[Dixielandjazz] Bob Crosby Leadership

Robert Ringwald rsr at ringwald.com
Sat Jun 25 23:19:51 PDT 2011

Hi Bill,

As you know, Zeke Zarchy who was in the Crosby band for two years, '36/37 I believe told me that Crosby was just a hired hand.  He had nothing to say about songs, tempos, business transactions, or anything else.  

The band leaders were a corporation made up of only five band members.  Unfortunately I can't remember which ones they were.  I know Eddie Miller and Gil Roden.  I believe Ray Baduc, Yank and Haggart.  But, I could be wrong and probably am.  I just can't remember which ones Zeke told me.  

However, I do know for a fact that there were only 5 members of the co-op.  

The rest of the band members called them the Corpse as a dead body.  

One time when I interviewed Eddie Miller on my radio show, I mentioned this to him.  He didn't seem to understand what I was talking about.  Later I asked Zeke about it and Zeke told me that the guys in the co-op didn't know that they were being called "The Corpse" behind their back.  

--Bob Ringwald

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Bill Haesler" <bhaesler at bigpond.net.au>
To: "Bob Ringwald" <rsr at ringwald.com>
Cc: "Dixieland Jazz Mailing List" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Saturday, June 25, 2011 5:29 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Bob Crosby Leadership

> Marek Boym wrote:
>> I have the feeling that Geraldine knows the short answer. But, probably like yours truly, she has read that he fronted the band, but the band remained a cooperative unit.  So the question "when and how did Bob become the actual owner/leader"still remains.
> Dear Marek,
> Thank you.
> I should have read Geraldine's last line more carefully before impulsively jumping in with the wrong answer to her question: 
> "When and how did Bob become the actual owner/leader instead of just another hired hand?"
> Another short answer. 
> Bob Crosby never did become the "actual owner/leader" of the cooperative band.
> The famous one we all know and love. 
> Nor was he a "another hired hand". 
> He was a member of the corporation, along with Gil Rodin, Ray Bauduc, Eddie Miller, Yank Lawson, Matty Matlock, Nappy Lamare, Dean Kincaide and Bob Haggart.
> When WWII became a reality for the US in December 1941, it played havoc with the personnel of all bands and the 'Bob Crosby's orchestra was no exception.
> When Gi Rodin and Ray Bauduc enlisted in September 1942 the real leader of the band and one of its key members had gone and the corporation decided to break up.  
> Eddie Miller was delegated to look after the band and what was left of it, plus replacements, made a 'farewell' tour in December 1942.
> However, Bob Crosby had organised a contract with MGM, and other work, and the other members had gone home to their families. Eddie Miller formed his own big band. 
> While still waiting to be called up, Bob Crosby was persuaded to 'front' pick-up bands. Not all 'dixieland'. 
> He and Eddie Miller were not drafted until March 1944.
> After the war, Bob Crosby organised other bands, including frequent 'reunions' utilising the core musicians from the original band.
> But that's another story. 
> Kind regards,
> Bill.
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