Frail and failing American Bandstand legend Dick Clark, 79 is reeling from a shocking new documentary that may smear his rock ‘n’ roll legacy!
The controversial film Wage$ of $pin portrays Clark as a corrupt and hated greed-monger who used his power to make and break music careers – and a friend says Clark is distraught that it will overshadow his 50-year career as a hitmaker.
"It’s a sad final chapter in the life of a man who was one of the biggest names in television," the friend confided. "This might be Dick’s final heartbreak."
The award-winning documentary chronicles the early years of the Philadelphia music scene where American Bandstand was originally produced.
It features interviews with old-time singers and songwriters who blame the clean-cut Clark for shaking down recording artists for lucrative publishing rights before he would air their music on his hit show.
The film also rehashes the 1950s payola scandal in which disc jockeys accepted cash and gifts in exchange for airplay.
Clark was investigated and testified in front of a Senate subcommittee on payola in 1960. While he was allowed to keep Bandstand, he was forced to give up his shares in publishing and record companies.
Artie Singer of Danny and the Juniors, who co-wrote the ’50s hit "At the Hop," revealed in the movie that he was told "the record does not go on the air until you give him [Dick Clark] 50 percent of the publishing."
"I saw everybody with their hands out," Singer said. "Artists were getting screwed."
But Singer also called the situation bittersweet because without Clark, "there would be no hit song."