|Bob Thompson Music|
Bob Thompson's arrangement of You'd Be So Nice to Come Home to ends with a gong and begins with three layers of percussion, which I am realizing is a key ingredient of Bob's arranging style. He started as a drummer and switched to piano in his teens. I think this is why sometimes percussion carries the whole weight of his arrangements. Bob wrote an all-percussion score to a commercial, which I think won a Cleo or was commented on-air by David Brinkley. (Apparently the newscaster could hear the commercials in those days.) He also had four xylophones going at once in one of his solo RCA records. Pretty wild.
Some people just don't swing, and Maureen O'Hara, god bless her, was one of them. Bob starts the arrangement with drums, timbale and tambourine, followed by a bit of jazzy bass. Then the singing starts. I am not sure she was even listening to the music. I doubt Bob was much of a fan, but there he was in the background, doing what he wanted to do anyway. Very "Bob."
To her credit she was a notable actress and the New York Times obituary doesn't mention her singing.
Bob's collaborations with Rosemary Clooney are fantastic, because they both had a swing with a light touch. Some people just don't swing, and that's OK. As Bob would say: "And there you have it."
Spenser Thompson shares anecdotes, music, and videos from Bob Thompson's music career plus thoughts on artists from Duke to Devo.