Tag Archives: Bobby Doyle

Finding Bobby Doyle

25 Aug

A few years ago, I saw a documentary about Hugh Hefner and was stunned by a man singing the best rendition of “Blowin’ in the Wind” that I have ever heard. Immediately, I went searching for that song to download on my iPod. I could not find the song, but, more strikingly, I could not find anything about the man, Bobby Doyle.

This sent me on an Internet search to find all I could about him. I wrote about it in a post called “Searching for Bobby Doyle” and hoped that some day his music would become available. Apparently, I was not the only one because comments began to appear from people who were also searching for him. They had also seen the documentary and were trying to find out about the man with the haunting voice.

It was good to know that other people were interested in Bobby’s music, but I was stunned when an old friend and band mate of his left a comment. Through emails, he has told me about Bobby and his life singing in the bars of Austin, Texas. He has told me stories about the struggles of being a musician who was good enough to make it big but never got that big chance. Through his emails, I have learned more about Bobby than I could ever imagine. I have learned a lot, but there is one thing that I know for sure. I wish I could have sat in an Austin bar and listened to Bobby perform. If I was lucky, then he would come over after his set and tell stories about his life and times.

Through Bobby’s friend, I found out that a writer was doing a story on Bobby. When the story was published, the writer sent a link to me, and it is exactly what I was looking for from the beginning. It is a great story that chronicles to life of a man who I wish I could have met. I urge you to read it.

Bobby’s friend also told me about something that was happening close to my home. The Country Music Hall of Fame inducted Kenny Rogers in its latest class and planned an exhibit in his honor. I knew from my early research that Kenny Rogers got his start in the Bobby Doyle Three. Apparently, his time with the trio would be part of the exhibit.

This morning, my wife and I had brunch in Nashville and went to the exhibit. As soon as we entered the room, there was a wall dedicated to the Bobby Doyle Three.image

As I read the information and looked at the pictures, a knot formed in my throat. It may sound strange, but I was getting emotional. A man who played in bars throughout Austin and never made it big was being introduced to people at the Country Music Hall of Fame.image-6

As we went through the rest of the exhibit, I kept looking to see if people were reading about Bobby. They were doing more than that. They were checking out his pictures and his album covers.image-4 Hopefully, some of them will walk out and look for his music.

Unfortunately, Bobby’s music remains a rare find. A couple of songs are on iTunes, but most of it cannot be easily found. Today, I am more convinced than ever that his music needs to be out there for people to hear. If nothing else, then his version of “Blowin’ in the Wind” should be available. I promise that it is the best rendition that you will ever hear.

As we walked out of the exhibit, I glanced one more time at Bobby’s wall and thought, “Bobby, you finally made it.” I wish I had known him. I wish that I had heard him live. I wish he was still here to know that people are finding him.

A Small Post While Preparing for an Upcoming Large Post

11 Jul

There is a huge post rambling around in my brain, but I am not prepared to write it. I am hoping that it will create discussion and want it to come out right. It is one of those posts that may offend, but it may also make people think. That is enough about what I am not going to write. Let us get on with what you are about to read, which is not much.

Yesterday, I wrote about Little Cedar Lick. Today, I found out that it may not have been where I thought it was. It could have been a community that is now known as Leeville. If that is the case, then John Coffee “Jack” Hays was just up the road.

A long time ago, I wrote about my search for a singer named Bobby Doyle and how I could not find much information on him. In recent weeks, I have been in contact with his family and friends, and they sent an article that has just been published about him. It is an interesting article about an interesting man. You need to read it.

John Seigenthaler passed away. For those who do not live in Nashville, that name may not mean much to you. In these parts, he was a journalistic pioneer. My Twitter feed has been filled up with remembrances of him.

Earlier, I tweeted that there are three songs that always make me smile. That does not mean they are happy songs. There is just something about them that I like. They are:

Dancing in the Moonlight” by King Harvest

Badge” by Cream

A Whiter Shade of Pale” by Procol Harum

Without a doubt, Foghorn Leghorn is the greatest cartoon character of all time. A lot of people are in agreement with this. Dave, who I used to work with, loved the big rooster, and his son gifted a Foghorn Leghorn DVD collection to him for Christmas. Unfortunately for Dave, all of the DVD’s were in Japanese. Apparently, Foghorn is big in Tokyo, too.Foghorn Leghorn

I got tickets to see Drive-By Trickers at the Ryman Auditorium. I have been wanting to see them, and the concert being at the Mother Church is an added bonus.

