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Bob Chester

Bob Chester (March 20, 1908 – June 14, 1977) was an American jazz and pop music bandleader and tenor saxophonist.

Chester's stepfather ran General Motors's Fisher Body Works. He began his career as a sideman under Irving Aaronson, Ben Bernie, and Ben Pollack. He formed his own group in Detroit in 1939, with a Glenn Miller-influenced sound. This band was unsuccessful in local engagements and quickly dissolved. He then put together a new band on the East Coast under the direction of Tommy Dorsey and with arrangements by David Rose. This ensemble fared much better, recording for Bluebird Records.

Chester's group, billed "The New Sensation of the Nation," had its own radio show on CBS briefly in the fall of 1939. The twenty-five-minute program aired from the Hotel Van Cleve in Dayton, Ohio late on Thursday nights (actually 12:30 am Friday morning, Eastern Time); the September 21, 1939 edition can be heard on the famous One Day In Radio tapes, archived by Washington D.C. station WJSV.

Chester's Bluebird records have proved excellent sellers, both for retail dealers and coin phonograph operators such as "From Maine to California"; "Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie"; "Madeliaine"; and two songs from "Banjo Eyes" - "Not a Care in the World" and "A Nickel to My Name". His only national hit was "With the Wind and the Rain in Your Hair" (b/w "I Walk With Music"; Bluebird 10614), which featured Dolores O'Neill on vocals and went to #18 on the charts in April 1940.

Chester's orchestra included trumpeters Alec Fila, Nick Travis, Lou Mucci, and Conrad Gozzo, saxophonists Herbie Steward and Peanuts Hucko, drummer Irv Kluger, and trombonist Bill Harris. His female singers included Dolores O'Neill, Kathleen Lane, and Betty Bradley; among his male singers were Gene Howard, Bill Darnell, Joe Harris, Stu Brayton, Hall Stewart, Peter Marshall, Bob Haymes, and Al Stuart.

The orchestra disbanded in the mid-1940s, due in part to the shrinking market for big band sound. Chester assembled another band for a short time in the early 1950s, but after it failed he retired from music and returned to Detroit to work for the rest of his life in auto manufacturing.

Birth and Death Data: Born March 20th, 1908 (Detroit), Died June 14th, 1977 (Detroit)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1939 - 1941

Roles Represented in DAHR: director, saxophone, songwriter

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 86 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BS-040956 10-in. 10/12/1939 Love never went to college Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-040957 10-in. 10/12/1939 Aunt Hagar's blues Bob Chester Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, saxophone, director  
Victor BS-040958 10-in. 10/12/1939 My silent mood Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo instrumentalist, saxophone, director  
Victor BS-040959 10-in. 10/12/1939 57th Street drag Bob Chester Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, saxophone, director  
Victor BS-040962 10-in. 10/13/1939 I thought about you Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-040963 10-in. 10/13/1939 After all Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-040964 10-in. 10/13/1939 Don't make me laugh Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo instrumentalist, saxophone, director  
Victor BS-040965 10-in. 10/13/1939 Stars over the campus Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo instrumentalist, saxophone, director  
Victor BS-041148 10-in. 7/31/1939 Just for a thrill Bob Chester Orchestra ; Kathleen Lane Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-041149 10-in. 7/31/1939 Hoy! Hoy! Bob Chester Orchestra ; Al Stuart Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo and male vocal ensemble instrumentalist, saxophone, director  
Victor BS-041604 10-in. 8/8/1939 Judy Bob Chester Orchestra ; Al Stuart Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-041605 10-in. 8/8/1939 Shoot the sherbet to me Herbert Bob Chester Orchestra ; Kathleen Lane Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo instrumentalist, saxophone, director  
Victor BS-041606 10-in. 8/8/1939 Allá en el rancho grande Bob Chester Orchestra ; Al Stuart Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, saxophone, director  
Victor BS-041607 10-in. 8/8/1939 You tell me your dream (I'll tell you mine) Bob Chester Orchestra ; Kathleen Lane Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-041924 10-in. 8/28/1939 Billy (I always dream of Bill) Bob Chester Orchestra ; Kathleen Lane Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-041925 10-in. 8/28/1939 Oo oo oo (I'm thrilled) Bob Chester Orchestra ; Kathleen Lane Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo instrumentalist, saxophone, director  
Victor BS-041926 10-in. 8/28/1939 Goody goodbye Bob Chester Orchestra ; Kathleen Lane Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-041927 10-in. 8/28/1939 I can't tell why I love you but I do Bob Chester Orchestra ; Kathleen Lane Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-044232 10-in. 11/21/1939 Baby, what else can I do? Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-044233 10-in. 11/21/1939 Russian lullaby Bob Chester Orchestra Jazz/dance band director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-044234 10-in. 11/21/1939 Why go on pretending? Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo instrumentalist, saxophone, director  
Victor BS-044235 10-in. 11/21/1939 In the heart of the dark Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo instrumentalist, saxophone, director  
Victor BS-044545 10-in. 1/2/1940 I've got no strings Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-044546 10-in. 1/2/1940 Easy does it Bob Chester Orchestra Jazz/dance band director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-044547 10-in. 1/2/1940 Make love with a guitar Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
(Results 1-25 of 86 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Chester, Bob," accessed May 14, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/116042.

Chester, Bob. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved May 14, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/116042.

"Chester, Bob." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 14 May 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/116042

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