DICK CLARK: 40 “New Year’s Rockin’ Eves” Ago…

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American Bandstand with KISS

Now that the dust has completely settled from all the New Year’s Eve activities…Dick Clark recalls New Year’s Rockin’ Eve‘s origins, and the first 4 bands that performed:

They originated as an alternative for viewers who wanted something younger sounding than bandleader [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Guy Lombardo[/lastfm]. In an email interview with USA Today, the emcee-producer said the concept was first tried out back in 1959 — when American Bandstand aired every weekday and Clark did a Saturday night music and variety show for ABC.

But 1972 was the breakthrough — when we rang out the old and rocked in the new with [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Three Dog Night[/lastfm][lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Al Green[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Helen Reddy[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Billy Preston[/lastfm] as the guest stars.

  • Clark pointed out the most memorable moments of the 40 broadcasts he’s overseen — the millennium, the year after 9/11, even 1980, when the owner of One Times Square, the building from which the bejeweled ball descends, considered canceling the event due to the Iran hostage crisis, which began only weeks before.
  • While not naming a favorite guest star, Clark noted several appearances on which [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Barry Manilow[/lastfm] sang “Just Another New Year’s Eve.”
  • Maybe the biggest change: the original 90-minute show has expanded to a multi-part extravaganza that begins at 8 p.m. ET, and, with a break for late local news, rolls well past midnight.

Hey Dick…here’s lookin’ forward to the 41st! ~JZ.

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