Bob Snyder (musician)
Bob Snyder is a musician known for playing tenor sax, alto sax, clarinet, and flute. He has performed with the Airmen of Note, the Glenn Miller Air Force Dance Band, and Lionel Hampton. He also served as staff musician for Motown Records, Stax Records, and WJR radio. He made a very popular clarinet recording of the song "Amazing Grace" at the Grand Hotel (Mackinac Island) on Mackinac Island, Michigan.
Bob Snyder was born in Danville, Indiana. Both his parents were musicians, and he played professionally for the first time when he was eight years old. While still in the third grade, he played alto sax with the high school band. When he was ten, he played with "The Hillbilly Kids", a family group.
At eleven, Snyder played clarinet with the Hoosier Symphony at Canterbury College in Danville. At thirteen, Snyder appeared on Horace Heidt Amateur Hour in Terre Haute and played with the Indiana State Legion Band.
While in high school, Snyder won the All State Indiana Music Contest for four years in a row. Snyder graduated from Danville High School in 1954 and, after a semester at Butler University, joined the Marines. He played in the Airmen of Note and the Air Force VIP Band.
Snyder remained in Hampton's orchestra until the 1990s. Hampton said
I consider Bob Snyder the best clarinet player in the world. I rank him with my old boss, Benny Goodman. I have played and toured with Bob for many years, and I can tell you Bob knows how to swing."
While performing at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Snyder normally played "Amazing Grace" on the saxophone. However, his reed was broken, and he changed to the clarinet. The performance was recorded, and thanks to DJs Chick Watkins, Joe Lacina, and Eddie Hubbard, Snyder said, "the response has been phenomenal ... It's almost eerie. We've been getting calls and letters from everywhere."
Webster Records described the 1995 Sunday at the Grand - Amazing Grace album as "our best selling record of all time."
Snyder currently lives in Graceville, Florida with his wife Jan. He plays with the Baptist College of Florida Jazz Band and serves as assistant band director at Holmes County High School. He also performs with a group of students from Graceville, Marianna, and many other cities called The Piano Road Band.
Snyder was also named to Danville High School's Alumni Hall of Fame. The first Bob and Jan Snyder Achievement Award, for a clarinet or saxophone player, was given June 14, 2008.
- "Bob Snyder: A Musician's Musician". bobsnyder.com. Retrieved 2009-09-08.
- "Jazz by Mail - Bob Snyder". jazzbymail.com. Retrieved 2009-09-08.
- "Danville Community School Corporation Alumni News". Danville Community School Corporation. Retrieved 2009-09-08.
- "Bob Snyder - Amazing Grace". Music by Mail. Retrieved 2009-09-08.[dead link]