The following informative article from 1972 about Bob Reinhardt / Bobby Bond is provided by courtesy of the writer, Alan Cackett. Please see his website at www.alancackett.com
Thank you, Alan Cackett, for allowing us to post your article here.
Here is some background information supplied by Alan Cackett concerning this article:
“I wrote the feature back in 1972 when I interviewed Bobby by phone. It was arranged via people at Acuff-Rose Publishing. I’ve never met him, but my speciality has always been the songwriter. Over the years I’ve written features on literally hundreds of songwriters. In my opinion they are all too often overlooked.
I spent a lot of time researching Bobby Bond. This was pre-internet days so it meant reading publications like Music City News, Country Song Round-up, etc. Also I used to receive lots of record sales lists from various record collectors around the world, and would list the record releases by artists like Bobby, which in the end meant that I had quite a comprehensive list of his record releases. It was quite laborious.”
First published in Country Music People, June 1973 by Alan Cackett:
Bobby Bond is one of the many young talented writers that exist in Nashville, but don’t receive their due recognition from the fans until they have had several years struggling to make a worthwhile living, then suddenly they are hailed as genius, or the greatest living poet of all time. This happened to Mickey Newbury, also to Kristofferson and is currently rubbing off on John Prine and Steve Goodman.
Bobby Bond’s style of writing, though, is totally unlike those, his lyrics don’t appear so deep as Newbury’s, and his melodies are certainly not as adventurous as Kristofferson’s, but he does possess the knack of being able to communicate with the listener, and through his songs he describes much about life which is easy to relate with.
I first discovered Bond’s talents as a songwritter in 1968 with George Hamilton’s version of Back To Denver, and since this recording Hamilton has recorded about a dozen of Bobby’s songs. It’s odd when you consider that most of Bond’s songs deal with travelling, as the man himself prefers home life, and hates being away from his famliar surroundings for too long. This dislike of travelling could be attributed to his childhood in Michigan, where his mother was a pianist who taught music and also played at churches. She also travelled extensively, and as Bobby Bond grew up he searched for roots to settle down, these he has found with his wife Colleen and young son Mark in the suburbs of Nashville.
Bobby Bond was born on February 9, 1943, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the only child of William and Monica Reinhardt. He changed his name while in his late teens as many people found Reinhardt a difficult and confusing name, and embarking on a career of music, this proved a stumbling block. He began his musical career with a high school rock band in the early 1960s, in his native Grand Rapids. It was a back-up group for the most part, playing behind visiting artists. Bobby at the time was keenly interested in country music, but he found that he was out on a limb. Determination was his habit, and in early 1962 he sent a tape of his songs to several publishing houses in Nashville, and was inspired to write more when some of his compositions were accepted.
After graduating from high school Bobby formed a new group and for almost a year they travelled around building up a reputation, not only in the small towns and hamlets, but also in the cities like Chicago and Dallas. Bobby was not really happy with all this travelling and when the group disbanded he moved to Nashville in the hope of establishing himself more firmly in country music. He had dreams, but as so often happens these dreams began to fade. He found the going tough and he left and and went to San Francisco. There he found more scope for just existing, and he played guitar in various clubs just to keep from starving.
In 1964 he realised that he was getting nowhere, and just living from day to day. This was no way to build a career, so he returned to Nashville with the intention of settling down and working on a solid career in music. While in Nashville he took a job working in the mailroom of a department store. This enabled him to return to his first love—songwriting. He never really enjoyed being on the road, and for another thing he liked to fool around with words.
His first chance to record came through one of the many budget albums, recording ‘cover’ versions of other people’s hits, and receiving a set payment with no royalties to follow. His first album was the ROGER MILLER SONGBOOK for the Somerset label, which sold more for the name Roger Miller than Bobby Bond, but showed that he had a pleasant voice, which appealed, but certainly didn’t excite. His next album on Somerset was dedicated to the late Jim Reeves and enjoyed large sales, but again it did nothing to establish Bobby Bond as a singer.
