Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

St. Louis Regional history comes alive in this joint production by KDHX and the Missouri Historical Society. Stories of our past are connected with the present in these well researched and entertaining short presentations about the people, places, and events that have shaped who we are and who we are becoming. 

Nov 10, 2022

Some bands achieve fame, only to find themselves unable to recreate it with their subsequent recordings. They are, of course called, “one hit wonders.” One such band experience happened right here in St. Louis. Just Press play to hear the whole story. ———

Click on search links to see if there are episodes with related content: Andrew Wanko, Music, Pastimes and Leisure, People of Note, Business, 

Podcast Transcript: I’m Andrew Wanko, Public Historian of the Missouri Historical Society, and Here’s History on 88-one, KDHX. ———

St. Louis record label Musicland USA only released one major song, but it was a big one. In St. Louis, no other one-hit wonder approaches Bob Kuban and the In-Men’s “The Cheater.” ———

An eight-piece band formed in 1964 by local drummer Bob Kuban, the In-Men sounded snappier and more sophisticated than most of the countless 1960s Beatles-inspired groups. The band was poised for fame, and in late 1965 at Technisonic Studios, they laid down the track that would launch their pop stardom. Released that October, “The Cheater” told the story of a pride-filled stealer of significant others eventually getting his due. It had vibrant horns, a chorus that lingered in your head for days, and baritone crooner Walter Scott’s Elvis-inspired vocals. ———

By the spring of 1966, the Cheater had shot up the Billboard Hot 100 chart to number 12. Bob Kuban and the In-Men landed a national television appearance on American Bandstand that April. The group was suddenly sharing concert stages with acts like Otis Redding and the Turtles, and they even joined the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra for a classical performance of “The Cheater” at the Kiel Auditorium. ———

“The Cheater” seemed like the first brick in a tower of hits, but the song’s main hook “He’s gonna build you up, just to let you down” was about to sound like foreshadowing. In the spring of 1966, the group’s follow-ups, “The Teaser,” and a cover of the Beatles song “Drive My Car,” stalled out at numbers 70 and 93 respectively. They tried releases of “the Batman Theme” and a novelty dance song called “The Pretzel” but with no luck. As quickly as they’d arrived, Bob Kuban and the In-Men fell out of pop music’s fickle spotlight. ———

St. Louis never lost its “Cheater fever,” and the band outlived quite a few other famous local institutions. For example, Bob Kuban and the In-Men played at the opening of Busch Memorial Stadium in 1966, and also at the last game played there on October 2, 2005. ———

Here’s history is a joint production of the Missouri Historical Society and KDHX.  I’m Andrew Wanko and this is 88.1 KDHX St. Louis. ———