Like everyone else, I was always a huge Dick Clark fan. I was in awe of his star quality and how comfortable he was in front of the camera. Whether it was American Bandstand, the Pyramid game shows or Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, which he hosted and produced for 40 years in Times Square, he never lost his graceful touch for putting audiences at ease.
He also revolutionized popular music by doing something bigger than just putting on a show: many of the artists who performed on American Bandstand changed the fabric of our culture. The show featured over 10,000 live performances, showcasing brilliant artists such as Ike and Tina Turner, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Stevie Wonder, the Talking Heads, Simon and Garfunkel, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and countless others.
When I arrived in Hollywood, the fact that I was just a late-night L.A. radio DJ didn’t stop me from giving my idol a call. I was pretty shocked when Dick agreed to speak to me. But he did and went on to become one of the most important influences in my life. He did small things like sending me handwritten notes of encouragement when I hosted a new show. And he did big things too. When I joined his New Year’s Eve broadcast in 2005, it was amazing to be on the stage with him. He made dreams come true, and I miss him being a part of mine.
Seacrest is a TV and radio host and producer
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