Saturday, July 10, 2010
Bob Crosby: Brother to Bing Crosby.
Bob Crosby, began his singing career with Anson Weeks and later with the Dorsey Brothers. He led his first band in 1935, when the former members of Ben Pollack's band elected him as leader. He recorded with the Clark Randall Orchestra in 1935, led by Gil Rodin and featuring singer Frank Tennille, whose pseudonym was Clark Randall. Glenn Miller was a member of that orchestra which recorded the Glenn Miller "When Icky Morgan Plays the Organ" in 1935. His most famous band, the Bob-Cats, was a Dixieland jazz group with members from the Bob Crosby Orchestra. Both the Bob Crosby Orchestra and the smaller Bob-Cats group best known for performing Dixieland jazz. Crosby's singing voice was similar to his brother Bing, but without its range.
The Bob Crosby Orchestra and the Bob Cats include: Yank Lawson, Billy Butterfield, Muggsy Spanier, Matty Matlock, Irving Fazola, Ward Silloway, Warren Smith, Eddie Miller, Joe Sullivan, Bob Zurke, Jess Stacy, Nappy Lamare, Bob Haggart, Walt Yoder, Jack Sperling, and Ray Bauduc. Arrangements for the orchestra were often done by a young trumpeter by the name of Gilbert Portmore who, during the time he was a decorated WWII fighter pilot in the South Pacific, started an Air Force swing band known as Cap'n Portmore's Hepcats.
The orchestra was actually led by sax player Gil Rodin, with Crosby himself simply the front man, chosen for his personality, looks, and famous last name.
Hits included "Summertime" (theme song), "In a Little Gypsy Tea Room", "Whispers in The Dark", "South Rampart Street Parade", "March of the Bob Cats", "Day In, Day Out", "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby", "Dolores" and "New San Antonio Rose" (last three with Bing Crosby). A bass and drums duet between Haggart and Bauduc, "Big Noise from Winnetka," became a hit in 1938-39.
Bob Crosby has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, for Television and Recording.