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Friday, May 15, 2009
FAT BOB THE SINGING PLUMBER
Bob Taylor The Singing Plumber and The Bob Snyder Orchestra
Arranged by Ray Starling
"Fat Bob, the Singing Plumber from Ann Arbor," is about the closest thing to a locally created celebrity to come from Detroit since "The Supremes" burst upon the music field. Following a whirlwind of appearances on J. P. McCarthy's "Music Hall" and "Focus" shows on Detroit's WJR, (more than any other local clebrity), "Fat Bob" has logged in a guest appearance on the nationally televised "Mike Douglas Show," "The Bob Braun 50-50 Club" on WLW-TV in Cincinnati where he recently appeared with Margaret Whiting, and over a dozen convention and civic club engagements, including the National Plumbing Convention in Detroit.
Born in Leamington, Ontario, "Fat Bob" moved to the United States in 1941, attended high school in East Lansing, and went to Michigan State University one year prior to joining the U.S. Air Force. Whine in service, he began singing and landed a special services assignment as a result. After the Air Force, Bob began a stint of night club appearances. But singing jobs were hard to come by, so Bob joined his father-in-law's plumbing firm and began earning his Master's plumbing license.
However, singing was in his blood, so he later decided to try formally studying music, and after some courses in drama and music at Eastern Michigan, he began regular voice training with the distinguished University of Michigan voice coach, Millard Cates. In less than a year, Bob had won the Metropolitan Opera regional auditions and was offered a scholarship in New York. Though tempting, Bob turned the scholarship down, because with a family he was unable to make ends meet on a small stipend.
Now things look great for Bob Taylor. His recognition is increasing as well it should. He even has a fan club which is run by Sandy Krupitzer who would love to have you join the list of members, many of them famous, by sending 25c for a card, a pin, and the mailing cost. Send it to Sandy, 924 Goodale, Clawson, Michigan.
BELIEVE IN ME (Max Hill)
WANDERIN' (Sammy Kaye)
SUNRISE, SUNSET (Sheldon Harnick - Jerry Bock)
YESTERDAY (John Lennon - Paul McCartney)
DANNY BOY (Fred E. Weatherly)
IF EVER I WOULD LEAVE YOU (Alan J. Lerner - Frederick Loewe)
THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM (Joe Darion - Mitch Leigh)
SEPTEMBER SONG (Kurt Weill - Maxwell Anderson)
YOU MAKE ME FEEL SO YOUNG (Mack Gordon - Josef Myrow)
WHO CAN I TURN TO (Leslie Bricusse - Anthony Newley)
THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC (Johnny Mercer)
OLD MAN RIVER (Jerome Kern - Oscar Hammerstein)
Editor's note: please, don't send 25c to Sandy as Bob passed away on Father's Day 1995 and most likely the fan club disbanded long before that. Then again, who knows... just don't involve me in it!
Researching Bob, I found out that legendary Detroit Tiger broadcaster Ernie Harwell has written numerous songs and had 66 of them recorded by artists such as Mitch Ryder, B. J. Thomas and Barbara Lewis. I'll have to keep a look out for some of them!
I came across this record on a few blogs and managed to track down some audio from WFMU's site. I would love to hear more from this honky-tonkin' caterwaulin' queen. Listen to the tracks below and I think you will too!