pentecostal preachers. Dick Clark reprsented the devil's music and the gyrations on the stage symbolic of demonic possession. Country music wasn't any better and was the tawdry side of life in the honky tonks.
Yet, when my parents were gone or I could spend the day with one of the member's sons or even go "play" at one of the godless sinner's who were in my class at school, come Saturday afternoon, the black-and-white boob tube was fixated on what became my Saturday sinful pleasure - Dick Clark's American Bandstand.
I remember listening to music, even singing along with some of the artists, watching the dancers with the latest moves and trying to figure out if I could imitate them. It was another world so alien to the one I knew being a preacher's kid.
Fortunately for me and my brothers, my parents left it up to us to search and come to our own beliefs and ideas on everything in life including those in which our denomination may have taken stands against. We were allowed to listen to the music, if we decided it was OK. We were allowed to square dance in gym class though our church was anti-dancing, if we believed it was OK.
While I could not partake in my Saturday sinful pleasure when my Mom and Dad were home, at least I had the right to partake of the "devil's fare" while they were gone. I learned an appreciation of all types of music from those Saturdays. I learned an acceptance and appreciaton of other races and ethnicities and nationalities as I tuned in to Bandstand.
Long afterwards when Bandstand turned its last platter, Dick Clark and the music show that revolutionized not just the music world, but life as we knew it the US of A, it has remained a vital part of my memory and of my heart. Those Saturday sinful pleasures all these decades later still bring a smile to my face.
Dick Clark is now spinning platters for another audience as the best of the best move and jive to the greatest hits of all times and even those that have yet to make debut on Earth.
Dick Clark, as the late great Jimmy Durante would close, "Good night, where ever you are!"
From the Cornfield, Bandstand will never die and Dick Clark will always be America's oldest teenager.