PE0041. BOB CROSBY, His Orchestra & The Bobcats: 16 delightful hits. (E.U.) Charly 1119, recorded 1937-42. Final Copy! - 082333207028
“Bob Crosby, who rose to fame in the 1930s as a suave, swinging bandleader--and kid brother to that more famous Crosby, Bing, was best known as the easygoing front man for Bob Crosby's Bobcats, a rollicking octet that was the cornerstone of a larger Dixieland band, Crosby sought during his career to distinguish himself from his older brother. While Bing Crosby made a fortune crooning, for example, Bob rarely sang and once described himself in self-deprecating humor as ‘the only guy in the business who made it without talent’.
Indeed, a critic once described his tentative baritone as having ‘a tremolo wide enough to drive a Mack truck throug’. But what he lacked in vocal confidence, he made up for in personality, bridging the gap between the audience and the bandstand with a mellow charm that made him one of the more popular bandleaders of the Swing era.
By the time he graduated from Gonzaga University intent upon a show business career, Bing was already a well-known entertainer. Bob went directly from college to the Anson Weeks orchestra in the early 1930s, and within a year booking agent Tommy Rockwell got him a spot in a new band being organized around the Dorsey brothers. But the experience was painful. After a grueling year that reached its nadir when a Baltimore theater billed him as ‘Bing Crosby's Brother, Bob’, the younger Crosby struck out on his own, fronting a group that was being formed from the remnants of the defunct Ben Pollack band. He didn't sing or play an instrument, but his expansive stage presence made the most of the band's talented musicians, and soon the band's Big-Band Dixieland sound was getting top billing on radio shows and at hotels, theaters and ballrooms. Such jazz names as pianist Joe Sullivan and vocalist Doris Day worked with the band. Meanwhile, he had become a celebrity in his own right.”
- Shawn Hubler, LOS ANGELES TIMES, 10 March, 1993