I have always respected the work of Dick Clark, along with my other broadcast heroes Bob Kingsley, Ralph Emery, Charlie Chase and Lon Helton.

In 2003, I actually had the honor to see Dick Clark work in Las Vegas as the producer of the Academy of Country Music Awards. While in the audience with a group of listeners from the Albany area, I had the chance to witness the amazing legend run around with a clip board getting the stars in place, sending out cues, and reminding award winners to keep their speeches under 30 seconds. Yes, it’s true, when Dick Clark’s name appears as a producer on the TV credits, he really produces the show!  Honestly, I expected to see someone else doing the ‘dirty’ work, while he called the shots from a comfortable leather chair, but this was not the case.

I will always remember this moment, and not just because it was the night that Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks wore her infamous FUTK t-shirt in the midst of her feud with Toby Keith.  I got to see one of my heroes ‘work.’ A professional who’s passion for music benefited every genre, artist and fan.

To furthermore showcase Dick Clark’s impact on the Country Music industry, I wanted to share this quote released by the Academy of Country Music’s CEO Bob Romeo, "Dick Clark's dedication to the world of music—and the country format in particular—helped raise the profile of the Academy of Country Music, beginning with him hosting the Awards in 1969 and later, as our Executive Producer. He was an energetic leader in establishing the Academy as a television presence and helped expand the reach of the genre overall, always bringing new talent to the viewers he loved so much. We are proud that his lasting legacy continues four decades later, with his son, R.A. Clark, producing our Awards. He will be greatly missed."

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