And the winner is . . . Dick Clark

January 30, 1995|By J. D. Considine | J. D. Considine,Sun Pop Music Critic

If they ever gave an award for producing awards shows, Dick Clark would win in a walk.

It isn't just that he has the American Music Awards airing live from Los Angeles tonight at 8 on ABC (WMAR, Channel 2). As it turns out, Clark has one awards show a week from now through the end of February.

"We did the Golden Globes last Saturday," he says, over the phone from his office in Los Angeles. "We'll be doing the Daytime Soaps shortly after this one, then the Daytime Emmys, followed by the Academy of Country Music thing."

With so much going on, it's a wonder he or anyone on his staff ever finds time to sleep. "We don't have a time clock here," he says of the schedule. "This place, it won't be 24 hours a day, but it will be open 19 hours a day for the next week or two."

Not that he's complaining. Apart from the fact that he loves his work -- "I am truly living a dream I had when I was 13," he says -- Clark has an abiding fascination for awards shows.

"The only thing they have in common is the word 'award,' " he says of his various projects. Nonetheless, these gatherings do have a common thread: Stars.

"What's great about it is, once we get 'em there, they're in the presence of so many peers from other fields," he says. "So it takes on an aura of great respect. They're very nice to one another, very polite. There could be a hip-hop artist performing, and you'll find the country people appreciating, applauding. It has a moment of unity, after all the chaos of getting it together."

Clark adds that the stars rarely have trouble finding common ground for conversation.

"They're going through the same stuff," he says. "It's real easy to talk to one another, because they can talk about the woes of the road, or a manager who's [cheating] them, or what they are going to do in their old age. Though they almost never talk about the latter. Most of them think that they will go on forever."

If they're like Clark, they might just pull it off, too. At 65, he's been on the air for most of his life, including a 37-year stint with "American Bandstand," and shows no sign of slowing.

So what is he looking forward to about the American Music Awards? "There are two things," he answers. "I want to see the Madonna/Babyface thing, because Madonna's an icon -- everybody knows about her. But she's never done a duet, and Babyface is probably the single hottest male performer in the business right now, in terms of his own solo career, the other people he produces, and the fact that he's the No. 1 producer of 1994. That's an interesting marriage of music.

"Personally, I'm going to love seeing the Go-Go's and Little Richard. I can't wait for that, because that brings God knows how many generations together. Richard's song is 40 years old, he's still out there doing his thing, and the Go-Go's are on their second go-round. So that's a fun combination."

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