Milwaukee drummer attributes musical, personal success to Dick Clark
Matt Montgomery & Nick Iannelli
MILWAUKEE- An icon in television and music has passed away. Dick Clark died at the age of 82 Wednesday. He impacted the careers and lives of nearly countless musicians -- including one local group that served as the house band for one of Clark's TV shows in the 1960s.
The Robbs were a successful American pop-rock band made up of four members. Three were brothers from Oconomowoc. The fourth -- a man from Milwaukee named Craig Krampf.
Krampf was a prolific drummer with an expansive career who still remembers exactly what Dick Clark said as he introduced his band to the world. "I discovered this band in Chicago and they're gonna be the next big thing -- ladies and gentlemen, the Robbs."
Clark immediately took a shine to the group after they won a competition in Chicago in 1966, allowing them to perform on his daily TV program "Where the Action Is." Not long after their first appearance, the Robbs were installed as the show's house band. "It was an amazing thing," said Krampf.
The band's relationship with the show lasted for about a year, but Krampf's interactions with Clark continued and memories came flooding back after hearing about Clark's death. "So many different moods or thoughts can cross your mind when someone passes," said Krampf. "I was sad but then I just had a smile -- what an incredible human being."
Krampf attributes much of his personal success to Clark's advice and training. Adding one more name to the vast list of careers bolstered by the prestige and talent of entertainment legend Dick Clark. According to Krampf, "Clark taught us there things: never believe your own publicity...every band/artist had to be unique...the artist band members should never be the bad guy."
Krampf currently lives in Tennessee and has played on over 200 albums, including 60 “Top 40″ hits, plus many movie and TV soundtracks. Those efforts have garnered over 60 Gold & Platinum awards.