Bob Atcher

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Bob Atcher
Bob Atcher Meadow Gold show early 1950s.JPG
Atcher as the host of "Meadow Gold Ranch", a children's show on WENR-TV in the early 1950s.
Background information
Birth nameJames Robert Owen Atcher
BornMay 11, 1914 (1914-05-11)
Hardin County, Kentucky, USA
DiedOctober 31, 1993(1993-10-31) (aged 79)
Occupation(s)Country artist
InstrumentsGuitar, Fiddle
Years active1930s – 1970s
LabelsARC, Okeh Records, Columbia Records, Capitol Records, Kapp Records

James Robert Owen "Bob" Atcher (May 11, 1914 – October 31, 1993) was an American country musician.


Atcher was born in Hardin County, Kentucky, and learned violin and guitar from his father, who was a champion fiddle player. He started out on radio in Louisville on WHAS, and was offered spots on a number of other stations in the American South and Midwest. In 1939 he was offered a regular gig on Chicago station WBBM which was broadcast nationally by CBS. The show made him a national star, and he signed with ARC just before CBS bought the company. After the purchase Atcher was transferred to Okeh Records and then to Columbia Records, both CBS subsidiaries.

Between 1939 and 1942, he recorded many duets with Loeta Applegate, who went by the stage name Bonnie Blue Eyes. Among these was the first No. 1 of Jimmie Davis' "You Are My Sunshine". Bob's younger brother Randy Atcher also appeared on some of his records. After 1942 Atcher fought in the Army in World War II and returned to performing in 1946, charting hits which included "Why Don't You Haul Off and Love Me" and "I Must Have Been Wrong".

In 1948 Atcher signed on with WLS and became a performer on their National Barn Dance. As one of their biggest stars, he continued to chart national hits, including "I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes". He released two long plays entitled Early American Folk Songs in 1948, which were among the earliest LPs Columbia Records issued. In 1950, he signed with Capitol Records, and later in the 1950s moved to Kapp Records. In 1950 he recorded "Christmas Island" with the Dinning Sisters. He continued with the Barn Dance well into the 1960s, and re-signed to Columbia that decade, re-recording many of his songs in stereo.

Atcher, like Gene Autry, was a shrewd businessman, and bought several businesses and invested in banking with the proceeds from his career. He was also the mayor of Schaumburg, Illinois from 1959 to 1975. He died on Halloween day in 1993.

Atcher Pool in Schaumburg is named after him. Shortly before he died, the Municipal Center in Schaumburg was named in his honor. The center was dedicated in March 1995.