Bobby Hackett

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For the American swimmer, see Bobby Hackett (swimmer).
Bobby Hackett
Bobby Hackett.jpg
Bobby Hackett
Background information
Birth name Robert Leo Hackett
Born (1915-01-13)January 13, 1915
Providence, Rhode Island, US
Died June 7, 1976(1976-06-07) (aged 61)
Chatham, Massachusetts, US
Genres Big band
Swing
Jazz
Occupations Bandleader, Sideman
Instruments Trumpet
Cornet
Guitar
Years active 1920s–1976
Labels Storyville, Project 3 records, ADD, Classics, Segal Enterprises, DBK Jazz, Bluebird
Associated acts Louis Armstrong, Glenn Miller, Tony Bennett, Benny Goodman, Ray McKinley, Jackie Gleason, Pee Wee Russell, Lee Wiley, Horace Heidt
Ernie Caceres, Bobby Hackett, Freddie Ohms, and George Wettling, Nick's, NYC, 1940s
Photography by William P. Gottlieb.

Robert Leo "Bobby" Hackett (January 31, 1915 – June 7, 1976) was an Irish-American jazz musician who played trumpet, cornet and guitar with the bands of Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman in the late thirties and early forties. Hackett is probably most well known for being the featured soloist on some of the Jackie Gleason mood music albums during the 1950s.[citation needed]

Biography[edit]

Hackett was born in Providence, Rhode Island to a family of Irish immigrants. He made his name as a follower of the legendary cornet player Bix Beiderbecke: Benny Goodman hired him to recreate Bix's famous "I'm Coming Virginia" solo at his (Goodman's) 1938 Carnegie Hall concert.[1] In the late 1930s Hackett played lead trumpet in the Vic Schoen Orchestra which backed the Andrews Sisters. Bobby Hackett can be heard on the soundtrack to the 1940 Fred Astaire movie Second Chorus.[2] In 1939 the talent agency MCA asked Bobby Hackett to form a big band with its backing. Unfortunately the band failed and Hackett was in substantial debt to MCA after it folded. Bobby Hackett joined the bands of Horace Heidt and then Glenn Miller to pay down this debt.[3] To make matters worse, his lip was in bad shape after dental surgery, making it difficult for him to play the trumpet or cornet. Glenn Miller came to Hackett's rescue, offering him a job as a guitarist with the Miller Band. "When I joined the band and I was making good money at last, [...] [jazz critics] accused me of selling out. Hell I wasn't selling out, I was selling in! It's funny, isn't it, how you go right into the wastebasket with some critics the minute you become successful".[4] Despite his lip problems, Hackett could still play occasional short solos, and he can be heard playing a famous one with the Glenn Miller Orchestra on "A String of Pearls."[5]

A dream come true for Hackett was his inclusion in Louis Armstrong's 1947 Town Hall Jazz Concert.[6] In 1954, Hackett appeared as a regular on the short-lived ABC variety show, The Martha Wright Show, also known as The Packard Showroom.[7]

However, what made Hackett something of a household name was his being hired by Jackie Gleason as a cornet soloist for some of Gleason's earliest mood music albums. Starting in 1952, Hackett appeared on Gleason's first Capitol Records album, Music for Lovers Only. The record – as well as all of Gleason's next ten albums - went gold. Hackett went on to appear on six more Gleason LPs. This association led directly to Hackett signing with Capitol for a series of his own albums.

In 1965, he toured with singer Tony Bennett. In 1966 and 1967 Hackett accompanied Bennett on two European tours.[2] In the early 1970s, Hackett performed separately with Dizzy Gillespie and Teresa Brewer.[2]

In 2012, Hackett was selected to be inducted into the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Sometime in the 1930s, Bobby Hackett married Edna Hackett. He had two children with her, Barbara Hackett(†) and Ernie Hackett. His son became a musician as well, playing the drums. Hackett died in 1976 of a heart attack, at age 61. The couple lived between Greenwich Village, Manhattan and Los Angeles, California while spending their summers in Chatham, Massachusetts. The couple is survived by two children, two grandchildren, and four great grandchildren.[9]

Bobby Hackett was a Freemason and was active with St. Cecile Lodge #568 which was a lodge specifically for musicians and artists.[10][11]

Discography[edit]