As a songwriter, though, things were different. His songs were beginning to crop up on albums, and being signed to the Acuff-Rose publishing company, he had all the necessary promotion he needed. A third album cropped up on the Time label (ON THE COUNTRYSIDE) and alongside well-known country standards, were several Bobby Bond originals which were moulded in the folk/country sound that was so popular around the mid-sixties.
It took a while for Bobby to learn to write commercial songs. He likes his own writing and feels he must believe in it, but just as important whoever hears it has to believe in it too. George Hamilton IV was one of the first people to believe in Bobby Bond, and after taking Back To Denver into the Country charts at the end of 1968, he followed with several more Bond compositions like Anyway, Back To Where It’s At and Then I Miss You, which went pop for The First Edition.
George Hamilton and Bobby Bond songs seem tailor-made for each other, Bond admits that George sings like he writes, and styles a song just right. It seems that Hamilton and Bond have many things in common. Just when Hamilton was returning to his grassroots and began recording in a much more countrified fashion, along came Bond with just the right songs. Back To Where It’s At was one of the first songs that hit the charts with the message to get back to the country and away from the grime and pace of city life.
His influences are the best—and he rates the best as being Mickey Newbury, Bob Dylan, John D. Loudermilk and the underrated Red Lane. But never can Bobby Bond be accused of copying any of the above, his songs have a distinctive style about them, they are easy flowing, but complex enough to really hold the listeners attention.
His standout song is most probably Six White Horses, which gave Henson Cargill a hit a couple of years ago. The version to listen to though is from Waylon Jennings, who really brings the story to the listener, and makes the story really convincing.
In 1968 Bobby Bond hit the charts himself with One More Mile on the Warner Brothers label. Although the record only hit the lower rungs of the charts, it was enough to get Hickory Records more interested in Bond. Hickory was part of the Acuff-Rose group, and being signed to the record company that was owned by the publishing company that he worked for enabled Bobby Bond to be under one roof.
Bobby Bond would like to develop his own style, to be an individual, but part of the new country sound. Not with strings, but with the basic country instrumentation used in the style of today. Singers and writers of today are exposed to different types of music, and consequently this rubs off on their attitudes towards music. Although Bobby Bond accepts that he is part of country music, he doesn’t want to be tied down to the tight confines that one style of music can impose.
Naturally he wants to be famous, but with some limitation. Success means having enough money to do what one likes. Having a small farm, living life with comforts and being accepted as a successful songwriter. He’s not really interested in being a big star. Just recently though he’s begun performing and actually admits to enjoying it—you never know but Bobby Bond could well become one of those reluctant big stars—he has the talent.
The following article about Bobby Bond/ Bob Reinhardt was written by Kim Rush:
Robert William Reinhardt was born on February 9, 1944. Outside of
Grand Rapids, most people know him as Bobby Bond. After he graduated from Ottawa Hills High School in 1958, he worked as a commercial artist for Wurzburg’s. But his real passion was for songwriting, performing and recording music. He eventually became one of the most prolific song writers from Grand Rapids.
Bob Reinhardt and his first band, Bob and the Rockbillies, preceded Del Shannon (Charles Westover) as West Michigan recording artists, first recording in April of 1958. Furthermore, the Rockbillies record is probably the first rock and roll recording created by West Michigan musicians. Del used to show up at their practice sessions at Bill Tucker’s garage on Thomas S.E. and at their engagements, asking to sit in with them before becoming a famous musician.
Left to right are Bob Reinhardt, Jim Braisted, Jerry Lewis on drums, Dick Wolf on bass and Lonnie Lehr guitar
In 1958, WOOD disc jockey ‘Bill Barber’ (Bill Weideman) hosted a radio show called “The Barber Shop” in the late afternoon, as kids were coming home from school. He was definitely one of the first DJs to play rock and roll records in the Grand Rapids area, along with Tom Quain. He ‘snuck’ in a few rock tunes amidst his usual dose of country music, receiving strong criticism for doing so from parents and the community. He also became manager of Bob and the Rockbillies and landed them local TV appearances on WOOD-TVs Bop-Hop, a show which imitated American Bandstand. They also played at the band competitions held at the Lexicon Club on Grand Rapid’s west side, in Detroit and Chicago, and appeared on American Bandstand, according to bass player Dick Wolf. Bill Barber also connected Bob and the Rockbillies with Marty Faye, a deejay for WAAF in Chicago. Marty had a program called “Marty’s Morgue, where he would criticize and “kill” records that he did not feel were worth playing.
