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Bob Haggart

Robert Sherwood Haggart

Bassist, Multi-Instrumentalist, Composer, Arranger

(1914 - 1998)

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Bob Haggart played a number of instruments, among them trumpet, piano, and tuba, but he began his professional career on guitar which he studied with the great George Van Eps. Later he picked up the bass, taught himself, and was selected as Best Bassist of 1937 by Metronome magazine’s poll. He was one of the founding members of Bob Crosby’s Bobcats in 1935, and the arrangements he wrote are credited with giving the band its sound.

In 1938 the Bobcats introduced his instrumental called “I’m Free” which became the theme song of the Billy Butterfield Orchestra. The following year Johnny Burke added lyrics, and it became the poignant story of a chance meeting of former lovers, “What’s New.” It has been recorded by numerous vocalists and jazz instrumentalists and took on new life in 1983 when Linda Ronstadt introduced it to a new generation. Haggart also conceived two popular tunes with drummer Ray Bauduc, “South Rampart Street Parade” (1937) and “Big Noise from Winnetka” (1940). The latter was a show-stopping duet: Haggart whistled and plucked on the bass strings while Bauduc played on the strings near the bridge with his drum sticks to create a captivating melodic and rhythmic experience.

When Crosby broke up the band in 1942 Haggart turned to studio work, arranging sessions for Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong, working with the string ensemble for a Charlie Parker recording, and writing for Sarah Vaughan’s back-up orchestra. He also subbed on bass for the Armstrong and Duke Ellington bands and painted in his spare time. He co-led the World’s Greatest Jazz Band with Yank Lawson from 1968-1978 and was active into his ‘90s.

- Sandra Burlingame

Hag Leaps In

Bob Haggart

Jazz at Its Best

Yank Lawson with Bob Haggart

What's New

Bill Evans, Jeremy Steig

What's New?

Sonny Rollins

World's Greatest Jazz Band of Bob Haggart & Yank Lawson

World's Greatest Jazz Band

Portrait of Bix Featuring Tom Pletche

Bob Haggart

Over and Over Again/Live at the Roosevelt Grill

Wilbur DeParis, Yank Lawson & Bob Haggart

All-Stars at Bob Haggart's 80th Birthday Party

Bob Haggart

A Proper Introduction to Bob Crosby: The Big Noise From Winnetka

Bob Crosby & the Bob Cat Orchestra

South Rampart Street Parade

Bob Crosby

Big Noise from Winnetka

Gene Krupa

Music of Bob Haggart

Bob Haggart
Reading and Viewing

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Bob Haggart

Bob Haggart bass method: A school of modern rhythmic bass playing

Robbins Music Corp

Burt Korall

The world's greatest jazz band of Yank Lawson and Bob Haggart

World Jazz Records

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