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Bobby Susser
Birth name Robert Howard Susser
Born July 18, 1942 (1942-07-18) (age 67)
Origin New York City, New York, United States
Genres Children's music, rhythm and blues, novelty songs, pop music
Occupations Songwriter, record producer
Instruments Guitar, autoharp
Years active 1962–present
Labels Amy Records
United Artists Records
Veep Records
Laurie Records
Susser Records
New Hope Records

Bobby Susser (born Robert Howard Susser on July 18, 1942), and also known as Bob Susser, is a multi-award winning, American songwriter, and record producer, best known for his young children's music.




Early life

Born in New York City, in the borough of Manhattan, Susser grew up in the borough of Queens, and attended Jamaica High School. He graduated from Queens College, City University of New York, with a BA in communications, and received an MA in communications and early childhood education from Teachers College, Columbia University, where he studied with visiting professor, and scholar Marshall McLuhan.[1] In 1961 he received an honorable discharge for serving in the United States Army.

During his high school years, he wrote songs for some of his favorite artists, such as Dion and The Drifters. But, at the time, all of his attempts to reach these artists were unsuccessful. Four decades later, in 1998, Ben E. King, lead singer of the Drifters, recorded an entire award winning collection of Susser's children's songs titled I Have Songs In My Pocket.[2]

The 1960s and 1970s

After producing six singles in 1961 and 1962 with his childhood friend Paul Simon, for the group Tico and The Triumphs, which included Susser's first Billboard Hot 100 chart record "Motorcycle," on Amy Records, he concentrated on writing and producing rhythm and blues songs. In 1963, he wrote, produced, and sold the master recording of the song "Kiss Me Now" to Phil Spector. Though the song was not a big hit, it was the first release on Spector's new Philles Records subsidiary label, Phi-Dan Records, and received a good deal of interest within the music industry.[3]

From 1965 through 1973 he wrote and produced songs for Florence DeVore, Sharon Redd, Lily Fields, Mamie Lee, Morgana King, Robert John, and Trini Lopez. In 1971 he wrote and produced the controversial song "Once You Understand" on Laurie Records, sung by his studio group, Think. After being banned from radio stations in several major cities, the anti-drug, novelty song sold 1.4 million records in the United States.[4][5] The song was also a top 5 hit in England and Germany, and later was sampled and covered by artists Biz Markie, Acen, 4 Hero, and De La Soul.[6][7]

Susser started receiving letters from churches, synagogues, and schools inviting him to play his song and talk with teenagers about its anti-drug message. This gave him a new direction and purpose, and he started to write and produce songs and activities for children ages 4 through 8. Titles from the 1970s included "Learning Basic Awareness Through Music," "Pre-Physical Education Through Music," "Pre-Square Dance," "Let's Act As Consumers," and his series for young pre-readers, Doctor Alphabet.[8] In 1976, Diana Ross recorded "Kiss Me Now", on her second, self titled album.

The 1980s and 1990s

During the 1980s, he visited schools with his young children's songs. At that same time he also wrote and produced songs for his own pop, studio group, The Bobby Susser Generation. But he left that project, and went back to his first love, writing and producing young children's music. He continued to appear in schools with songs and activities for his very young audiences. In 1992, he formed a new record company, New Hope Records, in order to administer the distribution, sales, and license rights of his recordings. He wrote and produced songs for thematic albums, and by 1996 they had become some of the most popular young children's songs and recordings ever used in schools, churches, synagogues, and homes. He created The Bobby Susser Singers and The Bobby Susser Children's Chorus for his series, "Bobby Susser Songs For Children", for ages 2 through 8. Michael Green became his lead male vocalist and Deanna Jones his lead female vocalist for many of the early recordings within this series.[9] By 1998, he broadened his guest list of vocalists, and began working with a greater variety of adult and children singers who have appeared his song series for young children. He continued to make changes in his personnel of singers and players depending upon the song, style, and subject matter, but without losing his unique, and popular touch that is undoubtedly recognizable in the world of young children's music and songs.[10]. In the year of 1999, he went back to visit young children's classrooms and lectured on the subject of young children's songs.

