He began his career playing in dance orchestras and nightclubs in the 1930s. In 1938 he worked as second trumpeter for Lu Watters in the Yerba Buena Jazz Band. By 1949 he was leading his own band under the name Bob Scobey's Frisco Band. From 1950 the group continued to play a three-year residency at the Victor & Roxie's, where their popularity grew.
Clancy Hayes joined the band to sing, play banjo and had his own compositions such as "Huggin' and a Chalkin'" recorded. The collaboration recorded over two hundred tracks until he left in 1959 to follow a solo career.
The Frisco Band was broadcast in 1952 and 1953 on Rusty Draper's television show. In 1953 Louis Armstrong sang with them at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. From 1954 to 1957, African-American blues singer Lizzie Miles recorded and toured with the band.
In 1955, Scobey and his band played dates at San Quentin Prison and at the Rancho Grande in Lafayette, California—a sizable roadhouse with a dance floor. In 1957 he recorded for Verve Records and RCA Victor. From early in 1956, he toured colleges and universities, and in 1958 he recorded many of the student favorites in New York, the album College Classics (RCA Victor LPM 1700).
Scobey died of cancer in 1963. His wife Jan produced a biography entitled He Rambled! and arranged for his band to form again and record some blues songs. She also saw to the reissuing of his albums.
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