Dick Clark was the face of American Bandstand

Guest Post by Narciso Tovar

Although I was too young to write cursive, I can recall the first time music had a profound impact on my life.

I was in my San Antonio living room on a Saturday afternoon, probably wearing my Speed Buggy or Roger Staubach t-shirt – those details are a little fuzzy right now, for obvious reasons.

And then it happened.

I saw a five-piece band from Indiana with remarkable showmanship, matching outfits, fun (to me) hair and one of the catchiest tunes I had heard in my “long” five years of age.

And because it was on American Bandstand, it was easy for me to jam along to.

I was mesmerized.

Who is this younger kid and how can he move like that?

No, wait… they’re all moving together…! …

as if they choreographed it…! …

And then Dick Clark interviewed them. They were a bunch of softball questions, but certainly good enough to get a feel for Jermaine, Tito and young Michael.

But the nice fella steering the show was unforgettable.

Dick Clark was like that super sweet n’ cool uncle who always paid attention to you at family get-togethers and was cool enough to be silly with you and make a fool of himself.

Heck, even my Mom liked him…which was sort of his point.


although American Bandstand had been on for many years by then, Dick Clark was still savvy enough to capture, for the show, the best sounds and entertainers … for that moment.

Since the beginning, he was smart enough to bring on the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis, Gloria Gaynor, ABBA and the Sylvers (yes, The Sylvers).

They may not be on the charts today, but Clark knew that these acts were the very best of their time, and encapsulated a significant part of pop culture in their day.

American Bandstand leveraged the idea that good music bridges lots of generation and culture gaps. Everyone loves music and everyone loves to dance (at the very least, tap their toes to the music). Let’s face it: even if you can’t dance, you. Like. To. Dance.

Although he was a smart guy, I seriously doubt Clark knew that what he began in 1956 would have such a tremendous impact on pop culture and the music business. Shows like Soul Train and Solid Gold continued in the tradition of what Clark began; capturing the excitement of now.

And no one could have guessed that his influence would have reached us today through institutions like MTV, the American Music Awards, the Golden Globes and American Idol.

Like American Bandstand, Every. One. Of. These. Shows. Captures. Moments… Perfectly.

Check It. You can make this happen too. Right. Now.

Remember that fun idea that you concocted over the holidays? The one that kept you up all night, got you all worked up and planning out on how you’d spend that first million?

Well, some other fella out of Minneapolis is testing it (or some other version of it)… right now… in three markets.

What happened?

He rolled the dice and bet on himself. Will he make a million dollars or get on the cover of TIME? Will this idea be a *total game-changer* in the industry?

It doesn’t matter, because you have to admire the person who embraces the power of now, even if that person is, by all accounts, a butthead.


You’re not a butthead. What’s going on with you now?

The first quarter of 2012 is done.

How are those New Year’s resolutions coming along?  How many books have you read? Have you begun working on that screenplay yet? How many times have you picked up that guitar?

You don’t have to change the world – you don’t even have to come close. But you can certainly change your own part of the world… today.

What are you doing about it… right… now?

Image: trainman74 via Flickr, CC 2.0

Narciso Tovar

With more than 16 years of communications experience, Narciso Tovar is a principal of Big Noise Communications, a PR + Social Media agency that runs on Method + Moxie.  He is both a teacher & student in external communications and social media, serving as a mentor and sponge as new ideas are developed, and shares his thoughts on Method + Moxie.  Narciso has launched and worked with a variety of companies, including Vonage, the GreenBuilt Parade of Homes, Verizon and The Wall Street Journal Online.