Bob Crosby

Bob Crosby, Bing's younger brother, often found himself in the odd position of being the least important member of his own orchestra. Indeed, he couldn't play an instrument or read a note of music, which didn't stop him from enjoying a long career in music, in that very odd position. He was born George Robert Crosby in Spokane, Washington, in 1913, and like his older brother, he did start out on a conventional career path, attending college, and like brother Bing, he also dropped out of college in favor of getting work as a singer. Actually, it was a somewhat less direct route from student to crooner, as Crosby was, by his own account, supporting himself picking cucumbers in Spokane when bandleader Anson Weeks tapped him for the singer spot in his band, where he remained for two years, from 1932 through 1934. Those were tough years, as the effects of the Great Depression swelled and lingered, and it was good to have a steady gig, especially as he learned a lot about vocalizing during this period; he jumped to a six-month stay with the Dorsey Brothers' band in 1934, and then, in 1935, fate took a hand.