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There He Is, Bert Parks

Getty Images / Moviepix / Michael Ochs Archives

There He Is, Bert Parks

In the glory days of the Miss America pageant, emcee Bert Parks was as much a part of the event as the more than 50 women who competed for the crown each year. Although Parks may not have been what Americans dreamed of as they awaited the next pageant, he was the constant in a sea of ever-changing contestants – the face of the pageant from 1955 to 1979. And the song he sang in tribute to the winner became legend.

Parks was relieved of his hosting duties after years of anti-Miss America protests took their toll on organizers, who wanted to give the pageant a hipper, fresher feel. Many fans were vocally unhappy with the move, including Johnny Carson, who organized a letter-writing campaign to have Parks reinstated as emcee. It didn't work, and the pageant has since gone through a revolving cast of emcees. Ratings have also steadily dropped in those years.

For the 70th anniversary of Miss America, Parks returned to sing “There she is… “ one last time alongside then-host Gary Collins. Bert Parks’ death 20 years ago today on February 2, 1992 – just over a year after his final Miss America appearance – marked the end of an era. But the show and the classic song Parks made famous live on.
 

 

 

Written by Linnea Crowther