Dick Clark's incredibly successful entertainment career was undoubtedly boosted by his bland public persona - a boyish-looking straight arrow that could be trusted with America's teens in a turbulent time.
But Clark, who later in his career admitted to having bipolar disorder, was much more than the smiling, perpetual teen who closed each show with a salute to his mother.
When confronted by investigators at the tail end of the payola hearings in Washington, D.C., in 1960, Clark described himself as a "professional crystal ball gazer" in the somewhat hazy world of popular music. Investigators, however, were aware that Clark's "gazing" had led him to acquire a personal interest in some 29 separate companies as a result of his role as the host of American Bandstand.
As I noted in an earlier post, Clark himself acknowledged that "I was making a killing, racing around trying to get all the money I could. My tentacles went in every direction. I didn’t want to let an opportunity go by.”
Although most of Clark's business interests were in the music business itself, he also reached out directly to his Bandstand fans in other ways. An early investment was reportedly in the Steer Inn restaurant on Admiral Wilson Boulevard in Camden, N.J. How many of these Dick Clark-related products do you remember?:
Clark's first book, Your Happiest Years, published in 1959:
Dick Clark's Blinker Badge (1959):
Dick Clark's Official American Bandstand Jewelry (1959):
Dick Clark doll:
Dick Clark autograph book:
The Platter Puss, "The Official autograph mascot of American Bandstand" (1959):
Do you have any stories about Bandstand, Dick Clark or growing up in the Philadelphia area during the show's run at WFIL-TV? Please share them in the comments section or e-mail them to me.