This post has been updated
Television legend Dick Clark has died. The popularizer of "American Bandstand" in Philadelphia in the 1950s went on to become a true TV programming impresario. "The oldest living teenager" reportedly suffered a heart attack this morning after an outpatient procedure at St. John's hospital in Santa Monica, TMZ reports.
Clark had cut way back on his television appearances in recent years after a stroke.
A 1999 interview:
Mark Lacter at LA Biz Observed: Clark was a shrewd salesman masquerading as an inoffensive frontman
From the Musem of Broadcast Communications:
Like the soap opera, American Bandstand represents the transference of a successful radio format to burgeoning arena of American television. Unlike the soap opera however, the radio broadcast format of playing recorded music developed as popular entertainers from radio migrated to the newer medium of television. Initially located in the margins of broadcast schedules, the format of a live disk jockey spinning records targeted toward and embraced by teenagers soon evolved into the economic salvation of many radio stations.
For one thing, the programs were relatively inexpensive to produce. In addition, the increased spending power of American teenagers in the 1950s attracted advertisers and companies marketing products specifically targeting that social group. Not the least of these were the recording companies who supplied the records without cost to stations, often including economic incentives to disk jockeys to play their products. In effect, the recorded music was a commercial for itself.
Given the convergence of these factors, the teen record party became entrenched as a radio format during the 1950s and throughout the 1960s, eventually developing into Top Forty Radio.