That is all. Now, my mind is empty.



Bobby Doyle Revisited

26 Jul

A while back, I wrote a post about Bobby Doyle, a singer I discovered while watching a documentary. He was an amazing singer, but I couldn’t find much information about him.bobby Doyle Drawing

A few days ago, one of his friends found that post, read it and commented on it. He left a great link to Bobby Doyle’s obituary and remembrance page. People are still leaving messages almost a decade after his death. That is a true testament about someone’s life.

His friend also said that he is working with Bobby Doyle’s family to make a film about the singer’s life. I hope they are successful with this project because this is someone who people need to know about. He was a true talent and, from everything I have read, a beloved member of his community.

Searching for Bobby Doyle

12 May

A few weeks ago, I watched Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist, and Rebel, a documentary about, surprisingly, Hugh Hefner. It was filled with interviews about Hefner’s life and plenty of footage of life at the Playboy Mansion. However, my favorite parts were clips from his television shows – Playboy’s Penthouse and Playboy After Dark. Hefner had some of the best entertainers of the time on these shows, and the documentary highlighted some of the most famous ones. But, there was one I had never heard of.

Bobby Doyle sang the most amazing rendition of “Blowin’ in the Wind” that I have ever heard. He played the piano while wearing dark glasses, and his voice was mesmerizing. As he sang, I kept wondering why I had never heard of him. I also wondered where I could find his version of the song. When the show was over, I went searching for Bobby Doyle.

My first stop, like always, was Google. As is usual, Wikipedia was listed at the top of the page. I clicked it and found a page titled, “Bobby Doyle (jazz vocalist)”. The entry was only two paragraphs long, and it stated that he passed away in 2006. It also said that the Texan performed with “Blood, Sweat and Tears”, and his own group, “The Bobby Doyle Three”. Interestingly, this group included Kenny Rogers, who was just inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. That’s about it. Although, there was a list of recordings that did not include “Blowin’ in the Wind”.

Thinking the page of Kenny Rogers may have more information, I clicked his link. It said that he was a member of “The Bobby Doyle Trio” but didn’t have a link back to Doyle.

Then, I started thinking that there must be an obituary somewhere. I couldn’t find it by Googling Bobby Doyle, so I added singer to my search. There was his obituary in an Austin, Texas newspaper. It chronicled his music career but said that his greatest impact on Austin was a music venue called Ego’s. It also explained the dark glasses when it said that he attended the Texas School for the Blind.

Now, I was beginning to find out who Bobby Doyle was, but it only added to my curiosity. I wanted to know his music, but I also wanted to know him. Obviously, I saw Doyle on the documentary, but there must be other images. Unfortunately, I could only find a few.

There was an old album cover.Bobby Doyle Album

There was “The Bobby Doyle Trio”.Bobby Doyle Trio

However, this was my favorite.bobby Doyle Drawing

Soon, I realized there were not enough images or information on the Internet for someone as talented as him. This is when I went searching for his music. The best place for that had to be the iTunes Store because it has everything. However, it didn’t have much from Bobby Doyle.

A 1950s compilation album had “Pauline”, and another compilation album had “Hot Seat”. Through the Years: A Retrospective covered the career of Kenny Rogers and included a couple of songs from his days with Doyle. This included “Don’t Feel Rained On”, “Fly Me to the Moon”, and “My Mammy”. That’s it. Five songs.

Bobby Doyle, the singer with the great voice, only had five songs on iTunes. There was not a complete album, and there was definitely no version of “Blowin’ in the Wind”.

Next, I went to the other place to find music, YouTube. A couple of videos offered the same songs that were on iTunes, but a few others showed Doyle playing “Sweet Little Angel” and “Kansas City” at an Austin music venue. With that, there had to be the clip that I saw in the documentary. The one where he sang “Blowin’ in the Wind”. It was nowhere to be found.

There was one last stop on my search for Bobby Doyle – the Internet Movie Database. He appeared several times on The Joey Bishop Show and once on Playboy After Dark. He also had a song on the soundtrack of the 1971 movie, Vanishing Point.

At that point, I stopped searching for Bobby Doyle. What did I learn in my search? I learned that there was a great pianist and vocalist from Texas who more people need to hear. I learned that there are talented people out there who gained a bit of fame but faded from memory. I learned that many of those people helped others become really famous. I learned that the Internet does not have all of the information in the world. I learned that the world needs to be reintroduced to Bobby Doyle.