Indianapolis' own Dick Clark


Dick Clark was rock and roll and relevant. Jimmy Mack of Indianapolis not only met Dick Clark but was Indianapolis' Dick Clark.

"Bandstand 13 cam on the air," he says, in 1965 His Weekly Channel 13 show followed Clark's Bandstand with local bands and tunes kids could dance to.

"Did Dick Clark inspire you?" I asked Mack. "Of course we were very much aware of his show."

Jimmy Mack says both Clark's Bandstand, and later Bandstand 13, helped break racial barriers. Bringing on African American artists and, of course, those teen dancers. He says of Clark "he was color blind on that. He just wanted the talent on the air."

Jimmy Mack says of Clark's passing: "my thought instantly was glad he's not suffering anymore from stroke. I'm sure that's not a very happy life."

In Hamilton County Art Baker's Dad Bill Baker spun records and hosted hops too.

Bill even hosted a bandstand road show in Indianapolis the weekend President Kennedy was murdered in 1963.It was to have been Dick Clark too but Clark couldn't make it to Indy.

Bill Baker died in 2005 but his son says "I think he idolized him a little but I think he felt here was a man doing justice to the music industry, trying to promote the music industry and young artists."

WJJK's Steve Cannon remembers doing a radio show once with Clark and growing up on Bandstand.

"He told me one time he considered himself one of the luckiest guys around," says Cannon. "They told him why would anyone be interested in watching kids in Philadelphia dance to music. Why would anybody watch that."

But we did.