I found this item while doing research into Dick Clark who, you may know, was the young man who transformed Philadelphia's Bandstand television program into the immensely popular national American Bandstand. Although the Dick Clark mentioned in the Billboard item, whom I'll refer to as The Other Dick Clark, is obviously not the person I was seeking information on, I was intrigued. What happened to him after he moved to Florida? Did he ever go on the air as Dick Clark? Does he have any interesting stories about sharing a name with one of the best-known people in the country at the peak of that person's popularity? Where is he now?
I tried to track down The Other Dick Clark on the Internet and have discovered a few things of interest, though I can't be 100 percent certain they refer to The Other Dick Clark I'm seeking. Nor has my research answered my questions. So, with that caveat, here is what I found:
- The Other Dick Clark was apparently born in in 1929, the same year as Bandstand's Dick Clark.
- The WMFJ web site has pictures of The Other Dick Clark (that's where the photo with this post came from) and indicates that Dick Y. Clark was program director and an on-air announcer in the mornings. A musical survey from 1964 lists Dick Clark as an on-air DJ and a co-worker says that Clark was the morning man and General Manager in 1966.
- A Richard Y. Clark was listed as vice-president of Life Style Broadcasting, Inc., in Daytona Beach when that company was incorporated in 1980. Although that corporation is now listed as inactive by the State of Florida, Life Style was issued a permit by the Federal Communications Commission on Dec. 11, 1986, to construct television station WLSY-TV on Channel 26. By the time the station went on the air, the call letters had been changed to WAYQ-TV. There was a flap in the community about the height of the station's broadcasting tower when it was built, a concern that was apparently realized in 1991 when a military plane hit the antenna and knocked the station off the air.
As you can see, biographical information about The Other Dick Clark has been hard to find on the Internet. The My Life site lists a Richard Y. Clark, born in 1929, now living in Danville, Va., but I have no idea if that is The Other Dick Clark. While I'd still like to know the answers to my questions, my search is pretty much over. Unless, of course, you can fill in some of the blanks by adding your comments.
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.