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Thursday, May 3, 2012
Dick Clark: From 'American Bandstand' to 'New Year's Rockin' Eve'
Dick Clark, who died of a massive heart attack on Wednesday at age 82, left behind hundreds of hours of television footage from a lifetime of hosting. Though Clark didn't hold the record for having the most hours of his life broadcast on TV (that distinction goes to Regis Philbin), he was a reliable TV presence from the 1950s into the 21st century.
Although he made his TV debut as host of the country music program "Cactus Dick and the Santa Fe Riders" on a Utica, N.Y., television station in the mid-1950s, he didn't become a household name until "American Bandstand" began broadcasting nationally on ABC in 1957. (Previously, he had been fill-in host of the show, then called "Bob Horn's Bandstand" and broadcast only in Philadelphia).
The series ran weekdays until 1963 and then became a weekly show until 1987. Here's Clark opening the broadcast in 1966, two years after it moved from Philadelphia to Hollywood.