Category Archives: dick clark

Donna Summer 1948-2012

We’ve lost far too many folks this year already, and this morning, we lost the Queen of Disco, Donna Summer, this morning after a private battle with cancer. She was 63.

The multi-award-winning singer, also known for her stage, television and film work, came to prominence in the disco era, becoming the so-called queen of the genre. Her songs were the anthem of a generation. Songs like “Last Dance,” “I Feel Love,” “Hot Stuff,” “Bad Girls,” and “Love to Love You Baby” are the stuff of musical legend.

In my early teens at the height of her rein I remember listening to my brother’s 8-track of her greatest hits “On the Radio,” and still have favorites from that album. I also remember Dick Clark, another recent loss, letting her host an episode of “American Bandstand. I remember hearing about her character and subplot in Thank God It’s Friday even though I wasn’t allowed to see that flick in the theater. I also remember her comeback in the music video age with “She Works Hard for the Money.”

Summer continued to perform until recently, despite being out of the public eye in America, she always charted in Europe over the years and toured frequently. The last time I saw her was when she performed with Prince Poppycock on “America’s Got Talent” a couple years ago. She was just as fabulous as she had been in the seventies.

We have lost another legend. Donna Summer will be missed.

Dick Clark 1929-2012

We have lost another legend today. Media mogul, television entertainer, TV producer, game show host, disc jockey, and just all around nice guy Dick Clark passed away in surgery today after suffering a massive heart attack. America’s oldest teenager has passed away.

I never missed “American Bandstand,” from before I can remember to probably past my college days when it ended, I watched every week. I was a music addict, took my radio everywhere, and in a pre-internet world, “American Bandstand” was the place where the current artists, the new acts, and the about-to-happen phenoms appeared. Everyone was on “Bandstand,” and everyone was interviewed, if only briefly, by Dick Clark. If you made it to the show, you knew you had made it.

Now “Bandstand” was a gigantic part of his career, it wasn’t everything the man had going on. He was a prolific television producer, creating shows like the “Pyramid” game shows, “TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes,” “The American Music Awards” and “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” the last of which has become an American tradition. For decades Clark braved the cold to watch the ball drop, and more recently, after his stroke, America tuned in to see him just make an appearance, just to see how he was. Yeah, we, as a nation, cared how this man was doing. That says a lot.

Clark created and produced numerous TV programs including various game shows, talk shows and even prime time drams. He owned a chain of restaurants and theatresHe was also a disc jockey here in Philadelphia before “Bandstand” came along, which was also born in Philly. As I said, we have lost a legend today, Dick Clark will be missed.

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Ed MacMahon Passes

After a myriad of recent financial and medical problems, Hollywood legend Ed MacMahon passed away last night.

Ed MacMahon was best known to generations as Johnny Carson’s announcer and sidekick on “The Tonight Show.” For over thirty years his trademark intro of “Here’s Johnny!” was a signal that the show was about to begin, and greatness would follow. In a era of numerous talk shows, and before they became promotional tools and spotlights for trailer trash, “The Tonight Show” was the best. That might be Ed’s claim to fame, but that’s not all he did.

He was also the face of American Family Publishers sweepstakes, a frequent partner of Dick Clark’s on many TV projects and the co-host of Jerry Lewis’ annual telethon. Ed hosted “Star Search,” a series that launched the careers of Britney Spears and Arsenio Hall among others.

MacMahon also did quite a bit of acting over the years. Of specific interest to me was 1967’s The Incident, one of my favorite films. It’s a small part in an ensemble film, but Ed is excellent.

We’ve lost a legend, and he’ll be missed. Rest in peace, Ed.

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