Dick Clark's fans: How he touched our lives

Thursday, April 19, 2012
FILE - In this April 20, 2002 file photo, Dick Clark, host of the American Bandstand television show, introduces entertainer Michael Jackson on stage during taping of the shows 50th anniversary special in Pasadena, Calif. Clark, the television host who helped bring rock `n roll into the mainstream on American Bandstand, died Wednesday, April 18, 2012 of a heart attack. He was 82. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, File) American Bandstand plaque, West Philadelphia

"We wanted to come and see where American Bandstand was," said Kathy Knoll.

Kathy and John Knoll were in town from Bethlehem, Pa. Thursday and just had to see the West Philadelphia spot where Dick Clark hosted American Bandstand before the show moved to California.

Like many teens from that era, they never missed it when Dick Clark was on.

"He used to have a lot of up and coming stars. You'd get to see the big stars almost before they were big," said John.

The historical marker on Market Street was adorned with flowers in Clark's memory.

Meanwhile in Somerton, Jim McGuire fondly remembered his time as a dancer on Bandstand from 1963 to 1964.

"I liked the twist. That was my favorite dance," Jim told Action News.

Chubby Checker was a favorite for McGuire, who danced in the background on the hit show, trying to go undetected since he admits he cut two classes in order to get over to the studios on time.

"That was the highlight of my life. Except being married, okay," he said, smiling.

Jim watched Clark's career soar from there but continued to be inspired, especially when he, like Clark, was recovering from a stroke.

"It didn't keep him down, It motivated him more to come back," he said.

The loss of the legend was felt across the area Thursday, not just because of Clark's national fame, but for what Bandstand did for Philadelphia.

"I think it put us on the map," one fan told us.

"He would seem to be open to everyone," said Donna Taylor of South Philadelphia. "Everyone would come and be a star. It was a freedom there."

As Pete Patriokios of West Philadelphia put it, "It was a great loss, but he lived a good life. He did a lot for Philadelphia."

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philadelphia, dick clark, local/state, katherine scott
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