Bob Chester

Bob Chester (March 20, 1908 – October 29, 1966) was an American jazz and pop music bandleader and tenor saxophonist.

He was born in Detroit, Michigan, United States. 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 the mid-1930s, 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 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 No. 18 on the chart 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, 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. After a stint as a disc jockey at WKMH radio, 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.

Bob Chester died in October 1966, at the age of 58.

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

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1939 - 1942

Roles Represented in DAHR: director, saxophone, vocalist, songwriter, composer

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings (Results 26-50 of 132 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BS-044548 10-in. 1/2/1940 Turn on the old music box Bob Chester Orchestra Jazz/dance band director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-047019 10-in. 2/7/1940 With the wind and the rain in your hair Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-047020 10-in. 2/7/1940 If it weren't for you Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-047021 10-in. 2/7/1940 I hear bluebirds Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-047022 10-in. 2/7/1940 I walk with music Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-047742 10-in. 3/4/1940 The octave jump Bob Chester Orchestra Jazz/dance band director, instrumentalist, saxophone, songwriter  
Victor BS-047743 10-in. 3/4/1940 Chester's choice Bob Chester Orchestra Jazz/dance band director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-047744 10-in. 3/4/1940 You little heart-breaker you Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-047745 10-in. 3/4/1940 River, stay 'way from my door Stuart Allen ; Bob Chester Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-048740 10-in. 4/8/1940 They ought to write a book about you Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-048741 10-in. 4/8/1940 Secrets in the moonlight Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-048742 10-in. 4/8/1940 My wonderful one, let's dance Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-048743 10-in. 4/8/1940 We met each other in a dream Bob Chester Orchestra ; Bob Chester Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-050808 10-in. 5/17/1940 The moon won't talk Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-050809 10-in. 5/17/1940 Maybe Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-050810 10-in. 5/17/1940 Orchids for remembrance Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-050811 10-in. 5/17/1940 Pushin' the conversation along Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill ; Al Stuart Jazz/dance band, with female-male vocal duet director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-051843 10-in. 7/11/1940 Rhumboogie Bob Chester Orchestra ; Al Stuart Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-051844 10-in. 7/11/1940 Li'l Boy Love Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-051845 10-in. 7/11/1940 Now I lay me down to dream Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-051846 10-in. 7/11/1940 Rhythm on the river Bob Chester Orchestra ; Al Stuart Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-054669 10-in. 8/1/1940 One look at you Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-054670 10-in. 8/1/1940 Practice makes perfect Bob Chester Orchestra ; Al Stuart Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-054671 10-in. 8/1/1940 Don't let it get you down Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-054672 10-in. 8/1/1940 Off the record Bob Chester Orchestra Jazz/dance band director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
(Results 26-50 of 132 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Chester, Bob," accessed April 12, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/116042.

Chester, Bob. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved April 12, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/116042.

"Chester, Bob." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 12 April 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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