Bobby Short: Wikis


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Bobby Short

Dina Merrill, Bobby Short & Dick Sheridan in NYC 1970
Background information
Birth name Robert Waltrip Short
Born September 15, 1924(1924-09-15)
Danville, Illinois, U.S.
Died March 21, 2005 (aged 80)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Genres Swing, traditional pop, vocal jazz
Occupations Vocalist,Pianist
Labels Atlantic Records

Robert Waltrip "Bobby" Short (September 15, 1924 – March 21, 2005) was an American cabaret singer and pianist, best known for his interpretations of songs by popular composers of the first half of the 20th century such as Rodgers and Hart, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Harold Arlen, Vernon Duke, Noel Coward and George and Ira Gershwin.

He also championed African-American composers of the same period such as Eubie Blake, James P. Johnson, Andy Razaf, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, presenting their work not in a polemical way, but as simply the obvious equal of that of their white contemporaries.

His dedication to his great love – what he called the "Great American Song" – left him equally adept at performing the witty lyrics of Bessie Smith's "Gimme a Pigfoot" or Gershwin and Duke's "I Can't Get Started with You."

Short always said his favorite songwriters were Ellington, Arlen and Kern, and he was instrumental in spearheading the construction of the Ellington Memorial in his beloved New York City.

He was born in Danville, Illinois, where one of his school classmates was Dick Van Dyke. He began performing as a busker after leaving home at the age of eleven for Chicago, with his mother's permission.

He started working in clubs in the 1940s. In 1968 he was offered a two-week stint at the Café Carlyle in New York City, to fill in for George Feyer. Short (accompanied by Beverly Peer on bass and Dick Sheridan on drums) became an institution at the Carlyle, as Feyer had been before him, and remained there as a featured performer for over 35 years. There, a combination of traits – his seemingly-effortless elegance; his vocal phrasing (perfected, as was that of Frank Sinatra's, at the feet of Miss Mabel Mercer, with perhaps also some help from Ethel Waters); his talent for presenting unknown songs worth knowing while keeping well-known songs fresh; his infectious good cheer; and his resolute, self-disciplined professionalism – earned him great respect and made him tremendously popular. Bobby Short was generous with his impromptu all-night performances at his various favorite cafes and restaurants. He was a regular patron at Ted Hook's Backstage, located at Eight Avenue and Forty-Fifth Street.

  • 1972: Short sings theme song in James Ivory's film "Savages".
  • 1986: Short appears in the Woody Allen film Hannah and Her Sisters. Then Allen used his recording "I Happen To Like New York" for opening title of Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993).
  • 1994: Short appears in the TV series "In the Heat of the Night."
  • 2000: The Library of Congress designates Short a Living Legend, a recognition established as part of its bicentennial celebration.
  • 2003: Short sings and plays piano in at least one episode of 7th Heaven on TV[1].
  • 2004: Short announces he will end his regular appearances at the Café Carlyle by the end of the year, in favor of touring, traveling and spending time with friends.
  • 2005: Short dies of leukemia at New York Presbyterian Hospital on March 21, 2005, aged 80 and is buried in Atherton Cemetery in Danville, Illinois, the city of his birth.



  • 1955 Songs by Bobby Short (Atlantic)[2]
  • 1956 Bobby Short (Atlantic)[3]
  • 1957 Speaking of Love (Atlantic)[4]
  • 1958 Sing Me A Swing Song (Atlantic)[5]
  • 1959 The Mad Twenties (Atlantic)[6]
  • 1960 Bobby Short on the East Side (Atlantic)[7]
  • 1963 My Personal Property (Atlantic)[8]
  • 1969 Jump for Joy (Atlantic)[9]
  • 1971 Bobby Loves Cole Porter (Atlantic)[10]
  • 1972 Bobby Short is Mad About Noel Coward (Atlantic)[11]
  • 1973 Bobby Short is K-RA-ZY for Gershwin (Atlantic)[12]
  • 1974 Live at the Cafe Carlyle (Atlantic)[13]
  • 1975 Bobby Short Celebrates Rodgers & Hart (Atlantic)[14]
  • 1977 Personal (Atlantic)[15]
  • 1982 Moments Like This (Elektra/Asylum)[16]
  • 1987 Guess Who's in Town: Bobby Short Performs the Songs of Andy Razaf (Atlantic)[17]
  • 1992 Late Night at the Cafe Carlyle (Telarc)[18]
  • 1993 Swing That Music (Telarc)[19]
  • 1995 Songs of New York (Live) (Telarc)[20]
  • 1998 Celebrating 30 Years of the Cafe Carlyle (Telarc)[21]
  • 1999 You're the Top: The Love Songs of Cole Porter (Telarc)[22]
  • 2001 Piano (Surrounded By)[23]


  • 2004 Bobby Short at the Cafe Carlyle

TV Appearances


  1. ^ a b 7th Heaven Episode Guide
  2. ^ AMG Listings
  3. ^ AMG Listings
  4. ^ AMG Listings
  5. ^ AMG Listings
  6. ^ AMG Listings
  7. ^ AMG Listings
  8. ^ AMG Listings
  9. ^ AMG Listings
  10. ^ AMG Listings
  11. ^ AMG Listings
  12. ^ AMG Listings
  13. ^ AMG Listings
  14. ^ AMG Listings
  15. ^ AMG Listings
  16. ^ AMG Listings
  17. ^ AMG Listings
  18. ^ AMG Listings
  19. ^ AMG Listings
  20. ^ AMG Listings
  21. ^ AMG Listings
  22. ^ AMG Listings
  23. ^ AMG Listings

External links

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