The 2000s

From 2002 through 2004, he wrote, recorded, and added four new collections to his young children's series (I Need You and You Need Me, Respect and Confidence, Early Learning Sing-Along, and My Day/In Motion and Play), and received the Parents' Choice Award for the first three.[11] In June 2008, Susser released the collection of original young children's songs All Roads Leads To Home.[12] One review stated, "All Roads Lead To Home is a very solid choice to use with preschoolers, and its additional song, '70 (Bringin' It Home To You)', for all ages, makes for a wider family appeal"[13] and another said, "All Roads Lead To Home" is headed for the group of classic and standard young children's recordings." [14]

In February 2009, Susser's children's series surpassed 5 million CD sales.[15] In September 2009, Susser released AMERICA: An Album For All Ages. By December, the new album received Dr.Toy's Best Audio-Video-CD Product Award for 2009,[16] and a was cited as "An American Treasure Of Songs."[17]

Other contributions and accolades

He has also written, produced, performed, and contributed the official theme song "Bikewell Bear And St. Jude," for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital . Billboard Magazine said that "Bobby Susser is unusually prolific and consistently does excellent work."[18] Manhattan School of Music has stated, "Bobby Susser has the rare ability to return to childhood at will."[19] Early Childhood News says, "Bobby Susser is unlike other children's musical artists in that he writes for them, not for himself."[20]

As a writer, Bobby Susser wrote:

  • The educational papers, "Implications of Rearing and Educating Children," 1975 and 1976; (Columbia University Press)
  • "The Lollipop Music Theory," 2003 (found on his web site and Dr.Toy's web site - see external links)
  • "Choosing Songs for Children," 2004 (found on his web site and Dr. Toy's web site - see external links)
  • Activities, purpose and parent/teacher notes for every title in the series "Bobby Susser Songs for Children."

Personal life

Susser is a long time resident of Long Island and lives by the bay with his wife, Jan , who is a school teacher. Susser has one married son, two married daughters, and seven grandchildren. He loves baseball and watches the New York Yankees whenever he can.[21]


Most popular children's albums

  • We Are Better Together (Produced And Written, 1994)
  • The Album For All Seasons (Produced And Written, 1995)
  • Wiggle Wiggle and Other Exercises (Produced And Written, 1996). Often referred to as "the benchmark collection of young children's exercise songs."[22]
  • Animals At The Zoo (Produced And Written, 1997)
  • I Have Songs In My Pocket (Produced And Written, 1998)
  • I Need You And You Need Me (Produced And Written, 2002)
  • Respect And Confidence (Produced And Written, 2002)
  • Early Learning Sing-Along (Produced And Written, 2003)
  • My Day/In Motion And Play (Produced And Written, 2004)
  • All Roads Lead To Home (Produced And Written, 2008). Includes the song, "70 (Bringin' It Home To You)."
  • AMERICA: An Album For All Ages (Produced And Written, 2009). Includes the singles, "America", and "Dancing In The USA."

Other albums

  • Encounter (Produced And Written, 1972)
  • Learning Basic Awareness Through Music (Produced And Written, 1972)
  • Pre-Physical Education Through Music (Produced And Written, 1972)
  • Pre-Square Dance Music (Produced And Written, 1972)
  • Let's Act (Produced And Written, 1972)
  • Pre-Driver's Education Through Music (Produced And Written, 1973)
  • Learning Responsibility Through Music (Produced And Written, 1973)
  • Let's Act As Consumers (Produced And Written, 1973)
  • Motivating Thought Processes Through Music (Produced And Written, 1973)
  • Doctor Alphabet (Produced And Written, 1974)
  • Growing Up With A Song (Produced And Written, 1992)
  • Songs For Your Day (Produced And Written, 1992)
  • Everybody Needs Somebody (Produced And Written, 1993)
  • Singles

