Today in this blog, I thought that I would talk about a particular song, as well as the tragic end that one of the members of the band that recorded the song faced.
I'll readily admit that I was inspired to write about today's topic after watching a marathon of "Forensic Files" on HLN. After all, it's crappy weather outside, and weekends are notoriously bad for standard television now that the stupid network bigwigs have decided to axe weekend cartoons in favour of infomercials and news programs.
Not that I'm bitter or anything.
Anyway, I've always been a sucker for mysteries and I tend to watch a lot of programs that have to do with crime stories. When I was a teenager, I read a lot of true crime stories and I used to watch "American Justice" on A&E (remember that show?) or "Cold Case Files" because they were shows that kept my interest. If it weren't for my ability to pass out upon seeing the sight of blood, I might have gone through to have a career in law enforcement.
Anyway, one of the episodes focused on the murder of Walter Scott, who happened to be the frontman of a band that had limited success in the 1960s. And in all likelihood, it was a band that you probably have never even heard of.
Don't worry. I didn't know that this band had existed until I actually watched the episode of "Forensic Files" that put the spotlight on Walter Scott and his senseless death.
Anyway, the name of the band in question is Bob Kuban and The In-Men. The band was formed by St. Louis born Bob Kuban, a graduate of the St. Louis Institute of Music in 1964. And what was unique about the band was that it was made up of an eight piece orchestra that simulated a little bit of the big band sound that had become popular two decades earlier.
Unfortunately, due to the influence of "The British Invasion" and the huge success of British based bands like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Dave Clark Five, and The Hollies, the band only managed to have one major hit on the charts.
ARTIST: Bob Kuban and The In-Men
SONG: The Cheater
ALBUM: Look Out For The Cheater
DATE RELEASED: January 1966
PEAK POSITION ON THE BILLBOARD CHARTS: #12
Now, Bob Kuban and The In-Men had a couple of other single releases during the 1960s. One song, "The Teaser", peaked at #70. The group also did their own version of "Drive My Car" (written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon), which barely managed to chart within the Top 100 (peaking at #93). But it was this single that was easily the band's biggest hit.
I think a part of that was the delivery of the lyrics by Walter Scott. He really put forth a lot of effort in making the song stand out. And it certainly was a song that had a very direct message - it's a wonder that Ashley Madison hasn't used the song as their official theme! Yes, the song is all about a guy who has a really bad reputation when it came to relationships. He was a serial cheater. A cheater that did so much cheating that had Maury Povich had a show back in those days, he would have appeared every other week to prove that he had never fathered that woman's child.
Little did anybody know that this song would end up being a rather ironic one in the case of Walter Scott - or at least it ended up becoming one seventeen years after this single charted.
The date was December 27, 1983, and it could be argued that Walter Scott was in a good place. He was married to his second wife, JoAnn Calcaterra, and he was looking forward to his upcoming forty-first birthday, which was on February 7. And it appeared as though he would be reuniting with Bob Kuban for a reunion tour. Scott had left the band shortly after "The Cheater" was released in an effort to pursue a solo career, but when that did not pan out, he started touring with a cover band throughout the 1970s and early 1980s. Kuban and Scott had reunited a few months earlier for a television appearance, and both had decided that they would spend 1984 playing several concerts to celebrate the band's twentieth anniversary.
Only those plans never came to fruition, as Scott disappeared that evening.
He was not found until April 1987 - a full three years and four months after he first went missing. His body was stuffed inside of a cistern, floating face down, wearing the same clothes that he was wearing at the time of his disappearance. It was later discovered that Scott had been murdered the very night he disappeared, and that the cause of death was a gunshot would to the back. Further evidence revealed that Scott had been tied up prior to being shot, indicating that Scott was the victim of premeditated murder.
Now, here's where the irony of the song "The Cheater" comes into play. You see, Scott's wife was having an affair with James H. Williams, and Williams decided to come up with the plan to kill Walter so that he and JoAnn could be free to be together. The couple would eventually marry in 1986 - just a few months before Scott's body was unearthed.
What makes this case even more chilling was the fact that Williams was also charged with murdering his own wife, Sharon Williams.
Both JoAnn Calcaterra Williams and James H. Williams faced charges related to the murder of Walter Scott. JoAnn was charged with hindering the prosecution of Scott's murder, as she wasn't exactly honest with the investigators involved in the case, and was sentenced to five years in prison. James H. Williams, was charged with two counts of capital murder - one for each person who died at his hands.
Williams was given a life sentence for the two murders, and died in prison exactly four years ago today, on September 13, 2011.
It was certainly a case in the music history files of singers who died tragic deaths. In the case of Walter Scott, he certainly had reason to fear "the cheater". After all, the cheater in this case cheated him out of the rest of his life.
Tough luck for the cheater
Too bad for the fool hearted clown
Tough break for the cheater
Who used to build you up
Just to let you down