Born: February 3, 1945 Primary Instrument: Vocal
BOB STEWART’S baritone embodies the warmth and understanding to turn the great standards of American music into poetic statements. But when his career was beginning to flower, the bloom was fading from his line of work. “I had been making the Down Beat polls of the leading 10 best male singers,” Stewart said the other day, ”Then Elvis came along and changed everything.” Not quite everything. Stewart has retained his vocal ability, which is apparent in his recordings and personal appearances. Until now, he didn’t fight what had become the steamrolling affect of rock-and-roll. Some others did, especially those who had achieved high profiles, such as Vic Damone, Tony Bennett and Jack Jones. But they struggled in a diminishing spotlight.
Stewart went fishing instead. “I always loved fishing and did it every chance I got,” he said, “I had been on boats since I was a little kid. So when rock- and - roll came in and singing jobs were harder and harder to find I decided to study for my Captain’s license. I eventually owned and operated a 90 foot charter boat and sailed daily from Sheepshead Bay, NY. The boat was called the“BIG CAPT BOB”.
A chance meeting with pianist Harold Danko one night in a downtown NYC night spot started Bob to thinking about resuming his singing career again.
“Harold asked me to sit in. I hadn’t appeared in person in years but I did it that night and everything seemed to come right back,” he said. “I had early training as a classical singer and when I graduated High School, I landed a job at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City with a 15 piece dance band. I went on with other bands and appeared in theaters and clubs throughout the USA and Europe. “I eventually went out on my own and went with MGM Records and recorded 12 sides for them. While on tour promoting one of my recordings I received an offer from WLW -TV in Cincinnati where I did some 12 live shows a week on radio and TV.”
“…he is one of the great straight - ahead jazz singers of our time!” …JERRY L. ATKINS - KTXK, FM, TEXARKANA, TX
“…they have just about all gone. All the great singers, Crosby, Sinatra, Haymes, Eckstine and so many more that were literate and meaningful. Almost all gone but we nostalgics still have Bob Stewart!” …KEN MEADES, jazz email@example.com
“…Rod Stewart, Cindy Lauper and others are turning to the “Great American Song Book” because it contains some of the best popular songs ever written. But Bob Stewart got there first, knows them inside out and has the type voice that they were written for!”…RON BIERMAN, RAMBLES
“…he dazzled the audience with a voice that would make a bobby soxer swoon. He is one of the last and best of the saloon singers!” !…FRED TREE, APPLAUSE! APPLAUSE!
“…Bob Stewart is more than a style crooner - he is a superb singer. He has impeccable taste, unerring musicianship, a high degree of sensitivity to a lyric and a way of phrasing that has roots in the big band days…I believe that he one of the most persuasively romantic ballad singers of our day!” …JOHNNY ADAMS. THE MONTEREY COUNTY POST