Supplying the Cool

It’s cool daddy-o.

Have you heard the expression?  If you have, when?

If you haven’t, it says something about you.  Maybe your age and where you were born.

He had heard it, and really had a subtle influence on the lingo as the 50s and 60s as they progressed.

As the host of the television after-school dance program “American Bandstand” he made an ideal surrogate chaperone: a wholesome, polite, honorary adolescent. Although he was 27 when the program was first broadcast nationally on Aug. 5, 1957, he could have passed for 17. At the time he seemed the sort of mild-mannered superannuated boy who might once have served on the school safety patrol and been elected class treasurer. In fact he had been the president of his high school student council in Mount Vernon, N.Y. [Wikipedia]

Richard Wagstaff “Dick” Clark (November 30, 1929 – April 18, 2012) was an American radio and television personality, best known for hosting television’s longest-running variety show, American Bandstand, from 1957 to 1987. He also hosted the game show Pyramid and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, which transmitted Times Square’s New Year’s Eve celebrations worldwide. [Wikipedia]

Dick Clark, a Provider Guardian, was a visible part of American TV entertainment culture for 55 years.  He had a squeaky clean reputation, and a good business sense.  He never seemed to age, always appearing young.  Content to monitor the tastes of a mass audience and sell to it as an agreeable, mild-mannered pitch man, “America’s oldest teenager” played the role impeccably.   “My business is teenagers,” Mr. Clark once said. “I don’t set trends. I just find out what they are and exploit them.”

Provider Guardian: cooperative, collaborating, social contributor, the excellent chairman — ‘master of ceremony.’ He was personable, talkative, an astute salesman, businessman, he found what the American audiences wanted and supplied it.

Record executive Clive Davis called Clark “a true pioneer who revolutionized the way we listened to and consumed music. For me he ranks right up there with the giants of our business.”

Friends recalled a patient, encouraging man. “He was there for every crisis of my life and there were many,” Connie Francis said in statement. “Without Dick Clark there would have been no career because I was ready to abandon it. Dick was the most principled man I ever met in this business and treated everyone the same way, even if you were the little guy.”

He became a “primary force in legitimizing rock ‘n’ roll.”  Clark, however, simplified his contribution: “I played records, the kids danced, and America watched..”

Wherever they go, Providers happily give their time and energy to make sure that the needs of others are met, and that social functions are a success. Highly cooperative themselves, Providers are skilled in maintaining teamwork among their helpers, and are also tireless in their attention to the details of furnishing goods and services. They make excellent chairpersons in charge of dances,… [Please Understand Me II]

He thrived as the founder of Dick Clark Productions, supplying movies, game and music shows, beauty contests and more to TV. In the 1990s he produced made-for-TV films as well as theatrical movies.  Mr. Clark’s company also produces The Golden Globes awards show and created the mid-2000s television series American Dreams about a Philadelphia family in the early 1960s whose daughter is a regular on American Bandstand.  He created New Year’s Rockin’ Eve and he served as master of ceremonies of many TV’s bringing in the New Year, until he had a stroke, even assisting Ryan Seacrest this last New Year, just months before his death at 82.

Motown founder Berry Gordy and singer Diana Ross spoke of Clark’s impact on the recording industry: “Dick was always there for me and Motown, even before there was a Motown. He was an entrepreneur, a visionary and a major force in changing pop culture and ultimately influencing integration,” Gordy said. “I will always appreciate what he did for me and for popular music. He presented Motown and the Supremes on tour with the Caravan of Stars and on American Bandstand, where I got my start. Dick Clark was a pioneer, he was a music star maker, he was a legend and was my friend,” Ross said.

Guardians  are the cornerstone of society, for they are the temperament given to serving and preserving our most important social institutions. Guardians have natural talent in managing goods and services–from supervision to maintenance and supply — and they use all their skills to keep things running smoothly in their families, communities, schools, churches, hospitals, and businesses.

I don’t make culture. I sell it.  — Dick Clark

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