Reaction to Dick Clark’s Death

An American television icon died Wednesday. Legendary broadcaster Dick Clark suffered a heart attack at a hospital in California.

The 82 year old was most famous for his roles as the host of “American Bandstand” and later “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.”

As music lovers across the country were mourning the loss of Dick Clark, many people were recalling their days glued to their televisions for “American Bandstand,” the teen dance show Clark hosted for years.

One woman from our area remembers the day she got to meet Clark on stage, during a field trip decades ago to the set of “American Bandstand.”

Susan Stephens of Trucksville remembered a high school trip with her school’s library club that would stay with her forever.

“We went to Philly one day, and we had a choice to go to the liberty bell or “American Bandstand,” and of course we all picked “American Bandstand,” said Stephens.

The year was 1961, and Stephens was 16.

She and a girlfriend were picked out of the audience to talk to Dick Clark on stage.

“I could have been on “The Price is Right.” That’s how thrilling it was. It’s a sad day,” said Stephens.

Clark hosted “American Bandstand” starting in 1956 and well into the 1980s.

Stephens said she also spoke to him at an appearance in Scranton.

“He was a very nice gentleman. He always spoke to people. He was never above it,” said Stephens.

While many people like Stephens cherish their childhood bandstand memories, local professionals who interacted with Clark said the icon didn’t dwell on the past and was always looking ahead.

Radio personality Shadoe Steele talked with Clark on the air nine times since 1998.

“Dick Clark for one thing would never talk about the past. You couldn’t get Dick Clark on the phone and talk about the old days of “American Bandstand.” He was a visionary, but he was a futuristic man. He talked only about his current projects and there were many,” said Steele.

Even though Clark’s death was not unexpected, Stephens said it’s still emotional.

“They’re picking at another part of my youth. It’s a very sad day, even though he was old,” said Stephens.

Click here to see videos, photos and memories of Dick Clark from around the web.

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