The “Star Spangled Radio Hour” will be heading to “Dixieland” this weekend with Bob Crosby and his Orchestra featuring the Bobcats. The band will be featured at two points in their history, from 1940 and 1936. We will drop in on them at the Blackhawk in Chicago and hear another one of their interesting syndicated programs made for the Ford Motor Company. It has been a while since we have visited with the Crosby band so this will be an especially fun program.
Bing was not the only offspring of Harry and Kate Crosby to be successful in show business. Bing's youngest sibling, Bob, followed in Bing's footsteps, first as a singer, then as a bandleader. The year Bing became a national phenomenon, 1931, Bob, only 18 years old at the time, got a telegram from Anson Weeks offering him a job singing with his band in San Francisco. Bob accepted, and within four years Bob was leading his own orchestra, even though he could not play an instrument.
Bob's most famous band was a small Dixieland jazz group called the Bobcats. Bob had his own 15-minute radio show called "Club 15" from 1946 thru 1952 and a half hour daytime show from 1953-1955 titled "The Bob Crosby Show," both on CBS. He replaced Phil Harris as bandleader on Jack Benny's radio show in 1952, where he remained through the end of the radio show in 1955.
Bob's recordings topped the charts four times: "In a Little Gypsy Tea Room" in 1935, "Whispers in the Dark" in 1937, and "Day In, Day Out" in 1939. Bing first recorded with Bob's orchestra in 1938, and their first session produced a No. 1 hit, "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby." Also among Bob's musical hits were "South Rampart Street Parade," "March of the Bobcats" and "Dolores" (with Bing). During World War II Bob spent 18 months in the Marines touring with bands in the Pacific. In the photo Bing is shown shining Bob's brass.
Rick Crandall, Colorado Broadcaster of the Year will appear with Dennis Spragg as always for SSRH 145 at KEZW, Studio 1430, Denver, "America’s number one Adult Standards station,"Saturday, March 16 at 6:00 p.m. MDT (GMT-6), online at www.kezw.com and www.studio1430.com. The program will also be available streaming at the KEZW website for your listening convenience. International listeners please note that we are now on Daylight Time here in the United States.