  • I Don't Believe Them, Tico And The Triumphs (Produced, 1961)
  • Motorcycle, Tico And The Triumphs (Produced, 1961)
  • Wildflower, Tico And The Triumphs (Produced, 1962)
  • Express Train, Tico And The Triumphs (Produced, 1962)
  • Cry Lil Boy, Cry, Tico And The Triumphs (Produced, 1962)
  • Get Up And Do The Wobble, Tico And The Triumphs (Produced 1962)
  • Kiss Me Now, Florence DeVore (Produced And Written, 1965)
  • We're Not Old Enough, Florence DeVore (Produced And Written, 1965)
  • The Guy Next Door, Florence DeVore (Produced And Written, 1966)
  • That Tangerine, The Troys (Written, 1966)
  • Up To Now, Trini Lopez (Written, 1967)
  • Gotta Fit You Into My Life, The Troys (Written, 1967)
  • I Can Feel Him Slipping Away, Mamie Lee (Written, 1967)
  • Half As Much, Sharon Redd (Produced, 1968)
  • Do You Want Me?, Sharon Redd (Produced And Written, 1968)
  • I've Got A Feeling, Sharon Redd (Produced And Written, 1968)
  • Since I Lost You, Sharon Redd (Produced And Written, 1968)
  • Once You Understand, Think (Produced And Written, 1971)
  • It's Not The World, It's The People, Think (Produced And Written, 1972)
  • He Doesn't Love You, Florence DeVore (Produced And Written, 1972)
  • He's Got The Money Bags, Florence DeVore (Produced And Written, 1972)
  • It Takes A Lot Of Love To Love Me, Florence DeVore (Produced And Written, 1973)
  • Look Out, Florence DeVore (Produced And Written, 1973)
  • All That I Know, The Bobby Susser Generation (Produced And Written, 1982)
  • On My Mind, The Bobby Susser Generation (Produced And Written, 1984)
  • All Roads Lead To Home, The Bobby Susser Singers (Produced And Written, 2008)
  • America, The Bobby Susser Singers (Produced And Written, 2009)
  • Dancing In The USA, The Bobby Susser Singers (Produced And Written, 2010)

Awards and recognition

  • Parents' Choice Award (4 times) for his ongoing series "Bobby Susser Songs For Children."
  • Early Childhood News Directors' Choice Award (6 times)
  • Dr.Toy/Institute for Childhood Resources 100 Best Children's Products Award (6 times), 10 Best Audio-Video Products Award (5 times), Best Classic Products Award (2 times), 10 Best Socially Responsible Products Award (3 times), Best Children's Vacation Products Award (2 times).


  1. ^ Billboard Magazine, July 18, 1998, page 96.
  2. ^ Billboard Magazine, July 18, 1998, page 96.
  3. ^ Ribowski, Mark, He's A Rebel: Phil Spector, New York: E.P.Dutton, 1989, page 310.
  4. ^ Billboard Magazine, March 25, 1972, page 84.
  5. ^ Joel Whitburn, "The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits." 7th edn, 2004, page 629.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Record World magazine, September, 1975, Children's section, page 46.
  9. ^ Early Childhood News magazine, editor, Fall, 1996, page 12.
  10. ^ Parentguide, November, 1998, editor, page 16.
  11. ^
  12. ^ Educational Dealer magazine, October, 2008, Industry news section, page 38.
  13. ^ School Library Journal, September, 2008, Dayton Metro Library, OH.
  14. ^ Parentguide, August, 2008, editor, page 23.
  15. ^ Educational Dealer magazine, April, 2009, Industry news section, page 34.
  16. ^
  17. ^ review, December 11, 2009.
  18. ^ Billboard Magazine, March 23, 1996.
  19. ^ In a class introduction by John Abbott at the Manhattan School of Music, 1994.
  20. ^ Early Childhood News magazine, Editor, Fall, 1996, page 12.
  21. ^ Educational Dealer magazine, October, 2008, Industry news section, page 38.
  22. ^ review, October 23, 2005.

External links


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