News that longtime "American Bandstand" host
That door already was partially closed when "Soul Train" creator Don Cornelius died in February.
Clark's and Cornelius' shows seem quaint now, but they were important sources of news and information for 1970s and '80s small-town kids like me. "Bandstand" and "Soul Train" showed the faces behind radio hits and offered insights into the latest fashions and dances.
These shows offered a sense of community among music fans -- even if the young people who appeared on these shows clearly were not regular teens but rather showbiz types angling for more camera time.
YouTube and social media now get bands' images out to the world in an instant. But "Bandstand" seemed dated even in the early 1980s, when MTV was the much cooler conduit for lip-syncing.
Yet "Bandstand" still had some juice in the early '80s. I saw Madonna's face (and midriff) for the first time on "Bandstand" (see video, above)
I recall it vividly because I had heard "Holiday" on the radio and had envisioned a 1970s, sequined-gowned dance diva singing the song. The East Village-scruffy, fashion-forward singer and modern dancer who appeared on "Bandstand" was a revelation.
Within a few years, Madonna would become as iconic a figure as the always genial yet always in-charge gentleman who introduced her on "Bandstand." The in-charge part is evident in the final part of the video, when Clark keeps control of his interview with Madonna despite crowd whoops and her already formidable ego.