  • Jazz Session (1950, Capitol)
  • In a Mellow Mood (1953, Capitol)
  • Soft Lights and Bobby Hackett (1954, Capitol)
  • Coast Concert (1955, Capitol)
  • Rendezvous (1956, Capitol)
  • Gotham Jazz Scene (1957, Capitol)
  • Don't Take Your Love from Me (1958, Capitol)
  • Jazz Ultimate (1958, Capitol) - with Jack Teagarden
  • At the Embers (1958, Capitol)
  • Blues with a Kick (1959, Capitol)
  • The Bobby Hackett Quartet (1959, Capitol)
  • Hawaii Swings (1959, Capitol)
  • Easy Beat (1960, Capitol)
  • Dream Awhile (1960, Columbia)
  • The Most Beautiful Horn in the World (1961, Columbia)
  • Night Love (1962, Columbia)
  • Jazz Impressions of Lionel Bart's "Oliver" (1963, Epic)
  • Plays the Music of Henry Mancini (1963, Epic)
  • Plays the Music of Bert Kaempfert (1964, Epic)
  • Hello, Louis! (1964, Epic)
  • Trumpets' Greatest Hits (1965, Epic)
  • Glenn Miller Time - 1965 (1965, Epic) - with the Glenn Miller Orchestra
  • A String of Pearls (1966, Epic)
  • The Swingin'est Gals in Town (1966, Epic)
  • Plays Tony Bennett's Greatest Hits (1966, Epic)
  • That Midnight Touch (1967, Project 3)
  • Creole Cookin' (1967, Verve)
  • A Time for Love (1968, Project 3)
  • Bobby / Billy / Brazil (1968, Verve) - with Billy Butterfield
  • This is My Bag (1968, Project 3) - with Vic Dickenson
  • Live at the Roosevelt Grill' (1970, Chiaroscuro)

Additional discography[edit]

As leader:

  • Thanks Bobby, Bobby Hackett Quartet, Dobre Records

As sideman:

With Bill Kenny of The Ink Spots

With George Wein

  • Wein, Women and Song and More, George Wein Plays and Sings (Arbors Records)

With Tony Bennett

With Jackie Gleason

  • Music for Lovers Only (1952) Capitol Records
  • Music to Make You Misty (1953) Capitol Records
  • Music, Martinis and Memories (1954) Capitol Records
  • Music to Remember Her (1955) Capitol Records
  • Music to Change Her Mind (1956) Capitol Records
  • Music for the Love Hours (1957) Capitol Records
  • That Moment (1959) Capitol Records

References[edit]

  1. ^ Len Weinstock. "Bobby Hackett was influenced by Bix Beiderbecke: "Bix's playing touched a number of outstanding trumpet players including Bobby Hackett, Red Nichols, Bunny Berigan, Jimmy McPartland, and Rex Stewart."". Redhotjazz.com. Retrieved 2013-08-09. 
  2. ^ a b c "Bobby Hackett". Jim Cullum's Landing. Date published unknown. 
  3. ^ "Robert Leo Hackett 'Bobby'". John Ciccolo. 11/96. 
  4. ^ Simon, George (1980). Glenn Miller and His Orchestra. New York: DaCapo. p. 496. ISBN 978-0-306-80129-7. 
  5. ^ "Hackett refers to this solo as 'just a little exercise'" Glenn Miller and His Orchestra, 269
  6. ^ "Bobby was musical director for, and performed in, Louis Armstrong's acclaimed May 1947 NYC Town Hall Concert." see "Robert Leo Hackett 'Bobby'" at http://www.libertyhall.com/bobby.html author John Ciccolo
  7. ^ Alex McNeil, Total Television, p. 639
  8. ^ "Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame Inductees Class of 2012 - Music education, history, concerts, artists, news". Rhodeislandmusichalloffame.com. Retrieved 2013-08-09. 
  9. ^ "Edna Lillian Lee Hackett (1915 - 2000) - Find A Grave Memorial". Findagrave.com. Retrieved 2013-08-09. 
  10. ^ http://www.stcecile.com/bobbyhackett.html
  11. ^ http://www.omdhs.syracusemasons.com/sites/default/files/history/Craft%20Masonry%20in%20Manhattan%20-%20Vol.%20IV%20-%20512-698%20(Autosaved).pdf

External links[edit]