Personal Memories of Dick Clark

Posted: Thursday, April 19, 2012 at 10:50 am
By: Doug Lund
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“Well I woke up Sunday morning with no way to hold my head that didn’t hurt..”

 Replace Sunday with Wednesday and this old Johnny Cash tune describes my condition perfectly.  I really don’t believe that you can catch a cold from being cold..but after playing golf on yet another windy chilly day Tuesday, a major league cold decided to take up residence in my head and chest. I dozed off in my easy chair Tuesday evening and woke myself up with a loud snort around 10 pm. (Hmmm..suddenly I remember images of my dad falling asleep in his rocker most every evening after supper. He was a hard working guy and even though he tried desperately to stay awake through “Have Gun Will Travel” at 9 pm, his head would usually start to bob and weave around 8:30. It was great entertainment for my brothers and I watching as his head finally snapped all the way back causing the upper plate of his false teeth to slip down. It was hilarious and sometimes our giggling was loud enough to bring dad out of his uncomfortable slumber at which point he’d gaze around the room with a scowl on his face but rarely said anything.  Finally mom would talk him into just going to bed. I feel bad now for laughing.) Although I was alone in the room, I’d obviously been sleeping in the chair with my mouth wide open because my throat was bone dry and sore. That hangy-down thing at the back, that looks like a little punching bag, felt twice its normal size. A few swallows of cola helped a little but then the coughing began and continues to keep me up nights. It’s probably pay-back for being a disrespectful son 50 years ago. Anyway, there’s too much going on this week for me to be sick. I am the emcee again for the fourth annual South Dakota Rock and Roll Music Association Hall of Fame induction ceremony and concert. The event at the Ramkota Exhibit Hall has been sold out for two weeks and promises to deliver a night of nostalgia and good times as 10 bands take the stage performing the songs that made them so popular during the golden age of rock and roll.  

No one is more identified with that era than Dick Clark who died this week at the age of 82. His American Bandstand television show provided a jump start to countless rock and roll bands including Myron Lee and the Caddies of Sioux Falls who twice toured the country as part of Clark’s Caravan of Stars.

dick clark poster

 Myron always talked about how Dick Clark was such a down to earth person who often rode the tour buses right along with the Caravan performers.

That's Clark fronting the Caravan of Stars in 1963. Myron Lee and the Caddies provided the music for most of the stars. From left to right are Jerry Haacke (bass) Joel Shapiro(sax) Fred Scott (sax) Myron and Curt Powell (guitar)

That's Clark fronting the Caravan of Stars in 1963. Myron Lee and the Caddies provided the music for most of the stars. From left to right are Jerry Haacke (bass) Joel Shapiro(sax) Fred Scott (sax) Myron Lee and Curt Powell (guitar) Stu Perry, not shown here, was the drummer.

I once did a story on the musical career of Myron Lee for Keloland TV. I desperately wanted to get in touch with Dick Clark for a phone interview. Myron hooked me up with Bobby Vee, who had a string of rock and roll hits in the 60’s and had remained good friends with Clark. He said he’d have Dick give me a call. I wasn’t holding my breath since at that time Clark was not only still hosting American Bandstand but also “The 10,000 Dollar Pyramid game show as well as TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes with Ed McMahon. I doubted he’d have time to reminisce with a South Dakota TV reporter about one of the bands that traveled with him 30 years earlier. So, I was more than a little shocked when our newsroom assistant answered the phone and said a guy who says he’s Dick Clark is on the phone for you. Immediately, every one of my newsroom colleagues stopped what they were doing to inquire if that was THE Dick Clark. It took awhile to set up the audio recording and I kept apologizing for taking up his valuable time but he couldn’t have been nicer and seemed in no hurry. He said he’d been in South Dakota many times and that his wife, Kari, was a Minnesota gal and graduated from North Dakota State. He remembered Myron Lee and the Caddies very well and was especially impressed with their talent and work ethic. Before I realized it, the half-hour long audio tape had run out and we said goodbye. It was one of those unforgettable celebrity encounters that were such a wonderful part of my job. I still have that tape in a box somewhere but haven’t time to look for it now. I’m going to load up on Advil and cough syrup then try sleep my way back to wellness by Saturday night; hopefully keeping my mouth shut and snorting to a minimum.  As America’s oldest teenager, Dick Clark, would often say; The Show Must Go On.

7 Comments

  1. Cam Lind says:

    Nice, touching and insightful story. Great times and we were there. CL

  2. Bill Keller says:

    Thanks for sharing Doug. It was, as always , great to see a picture of Myron and Curt, Jerry, and the guys.

  3. Myron Lee says:

    Nice story Doug but I had forgotten until now that Dick Clark had called you. I remember tho after your story about us was aired on KELO I got a ton of calls wanting to book the band.
    You pumped up my career many times over the years with the nice things you did for me.
    Thanks again.
    Myron Lee

  4. Per Pål P says:

    An amazing guy….I remember watching Band Stand on an old black and white TV with snow etc….My daughter remembers Band Stand… What an honor for Myron Lee….plus a number of other inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that had the opportunity to be involved one way or the other with the GREAT Dick Clark….Nice story Doug…. Oh…and remember…. Vicks on the chest and back…Vicks on the bottoms of your feet covered by a pair of wool socks….a sock of garlic and onions tired around your neck…And you might like my grandma’s…..Hilda Mathilda Knudson Peterson’s other remedy…. Some bourbon…hot water…and sugar…. Ha Det Bra Doug…. Per

  5. Janice Andersen says:

    For your cold, try rubbing your feet with Vicks vapor rub and putting on a pair of warm socks when you go to bed. It really works.

  6. It was 1969 and I was with the band Mercy. Dick Clark had me on the phone as his audience on American Bandstand was rating our song “Love Can Make You Happy”. Dick Clark tells me, “the kids love your song!” The rest was history. Mercy went on to make the Top 10 second only to The Beatles’ “Get Back.”

    James Marvell formerly of MERCY
    See photo from the ’60s – http://i560.photobucket.com/albums/ss41/ClassicNews/marvellandmercyforvideorodney_001.jpg

  7. Per Pål P says:

    Hey Doug…you were a real trooper at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Sat. night….to struggle with the throat etc…. GREAT Job again…..fantastic night… And Grouse…you were sensational….great music…super vocals…You and the Stingrays are amazing… Thanks to Don Fritz and ALL that help put this event on….A LOT of work and effort…and thanks to all the volunteers….

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