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 101-125 of 132 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BS-068044 10-in. 10/28/1941 Madelaine Bob Chester Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director, vocalist  
Victor BS-068045 10-in. 10/28/1941 I wish I had a sweetheart (Like that old sweetheart of mine) Bob Chester Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director  
Victor BS-068046 10-in. 10/28/1941 If I were the moon Bob Chester Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director, vocalist  
Victor BS-068047 10-in. 10/28/1941 Got something in my eye Bob Chester Orchestra ; Betty Bradley Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director  
Victor BS-068048 10-in. 10/28/1941 Harlem confusion Bob Chester Orchestra Jazz/dance band director  
Victor BS-068432 10-in. 11/27/1941 Winter weather Bob Chester Orchestra ; Betty Bradley Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-068433 10-in. 11/27/1941 Hawaiian war chant (Ta-hu-wa-hu-wai) Bob Chester Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-068434 10-in. 11/27/1941 Not a care in the world Bob Chester Orchestra ; Betty Bradley Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-068435 10-in. 11/27/1941 A nickel to my name Bob Chester Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-068478 10-in. 12/12/1941 Sailboat in the sky Bob Chester Orchestra ; Betty Bradley ; Bill Darnell Jazz/dance band, with female-male vocal duet director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-068479 10-in. 12/12/1941 No good Bob Chester Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-068480 10-in. 12/12/1941 Life would be a cake-walk with you Bob Chester Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-068481 10-in. 12/12/1941 The moment I laid eyes on you Bob Chester Orchestra ; Bill Darnell Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-071402 10-in. 9/25/1941 Joltin' Joe Di Maggio Bob Chester Orchestra ; Betty Bradley ; Bob Haymes Jazz/dance band, with mixed vocal trio and vocal ensemble director, vocalist, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-071403 10-in. 9/25/1941 Wait 'til the sun shines, Nellie Bob Chester Orchestra ; Betty Bradley ; Bob Haymes Jazz/dance band, with female-male vocal duet and vocal ensemble director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-071404 10-in. 9/25/1941 This love of mine Bob Chester Orchestra ; Betty Bradley Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-071405 10-in. 9/25/1941 The clock is fast Bob Chester Orchestra ; Betty Bradley Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-071406 10-in. 9/25/1941 From Maine to California Bob Chester Orchestra Jazz/dance band director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-071856 10-in. 2/17/1942 Tomorrow's sunrise Bob Chester Orchestra ; Gene Howard Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-071857 10-in. 2/17/1942 Sunburst (Theme song) Bob Chester Orchestra Jazz/dance band director, composer, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-071858 10-in. 2/17/1942 As we walk into the sunset Bob Chester Orchestra ; Gene Howard Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-071859 10-in. 2/17/1942 What to do Bob Chester Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-073400 10-in. 3/4/1942 There are rivers to cross (Before we meet again) Bob Chester Orchestra ; Gene Howard Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-073401 10-in. 3/4/1942 Moonlight Bay Bob Chester Orchestra ; Elisse Cooper ; Four Notes ; Gene Howard Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo and mixed vocal quartet director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
Victor BS-073402 10-in. 3/4/1942 Tanning Dr Jekyll's Hyde Bob Chester Orchestra Jazz/dance band director, instrumentalist, saxophone  
(Results 101-125 of 132 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Chester, Bob," accessed April 22, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/116042.

Chester, Bob. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved April 22, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/116042.

"Chester, Bob." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 22 April 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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