Music Must Have A Good Beat and Be Easy To Dance To
WISCONSINREPORT.COM (10/06/2014) [GARYTALK] – Back in 2012, many of us were saddened by the passing of Dick Clark. It moved our Editor to write about the significance of Clark’s American Bandstand, and, the man’s contribution to how we, as a people, look at each other. We have re-published those words here in Gary Morgan’s GaryTalk column at WisconsinReport.com.
We were sad to see the passing of Dick Clark, a man who introduced generations to Rock and Soul music on national television and made them both acceptable as mainstream forms of entertainment. I remember that dozens of girls and some of us guys would try to get home after school to watch the regular studio dancers and music guests performing on black and white television sets. Yes, I was a high school student when Clark first started hosting American Bandstand years ago. (I think we were called “pupils” back then.)
Dick Clark, of American Bandstand from 1957 to 1987, got us enthused about learning how to tell when a song had a good beat and was easy to dance to, and so much more. We learned that most high school students in nearly every part of the country loved what we called Rock and Roll back then. It didn’t matter what we believed about anything else. It was the music that was the great leveler of teen age society. The Baby Boomers learned how to be Sweet Rock and Rollers, the American Bandstand way, and, to most of us, Dick Clark was American Bandstand.
We also learned how to dance through watching the regular studio dancers on American Bandstand. Girls and boys in every part of the United States learned new steps and learned that, if we tried, we could all dance the way the kids on American Bandstand danced. All we had to do was be observant and practice in our bedrooms, alone, in front of a mirror.
Of course, when it came to public dances, even though we knew how to dance the way we saw the regulars dance, some of us still didn’t have the nerve to actually do it on the gym floor at school dances. Not in front of other kids!!!! After all, we feared being made fun of, and, what if our feet wouldn’t do what they were supposed to do???!!
We also learned how to dress like an “almost grown-up teenager” by watching the dancers carefully, and taking mental notes about what to look for the next time we went shopping for clothes. Even if we didn’t want to admit to anyone else that we were trying to be like the dancers on American Bandstand by dressing as though we were one of them, many of us did, secretly feel that way. We were all, naive, back then. It was kind of like what kids did years later, when they watched the music videos, and soon you saw teenagers and preteens all over, wearing similar clothing.
After his stint as American Bandstand host, Clark went on to a career as a producer of countless music and entertainment oriented TV shows that perpetuated further, what we, at GreatGold.fm Classic Hit Oldies, believe. Music can give anyone who listens, extreme enjoyment, peace of mind, and satisfaction, from the melodies, the words, the messages, the performances, and, yes, the beat that’s easy to dance to.
Thank you, Dick Clark for educating us, influencing us, and guiding us, softly, to being people who accept each other by looking for the similarities in each other. Those of us who paid attention, learned that, even though some of us may not look the same, inside we are more the same, than not.
We also learned that Rock and Soul is ALL, Rock and Roll!!!
NOTE: Gary W. Morgan, a/k/a GabbyGary, is a semi-retired over-the-air radio broadcaster and newspaper person, who was involved in both news, entertainment and advertising from 1967-2000, after which Gary ran for a Wisconsin State Assembly seat. Moving forward a couple of years, Gary now writes and edits news for an independent online news publication called WisconsinReport.com (WiscReport.com). Gary also programs the music on GreatGold Classic Hit Oldies Internet Radio (GreatGold.fm), builds and maintains several websites, and performs other duties, in a semi-retired way.
WISCONSINREPORT.COM (WiscReport.com) is not affiliated with Wisconsin Government or any state agency, department, entity, or other website or printed publication with Wisconsin in it’s name. Established in 2002, we operate completely independent from political parties and other forms of outside influence. Our Mission is to report the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. We are WiscReport on Twitter and Facebook. A Morbizco Internet Media online publication. – WisconsinReport.com.