iTunes

Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn’t open, click the iTunes icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
Opening the iBooks Store.If iBooks doesn't open, click the iBooks app in your Dock.Progress Indicator
iTunes

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To preview and buy music by [?], download iTunes now.

Do you already have iTunes? Click I Have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download
iTunes for Mac + PC

Bob Zurke

View In iTunes

To preview a song, mouse over the title and click Play. Open iTunes to buy and download music.

Biography

One of the legions of jazz musicians to have lived hard and died young, the Detroit-born Zurke was best known for his stint as pianist with singer Bob Crosby's Bobcats. Zurke spent time with Oliver Naylor's Orchestra in Philadelphia during the late '20s and early '30s; he also recorded with bassist Thelma Terry & Her Playboys in 1928. Around that time, arranger Don Redman hired Zurke (and Glen Gray of the Casa Loma Orchestra) to copy parts for arrangements he'd written for McKinney's Cotton Pickers. Zurke joined the Bobcats late in 1936, and (except for a 1937 hiatus brought on by a broken leg suffered in horseplay with Bob Haggart) remained with them until the summer of 1939, when he formed his own short-lived big band. That band broke up the following spring. Alimony problems landed Zurke in jail briefly in 1940. After his release that August, he worked as a solo pianist. During the first half of 1941, he played in Chicago, Detroit, and St. Paul. He moved to Los Angeles in the summer of 1942. That August he began a tenure at the Hangover Club, where he would continue to play until his death in early 1944. On February 15, Zurke collapsed in the club and was taken to Los Angeles General Hospital; he died a day later at age 32. Zurke was reasonably popular in his day, winning the Down Beat magazine poll in 1939 as best pianist. He was an adept boogie-woogie player and reportedly a favorite of Jelly Roll Morton. While his most famous association was with Bob Crosby, Zurke also worked with other musicians of note, including Connee Boswell, Bunny Berigan, the Andrews Sisters, and Bing Crosby (Bob's brother). In 1983, the City of Hamtramck, MI, honored Zurke's memory with a memorial cruise; attendees included Bob Crosby. ~ Chris Kelsey

Top Songs

Birth Name:

Robert Allen Zurke

Born:

17 January 1912 in Detroit, MI

Genre
Years Active:

'20s, '30s, '40s

Contemporaries