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 51-75 of 132 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BS-055511 10-in. 8/14/1940 A song of Old Hawaii Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-055512 10-in. 8/14/1940 There shall be no night Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-055513 10-in. 8/14/1940 We three (My echo, my shadow and me) Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-055514 10-in. 8/14/1940 Take care (of you for me) Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-056162 10-in. 9/24/1940 Flinging a whing-ding Bob Chester Orchestra Jazz/dance band director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-056163 10-in. 9/24/1940 Buzz buzz buzz (lookin' for my honey) Bob Chester Orchestra Jazz/dance band director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-056164 10-in. 9/24/1940 You're breaking my heart all over again Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-056165 10-in. 9/24/1940 When I leave the world behind Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-056166 10-in. 9/24/1940 May I never love again Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-056167 10-in. 9/24/1940 Arise my love Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-057012 10-in. 10/21/1940 Old, old castle in Scotland Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-057013 10-in. 10/21/1940 Talkin' to my heart Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-057014 10-in. 10/21/1940 Who am I Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-057015 10-in. 10/21/1940 I'm in a lovable mood tonight Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-057744 10-in. 11/26/1940 I'm always chasing rainbows Bob Chester Orchestra ; Betty Bradley Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-057745 10-in. 11/26/1940 Somebody stole my gal Bob Chester Orchestra ; Bill Darnell Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-057746 10-in. 11/26/1940 Chilly and cold Bob Chester Orchestra ; Betty Bradley Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-057747 10-in. 11/26/1940 Till the lights of London shine again Bob Chester Orchestra ; Bill Darnell Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-058756 10-in. 1/6/1941 Beau night in Hotchkiss Corners Bob Chester Orchestra ; Betty Bradley Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-058757 10-in. 1/6/1941 I could write a book Bob Chester Orchestra ; Bill Darnell Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-058758 10-in. 1/6/1941 Blue echoes Bob Chester Orchestra ; Betty Bradley Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-058759 10-in. 1/6/1941 Waterloo Bridge Bob Chester Orchestra ; Bill Darnell Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-060615 10-in. 2/4/1941 My ship Bob Chester Orchestra ; Betty Bradley Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-060616 10-in. 2/4/1941 Bewitched Bob Chester Orchestra ; Betty Bradley Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo instrumentalist, saxophone, director  
Victor BS-060617 10-in. 2/4/1941 Oh! Look at me now Bob Chester Orchestra ; Bill Darnell Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, saxophone, director  
(Results 51-75 of 132 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Chester, Bob," accessed April 21, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/116042.

Chester, Bob. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved April 21, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/116042.

"Chester, Bob." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 21 April 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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