Bobby Sherwood

Picture of Bobby Sherwood

Bobby Sherwood led a very good band that did quite well in the 1940's and had a career that spanned more than half a century.  He is best known for his work on the trumpet and guitar but Sherwood was a unique talent because he could play almost every instrument in the band, and play them well. Sherwood may not be remembered as a big name of the Swing Era, but he was very respected in the music business and released some very good records.

Bobby started his career at the age of 12 playing banjo in his parents' band.  During his teens, Sherwood spent his time teaching himself how to play multiple instruments and became a well rounded musician.  When he was 22 years old, he replaced Eddie Lang as the guitarist for Bing Crosby in 1933 and remained with Crosby until he left in the early 40's to form his own band.  He also did some arranging for Jimmy Dorsey and Artie Shaw during this time.

Throughout the 1940's, Sherwood released great recordings and even landed a few hits. He was also doing a lot of radio work including leading the house band for Eddie Cantor's radio program and as a regular on the Hillman Hour.  In the mid-1940s, he hosted his own radio program, "The Bobby Sherwood Orchestra". 

He did some acting in Hollywood for a bit, but for the most part, the latter part of his career was spent working as a disc jockey. Sherwood was still very involved in music and playing until his death in 1981.

Listen to: "The Elks' Parade" by Bobby Sherwood and His Orchestra.

Interesting Notes:  

Sherwood married Dorothy Virginia Gumm, the sister of Judy Garland, and worked as a bandleader for Judy Garland during sessions at Decca Records.

His sons Billy and Michael are both musicians.  Billy Sherwood definitely followed in his father's footsteps being able to play multiple instruments extremely well and is a heck of a singer.  The brothers have been big names in the Progressive Rock scene since the late 1980's and Billy is currently a member of Yes.  (I was a HUGE Yes fan growing up and still love and follow them today!)

You can hear many of Bobby Sherwood's songs right here on Swing City Radio.

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