Bob Crosby Biography

George Robert Crosby, 25 August 1913, Spokane, Washington, USA, d. 9 March 1993, La Jolla, California, USA. For most of his early career, Crosby was inevitably overshadowed by his older brother, Bing Crosby. Nevertheless, he achieved modest success thanks to a pleasant voice and a matching personality. In the immediate pre-swing era years he sang with Anson Weeks and then joined the band co-led by brothers Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey. In 1935, the disaffected musicians who had left the Ben Pollack band decided to form a co-operative group but wanted a frontman. They approached Crosby, who accepted the job, bringing a casual, relaxed air to one of the swing era’s liveliest bands. Unusually, the band favoured an energetic, two-beat dixieland style that became extremely popular. The leading musicians in the band were trumpeters Billy Butterfield and Yank Lawson, saxophonists Eddie Miller, Irving Fazola and Matty Matlock and rhythm players Bob Zurke, Hilton ‘Nappy’ Lamare, Bob Haggart and Ray Bauduc. After the band folded in 1942 Crosby continued to make films and personal appearances, sometimes as leader of reconstituted dixieland-style bands, sometimes of more contemporary-sounding bands. Generally, by the 70s and 80s, these groups bore little resemblance to the original Bob Crosby band, but the fans loved it all. Crosby died of cancer at Scripps Memorial Torrey Pines Convalescent Hospital in 1993.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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