Dick Clark: Decades Of American Bandstand's (And The World's) Oldest Teenager

By | January 22, 2018

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Dick Clark and Connie Francis on 'American Bandstand.' Airdate January 28, 1958. (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)

Dick Clark hosted the country's premiere pop showcase, American Bandstand, from 1956 to 1989 -- that's 33 years. A lot happened in those three-plus decades, with teen music going from sock-hop staples to psychedelic grooves to punk and new-wave angst to... well, whatever was happening in the late '80s. Someday we'll have a word for Milli Vanilli and Rick Astley. American Bandstand was an institution, and Clark's ever-presence as host earned him the title of "World's Oldest Teenager." Yes, the man was blessed with some sort of anti-aging super-gene, but additionally, he was just always hip to the current grooves. You never got that "here's whatever these fool kids like" vibe that an Ed Sullivan gave off. Music changed, and Clark rolled with it -- all while seeming to stay the same age.

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Dick Clark hosts an episode of the popular music and dance show 'American Bandstand,' Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1958. (Photo by Robert Kelley/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)