Subject: ARCHIVE: February 7, 1999 ~Bobby Troup, actor, jazz pianist, singer and songwriter, best known for writing the popular standard "(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66", dies at 80. ...
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Date Posted:Wednesday, February 07, 10:49:27am Bobby Troup
[ Robert Wesley Troup Jr. ]
(October 18, 1918 – February 7, 1999)
Known as Bobby Troup, was an American actor, jazz pianist, singer and songwriter. He is best known for writing the popular standard "(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66", and for his role as Dr. Joe Early, opposite his real-life wife Julie London's character, in the 1970s US TV series, Emergency!
Life & Music ...
Troup was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He graduated from The Hill School, a preparatory school in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, in 1937. He went on to graduate Phi Beta Kappa from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in economics. He was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (ΣΑΕ) fraternity and the Mask and Wig Club.
His earliest musical success came with the song "Daddy", written for a Mask and Wig production, which was a regional hit in 1941. Sammy Kaye and His Orchestra recorded "Daddy", which was number one for 8 weeks on the Billboard Best Seller chart and the number five record of 1941; other artists also recorded it in 1941, including Glenn Miller and His Orchestra, The Andrews Sisters, Bing Crosby and Kay Kyser. "Daddy" can be heard in the 1941 film Two Latins from Manhattan. In the same year, Troup's song "Snootie Little Cutie" was recorded by Frank Sinatra and Connie Haines with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and the Pied Pipers.
Upon graduating from college in 1941 he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, but did not receive orders until January 1942. After completing officer training, he was assigned as one of two dozen white officers to direct recruit training at Montford Point, recruit depot for the first Black Marines.
By spring of 1943 he became recreation officer, in which capacity he was able to spearhead improvements to the facilities at Montford, including building a recreation hall, basketball court, and outdoor boxing ring. He was able to get a friend to install a miniature golf course. At Montford Point, he also organized the first African-American band of U.S.Marines.
During this time he composed "Take Me Away From Jacksonville", which was to become an anthem of sorts for the Marines at Montford Point, even extending to other areas of Camp Lejeune. By numerous accounts Troup was the most popular officer among the Montford recruits. In October 1944 he was promoted to Captain, given command of a depot company, and eventually deployed to Saipan where he served to the end of the war.
Troup's first marriage was to Cynthia Hare. They were married in May 1942 and had two daughters, Cynnie Troup (born 1943) and Ronne Troup (born 1945), both of whom had careers in the entertainment industry. The marriage ended in divorce in 1955.
"(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66" is a popular rhythm and blues standard, composed in 1946 by American songwriter Bobby Troup. The song uses a twelve-bar blues arrangement and the lyrics follow the path of U.S. Route 66 (US 66), which traversed the western two-thirds of the U.S. from Chicago, Illinois, to Los Angeles, CA. ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLUYf6cekMA
In 1946, Nat King Cole had a hit with Troup's best known song "(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66". It became a popular standard recorded by many artists, including Chuck Berry (1961) and The Rolling Stones (1964). In 1987, Depeche Mode combined the tune with their own composition, "Behind the Wheel", released it as the B-side of "Behind the Wheel" and it became a radio hit on KROQ 106.7 FM in Los Angeles. In 2006, "Route 66" was featured in the animated movie Cars, and the movie RV with Robin Williams.
...Troup met his second wife, torch singer/actress Julie London, at the Celebrity Room, where he was singing. Troup encouraged London to pursue her singing career, and in 1955 he produced her million selling hit record "Cry Me a River". London, previously married to actor Jack Webb (1947 to 1953), married Troup in 1959. They remained married until Troup's death in 1999. They had one daughter, Kelly Troup, who died in 2002, and twin sons, Jody and Reese Troup. Jody Troup died in 2010.
Troup's own recordings in the 1950s and 1960s were not commercially successful. He made recordings for Liberty Records and Capitol Records, many with musicians from the West Coast jazz scene. He wrote the title song (sung by Little Richard) in the classic 1950s rock and roll movie The Girl Can't Help It. An instrumental rendition of his song "The Meaning of the Blues" appeared on the Miles Davis album, Miles Ahead. Troup's hipster interpretation of the fairy tale "The Three Bears" is often erroneously credited to "anonymous" and re-titled "Three Bears Rap", "Three Bears with a Beat", etc.
This song was first recorded by the Page Cavanaugh Trio and later by Western Swing bandleader Leon McAuliffe. Around 1969 Troup collaborated with entertainer Tommy Leonetti, penning the lyrics for Leonetti's song "My City of Sydney". Leonetti's original recording was used for many years in the close-down sequence for TV station ATN-7 in Sydney, and was also covered by Sydney punk band XL Capris.
In the mid-1950s, Troup was one of three regular panelists (along with Mel Blanc and Johnny Mercer) in the game show Musical Chairs, a Bill Leyden-hosted quiz program that aired locally on Los Angeles television for two years before NBC broadcast it in the summer of 1955. On the program, the viewing audience was encouraged to submit questions about music in an effort to stump the panel. The Troup Group provided much of the music in the game show. He also served as host of the ABC show Stars of Jazz featuring various jazz luminaries, particularly those working in Hollywood.
While he relied on songwriting royalties, Troup also worked as an actor, appearing in Bop Girl Goes Calypso (1957), The High Cost of Loving (1958) and The Five Pennies (1959), and playing musician Tommy Dorsey in the film The Gene Krupa Story (1959). He played himself in the short-lived NBC television series Acapulco. Troup made three guest appearances on Perry Mason, and on two appearances, "The Case of the Jaded Joker" in 1959 and "The Case of the Missing Melody" in 1961, he showed his musical talents. In 1969 and 1970, he appeared as "Bobby" in two episodes of Mannix, where he was a lounge piano player who helped Mannix unravel cases. He again appeared as a piano player in a cameo on The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries in 1978.
His later films included First to Fight (1967) and Number One (1969), opposite Charlton Heston. In Robert Altman's 1970 film M*A*S*H he had a cameo as a disgruntled staff sergeant assigned to driving Hawkeye and Trapper John around in Japan. (His only two lines of dialogue is a repeated exasperation, "Goddamn army!" and "Goddamn army jeep!" One point of irony was that Bobby also performed in the Armed Forces re-enlistment commercials broadcast on Armed Forces Radio and Television in Vietnam during that war.)
In 1972, Jack Webb, who had previously used Troup in a 1967 episode of the television
series Dragnet, cast him opposite Julie London in the US TV series Emergency! ...
...TV's Emergency! was created by Webb, who had recently starred in a revival of Dragnet and was producing NBC's Adam-12. London and Troup had remained on cordial terms with her former husband Webb, who had used Troup (and his daughter Ronne) in episodes of Adam-12 as well as the revived Dragnet. On Emergency! Troup played Dr. Joe Early, one of three emergency physicians featured on the series, while London played head nurse Dixie McCall. Both were leading roles. In 1979 Troup played the part of Sam Gill in the TV miniseries The Rebels.
In February 1999, Troup died in Sherman Oaks of a heart attack, and was interred
at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills. His wife, Julie London,
died on his birthday the following year and her cremated remains were placed
in the columbarium (Columbarium of Providence) niche, now resting with wife Julie, and son Jody. ...