New Jack City: The Day I Kidnapped Dick Clark

The year was 1968…

The occasion was the release of one of several movies Dick Clark co-starred in and produced through his Dick Clark Productions.

I was the Marketing Director of Commonwealth Theatres, Inc. and Dick flew into Kansas City to promote his hillbilly moonshine exploitation film, "KILLERS THREE" which he co-starred with Robert Walker, Jr. and Merle Haggard. The movie was released by American-International Pictures.

My job was to take Clark around town to appear on several radio stations and plug the film. Naturally Top 40 stations were the target audience, which meant WHB (710 AM) and KUDL (AM) at that time.

Matter of fact it was home of a young, somewhat skinny DJ named Jeff Christie who we later got to know as Rush Limbaugh.

Anyway, it was one thing to take Dick to WHB in downtown K.C.—but another to try and find KUDL which was housed in a small outback building on some farmland close to I-35 out in Johnson County somewhere. I believe the location was behind what once was the Fox 50 Drive-In theater.

While driving south to find the station Dick had a puzzled look on his face—like where in the hell are you taking me? Yes, there were cows all around the building, but Dick was a trooper and hung right in here.

Years later at the opening of his American Bandstand Restaurant at College and Metcalf, Dick recalled his appearance at KUDL’s radio ranch by fondly remembering that he had come thisclose to making me turn the car around.

But like I said, he was a trooper.

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23 Responses to New Jack City: The Day I Kidnapped Dick Clark

  1. paulwilsonkc says:

    How was this SO interesting with no mention of….
    …Glazer or Dare?

    Inconceivable!

    I had no idea:
    * Jeff Christie worded for KUDL OR that he was Rush. He’s mentioned the 10’s of radio gigs he was fired from, but didnt know KUDL was on his list.
    * Dick did a movie on that topic WITH Merle Haggard!

    I did know KUDL was in the middle of nowhere but forgot that!! Thanks for a great story.

  2. Super Dave says:

    Yes Jack you are very right the station and the towers was located right behind the Fox 50 Drive In. I remember many a night when we went to the movies during the intermission we hoped the fence and went over to mess with the dj’s. Use to be a blk dude on at night forget his name but he was one crazy dude and a blast to mess with, talked us one night into going back and getting him a burger fries and drink for him.

    Yes in 1968 I am sure Dick might have been wondering where you was dragging him where you turned in to go back to the station from 87th then was also a huge old barn and riding stables as well.

    A great guy Dick was many such as yourself Jack who have met him have always had great things to say about him.

  3. chuck says:

    Nice story.
    🙂

  4. Old radio dude says:

    Crazy black dude
    That crazy black dude was JP Soul. KUDL FM was urban in 1968
    Up until 1971. Jeff Christy did nights on KUDL AM Big Boss
    Radio.
    Those were the days of fun and crazy radio.

  5. Super Dave says:

    @ old radio dude
    LOL he use to really jack with the police chief of Lenexa Jim Answorth as well back then called him the Chiefy. He would invite him to come out and join him on the air or he would dedicate a song to him.

    I was thinking he called himself Doctor something but oh well was 44 years ago hell I can’t remember to many of the other dj’s either.

  6. Old radio dude says:

    More KUDL history
    Ron Brothers mornings
    Jimmy the Greek Morgan afternoons
    Jeff Christy night s aka El Rushbo on AM

    Dell Rice mornings on the FM
    YOU MAY BE RIGHT ON THE DOCTOR
    Way too many years have passed to be 100% confident.

  7. Old radio dude says:

    Forgot about Andy Barber
    I was Poesiggers rep and set up the interview

  8. chuck says:

    I am so old, I remember,
    Don Armstrong’s 40 Star Survey–WHB, and, “The World’s Happiest Broadcasters”.

    The 40 Star Survery came on a long sheet. Kinda cool.

    I think Don Armstrong looked like Sonny Bono and once locked himself in the studio or something.

    Oh well…

  9. Cliffy says:

    It was more my older sister’s era but I vaguely remember Don Armstrong at WHB. Mom took us to Starlight to see Gary Lewis and the Playboys in Bye Bye Birdie (’66?) and the WHB jocks were there. I remember Armstrong let his hair grow ala the Beatles.

  10. chuck says:

    Wow!
    Gary Lewis and the Playboys. I forgot about those guys. Jerry Lewis’ kid. Dino, Desi and Louie, Dean Martin’s Kid.

    Thanks Cliffy!

  11. Super Dave says:

    One must not forget Chickenman either.

  12. Cliffy says:

    Chickenman … ah yes. I also seem to recall somebody doing a daily episode of “The Mission Hillbillies.” Who was that?

  13. jack p. says:

    Hey all you guys….
    …You’re bringing back far too many memories for me here.

    As to ‘Old Radio Dude’ who was my KUDL rep and set up the Dick Clark interview…why didn’t you give me your name??? Love to hear from you.
    Thanks everybody—jack poessiger.

  14. Bob says:

    Old Radio Guy Speaks…
    Hey jack, Bob Zuroweste here. I was was your radio rep at KUDL back then and I set up the interview at the station with the air talent. Thanks for remembering me!

  15. Craig Glazer says:

    Jack As Always Great Story
    Bob what are you up to these days…you were my favorite PD and boss…where are you now?

  16. jack p. says:

    Hey Bob…..
    …we miss you! Hope something opens up in K.C. so that we’ll have you back in the market. Those old KUDL days were great. Didn’t I have you sitting in on an old radio panel at the SHOW-A-RAMA movie convention one year?
    All the best to you and your family,
    Jack P.

  17. Z says:

    Those were those days
    Thanks Jack and Craig
    I am with Cumulus traveling and doing seminars.
    Still in Dayton trying to sell our house.once that happens we are back in KC
    in a heartbeat.
    The new gig allows me to live wherever I want.
    Having a great time and seeing the beauty of America.
    Jack..yes you had me so a presentation at Showarama.
    Looks like you still have a steeltrap memory.

  18. Orphan of the Road says:

    Chuck
    Dino, Desi & BILLY.

    Don’t forget, if you wanted Dick Clark to spin your records you gave him half of the song. Ask Bobby Vee how great the Dick was.

  19. chuck says:

    @ Orphan, yeh that is right.
    I don’t get the Bobby Vee ref, what do ya mean?

    Poor Dean Martin. I felt so bad for him when his kid got killed in the plane wreck.

  20. Orphan of the Road says:

    Chuck
    Dick’s take for “promoting” Bobby’s Take Good Care of My Baby was 47%. Know why ’59 was The Year The Music Died? Clark’s payola machine was churning out the crap. Or his dealings with Hank Ballard.

    He was more Nixon than JFK, successful as hell but scratch the image slightly and it starts to ooze.

  21. chuck says:

    Hmmm…
    Interesting.

    Thanks.

  22. Charlie Keefhaver says:

    Don Armstrong
    Unfortunately, Don passed away in 1979 at the age of 39 in Port Lucie, FL.

  23. chuck says:

    @ Charlie Keefhaver
    Kinda young.

    Couldn’t swim?

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