Remembering the world's oldest teenager - Omaha.com
go logo
article photo
article photo
Dick Clark died Wednesday morning at 82.


DICK CLARK

Remembering the world's oldest teenager
By Kevin Coffey
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER


Over the years, "American Bandstand" host Dick Clark appeared several times in Omaha. In 1964, Clark hosted his "Caravan of the Stars" tour at Rosenblatt Stadium, and in 1983, Clark appeared to promote his Top 40 countdown radio show.

From 1962 to 1964, Omaha musician Johnny Ray Gomez hosted "Channel 7 Dancestand," a takeoff of Clark's TV show. The locally produced show followed "Bandstand" on TV and featured dancers from local high schools such as Central, South, Creighton Prep and Marian. After the show aired, Gomez would sit with director Pete Kouris and watch tapes of Clark to get better at being a host.

"Dick Clark was it," said Gomez, 68. "The way he held his mic, the way he got each entertainer to plug their records but to do it in such a way that it was interesting — Dick was a master."

Gomez also attended Clark's concert at Rosenblatt but wasn't able to meet him. At the time, Gomez worked for KETV, but Clark was such a big star that they couldn't even take a photo of him.

"What a show that was," Gomez said. "You think of television and the golden oldies, that's Dick Clark." "Caravan" stars included Bobby Freeman and Fabian.

When he came here in 1983, Clark was presented with a key to the city and spoke about music videos, which were on the rise at the time with the debut of MTV. Clark said music videos were older than "Bandstand," but he wasn't sure how long the phenomenon would last.

"I don't know how long people can put up with out-of-focus shots, smoke and slow motion. I think music is basically a listening medium," he told The World-Herald.

Omahan Fred Jalass used to watch "American Bandstand" because he liked to watch the dancers.

"He surely will be missed," he said. "I think he was loved by everyone. He's an icon."

Cindy Workman of Omaha once met Clark when she was living in Los Angeles. While she was at a friend's beach house, a neighbor walked out of his home and greeted them, saying it was a stunning view.

"I looked over and my first thought was, 'That looks just like Dick Clark,' " she said. "We sat there and chatted with him for a while, and then the sun went down and he went back inside his place. I looked at my friend and he just smiled and said, 'Yup, that was Dick Clark.'"

World-Herald researcher Jeanne Hauser contributed to this report.

Contact the writer:

402-444-1557, kevin.coffey@owh.com

twitter.com/owhmusicguy

Cheri Halda of Ralston wrote of Dick Clark:

"I met him about 20 or 25 years ago when he came to Omaha on a radio promotion. I remember driving to the Old Mill shops and dropping my entry in a box at one of the stores to try to win a pass to meet him.

"I wasn't contacted that I had won one of the passes until the day of the event. I couldn't find any of my friends to go at the last minute, so I took my mom because she was always up to doing anything.

"Dick was very nice, classy, polite. He loved my mom. He chose a few people to line up in front of the news camera and he went to each one to ask his or her age (like he would do on 'American Bandstand').

"I was one of the ones chosen. Everyone was 19, 20, 21. Then there was me ... 30-something. I started giggling because I felt so old and knew Dick had not realized I was in my 30s. He had his back to the camera, and he also started laughing. Not sure if that part made it to the evening news.

"I never was sent the picture from the station that was taken with him and me. I wish I had that now."

Contact the writer: Kevin Coffey

kevin.coffey@owh.com    |   402-444-1557    |  

Kevin covers music, whether it's pop, indie or punk, through artist interviews, reviews and trend stories. He also occasionally covers other entertainment, including video games and comic books.

Read more stories by Kevin


Contact the Omaha World-Herald newsroom


Copyright ©2014 Omaha World-Herald®. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, displayed or redistributed for any purpose without permission from the Omaha World-Herald.

Latest Stories

Debate still simmers over Field of Dreams site
Debate still simmers over Field of Dreams site

Twenty-five years after "The Field of Dreams" debuted in movie theaters, the Iowa farm where it was filmed remains at the center of simmering debates.


What to watch: Can 'Game of Thrones' top last week's 'purple wedding'?
What to watch: Can 'Game of Thrones' top last week's 'purple wedding'?

Tywin offers to work for the common good with a presumed enemy while Tyrion wonders if anyone in his family will help him out of his current predicament.


The 8 most untrustworthy artificial intelligences in film
The 8 most untrustworthy artificial intelligences in film

With the release of “Transcendence,” the story of a computer science genius whose mind is merged with a sentient system, Hollywood has once again probed the vagaries of artificial intelligence.


Record Store Day draws long lines, record collectors, good tunes
Record Store Day draws long lines, record collectors, good tunes

At Homer's Music in the Old Market, the first person in line arrived at 4:30 a.m. Saturday.


Coachella: Best of Day 1 includes The Replacements, Outkast
Coachella: Best of Day 1 includes The Replacements, Outkast

Rock Candy correspondents Joel Henriksen and Keith Finn check in from Indio to review Friday's top sets from the godfather of indie rock festivals.


Maha Music Festival announces lineup; might be its best yet
Maha Music Festival announces lineup; might be its best yet

August concert promises to pack Stinson Park with indie rock fans.


A saliva-inducing look at M's Pub's new happy hour
A saliva-inducing look at M's Pub's new happy hour

The downtown staple recently introduced a happy hour. And its menu's pretty amazing.


Dining review: If you're craving sushi, head to Benson's Taita
Dining review: If you're craving sushi, head to Benson's Taita

Chef Jose Dionicio has wisely refocused Taita on sushi, and the well-crafted small bites of fresh fish I tasted from his one-man sushi bar are delectable.


New Benson BBQ restaurant opens next week
New Benson BBQ restaurant opens next week

Fusion BBQ, at 7024 Maple St., focuses on American style barbecue cooking melded with international cuisines.


Nebraska's best burger determined by folks who know about this kind of thing
Nebraska's best burger determined by folks who know about this kind of thing

The Nebraska Beef Council announced the winner of its Nebraska's Best Burger contest.


 
Search
Movies Opening this week

Movie showtimes and theater listings






Read this!








VIDEOS

Tonight in Prime Time
© 2014 Omaha World-Herald. All rights reserved