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Space Age Music Maker

Bobby Christian

  • Born Chicago, Illinois, 20 October 1911

A mainstay of Dick Schory's percussion ensemble, Bobby Christian recorded a number of excellent space age pop albums on his own. Raised in Chicago, he studied music in his teens and then toured throughout the Midwest with a series of now-forgotten dance bands. He quit the road in the mid-1940s and joined the musical staff of NBC Radio in Chicago, under the leadership of Roy Shield. During this time, he set up his own school for other percussionists and taught such perfomers as Cozy Cole. In 1950, he moved to New York City and switched networks, joining ABC, where he worked on such early series as "Tales of Tomorrow." In 1955, he joined the NBC Symphony of the Air and toured Asia with conductor Arturo Toscannini.

In 1956, he returned to Chicago and began working with Schory in parallel to leading his own band in local clubs and dance venues. When Schory switched from Mercury to RCA, Christian nailed his own recording contract with Audio Fidelity. He was an occasional composer as well, focusing on Leroy Anderson-like pieces with titles like, "Crickets on Parade," "Tuba Square Dance," "Space Suit," and "Krazy Kwilt." His daughter, Vernyle, provided ethereal wordless vocal effects to individual cuts on several of his albums.


  • Mr. Percussion, Mercury SR 60015
  • Strings for a Space Age, Audio Fidelity
  • Percussive Big Band Jazz, Audio Fidelity DFS 7005
  • Percussion in Velvet, Westminster WP 6116
    reissued as Nothing But Percussion, Vol. 2, WP 6131
  • Vibe-Rations, Ovation 06
  • Stop, It's Time For Bobby Christian, M.A.L 897M9896
  • In Action, N GEra-15057

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