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St. Louisans Personal Connection To Dick Clark

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) - In the fall of 1965 Bob Kuban and his in-men recorded a song they called 'The Cheater.'

'January or February we were starting to make some noise about the country with the record,' recalls Bob Kuban.  'We got a call from his office and they wanted us on American Bandstand.'

It was April 30th, 1966 when Kuban came face to face with a young Dick Clark.

'Patrick, so incredible because obviously everyone was scared to death,' remembers Kuban.  'Because how do you talk to God.'

On most nights Kuban beat the drums but during the day he taught music at Dubourg high school.

'He came up to us and said, `Hi guys how are you doing?`,' says Kuban.  'You`re a school teacher Bob I wanna talk about you being a school teacher.  I was probably one of the first guys to record nationally that was teaching high school at the time.'

American Bandstand became a household name, breaking down racial barriers, and Kuban and Cark became friends.

'If there is a father rock roll music as we know it today it was definitely Dick Clark,' says Kuban.  'I mean they're going to it was Chuck Berry.  But he was the reason a lot of the group existed.'

The bandleader says Clark`s passing is the end of an era for TV pioneers.

'Everybody says Ryan Seacrest,' says Kuban.  'Well, Ryan is a good entertainer but he's no Dick Clark .'

Who Kuban says was a renaissance man who always followed up a meeting with a personal note.

'And it didn't come out of his office so to speak I mean it wasn't written by one of the secretaries it was a personal note written from Dick himself,' remembers Kuban.

I can speak from experience.

I got this in the mail after interviewing the entertainment icon in 1999...he was willing to play along when the subject of surnames came up.

One of my fondest interviews, from a music mentor.

Patrick Clark, News 11.

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