Starting in 1972, those who wanted to ring in the new year had a new option thanks to tv host and pop music lover Dick Clark with his New Year’s Rocking Eve.
As the host of America’s longest running musical tv show – American Bandstand – Clark was someone who knew the music business and the power of television.
In 1972, he created the first Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rocking Eve, an hour and a half program set in New York City’s Times Square, with pop music performers Three Dog Night and the coverage of the annual ball drop at midnight.
He wanted to create something for a younger audience, as the older audience was watching Guy Lombardo and the Royal Canadians Canadians annual show, broadcast from the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City every New Year’s Eve.
Broadcast on NBC, the show was a combination of comedians and musicians, but in 1974 when the show moved to ABC it was hosted by Dick Clark and was focused on pop music performers as well as interspersed with celebrities interviewed by Clark.
The annual tv event became one of the most watched television specials each year, with the latest pop stars performing, celebrity appearances, Times Square crowd interviews and the infamous ball drop. As a young teen, watching the ball drop in New York was exciting, despite the fact that I was thousands of miles away and in a different time zone.
The tradition has continued into the new millennium, with the duties now passed onto a new host, and Dick Clark’s legacy continues every new year’s eve from New York City.