Bob Strickland grew up in Dallas, Texas, and his earliest memories of jazz music are from age three, when he first heard his mother’s 78 RPM records of Tommy Dorsey, Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, Harry James, and Gene Krupa. He has since become a player, as well as a jazz and big band historian, familiar with hundreds of different musicians, arrangers, and styles.
Although the great trumpeter, Ziggy Elman, instilled a burning desire in Bob to play trumpet, Bob did not begin playing trumpet until age 22, completely missing musical training in a college setting. However, after graduating, he joined various university jazz bands where he was living at the time. He also organized and played in several “kicks” rehearsal bands, for which he purchased all of the arrangements.