Bobby Troup Biography

Robert William Troup, 18 October 1918, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA, d. 7 February 1999, Sherman Oaks, California, USA. After studying extensively, including a degree in economics, Troup turned to songwriting and singing to his own piano accompaniment. In 1941 he was hired by Tommy Dorsey, but was drafted the same year. After five years in the US Navy, where he wrote scores for several shows, he settled in Los Angeles. He played nightclubs, married Julie London and formed a jazz trio. Troup also began making films, gaining small acting roles and sometimes playing piano and singing. Among these films were The Duchess Of Idaho (1950), The Five Pennies (1959) and The Gene Krupa Story (1959). He wrote scores for several films, including The Girl Can’t Help It (1956), for which he also contributed the title song, and Man Of The West (1958). Among his other songs are ‘Daddy’, the standard ‘(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66’, ‘Baby, Baby, All The Time’, both of which were recorded by Nat ‘King’ Cole, and ‘The Meaning Of The Blues’; he also wrote the lyrics for ‘Free And Easy’ and ‘Girl Talk’.

By the early 60s Troup’s acting career was in good shape; he had leading roles in several movies and also appeared on television in Acapulco, for which he wrote the background music. In the 60s and on through the 70s he took leading roles in such television movies as Dragnet and Benny And Barney: Las Vegas Undercover. He also acted in 1972’s Emergency! and its spin-off series, in which Julie London appeared. Not surprisingly, given the number of acting roles he was offered over the years, this area of Troup’s work tended to overshadow his music. In some respects this was a pity because, although an eclectic piano player, Troup sang with an engaging simplicity, and a dedication to the intentions of the lyricist seldom displayed by many more famous performers.

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

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