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America's oldest teenager---Dick Clark. Dead at 82


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I remember Dick Clark and American Bandstand. It was a way to bring the teens of the entire country together and dancing to the new popular music. Back then it was an accomplishment to learn the new dances, and the new styles, etc. That had a two edged sword there, because young folks had an additonal pressure to conform to what was considered teen behavior.

But through it all, Dick Clark was so polite and gentlemanly - he never took up the slang expressions of the disc jockeys of the day, and he never talked down to any young person, even as they increasingly had longer hair and grungier clothing. He had an incredibly young face for an incredibly long time, and his gentle, respectful voice had never changed over the years. Paul Schaefer, of David Letterman's band, said that no one in his memory of his long friendship with him has ever seen him get angry or arrogant or profane. Perhaps his youthful appearance and his peaceful demeanor are connected - who knows.

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