Bill Barber (Weideman) created Loki Records and Bob’s first single on that label was recorded at Ted Maters studio in downtown Grand Rapids.
Bop Hop TV show photo (courtesy of Grand Rapids Public Library History Collection)
The first record that Reinhardt and the Rockbillies recorded was “Baby Why Did You Have to Go” /”Your Kind of Love” on Blue- Chip Records of Lansing, Michigan on April 28, 1958. Bill Barber also played the Bob and the Rockbillies record on his show and secured them a spot on the Alan Freed Big Beat show at the Civic Auditorium on 4.5.58, which featured Buddy Holly and Jerry Lee Lewis.
Bob and the Rockbillies record
Click on the links below to hear this recording:
Baby Why Did You Have to Go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nh4EERLJFSM&noredirect=1
Your Kind of Love: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAxP7Rf5N1k
Within three years Bob Reinhardt had changed his band name an equal number of times. In 1959 Bob and the Bandits recorded “I’m Gonna Stop Cryin” and “Now She’s Gone” on the Loki label, which some record collectors and local musicians claim was Bob Reinhardt’s own record company. However, Bill Barber (Weideman) actually started the label. A few other records were released on this label such as Fred Knight and the Chessmen’s and Little D and the Harlems singles. Bob Reinhard’s first single on Loki was recorded at Ted Maters studio at 44 Monroe in Grand Rapids. Dick Wolf, who played bass on Bob Reinhardt’s first two records, including the Bob and the Bandits single on Loki, maintains that their 1959 Loki single was recorded in Chicago at 612 Michigan Avenue. Upright bass player Dick Wolf recalls a trip to Chicago in Bill Barber (Weideman’s) Volkswagon, with the neck of his bass sticking through the ‘moonroof’ of the car.
Click on the links below to hear the songs from the Bob and the Bandits Loki single:
Bob and the Bandits (1959):
I’m Gonna Stop Cryin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIysjxnwOME
Now She’s Gone: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSdIr76-rHA
Bill Barber arranged a very hasty photo shoot to promote the Loki single. It was so hurried that all the band members were not included. Left to right are Lonnie Lehr (?), Bob Reinhardt and Jim Braisted.
In 1961 Reinhardt recorded another single as Bobby Bond and the Bandits on the Danceland label. This 45 featured “Sweet Love” and “Livin’ Doll.” These same tunes were re-released during the same year under the name ‘Bobby Bond’ on Danceland, and finally on Jamie Records, also as ‘Bobby Bond’. This recording was also released in England on Pye International Records. He wrote all of the songs he recorded in the early days of his career, and by 1964 permanently retained the stage and recording name of Bobby Bond.
Click on the links below to hear “Sweet Love and “Livin” Doll”
Sweet Love: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ERyqb35zug
Livin Doll: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ok5bu61vwn4
An 4.19.64 Grand Rapids Press article about Bob Reinhardt documents how he had moved to Nashville for three months around 1964, attempting to further establish himself as a songwriter and recording musician. He hooked up with Tree Music Publishing Company. An album by Bobby Bond was released the same year called “On the Country Side,” on the Time Label. This album marked his shift from the rock/rockabilly style to country music, which he retained. Eventually he worked for Acuff-Rose Publishing and recorded numerous 45s and some LPs under the name of Bobby Bond.
In 1964 Bobby Bond performed at the Shamrock on Bridge Street N.W., near Front. But his old Grand Rapids band mates including Dick Wolf, Les Clark, Lonnie Lear, Jerry Lewis, Lloyd Miller, and Jim Braisted eventually lost contact with Bob, some when they graduated from high school and enlisted in the armed services. In the late 1970s, Dick Wolf ran into Bob Reinhardt at a bar in downtown Grand Rapids. They talked about the days that they played together and Dick invited Bob to take a ride on his boat in Saugatuck. Bob met Dick and his wife at the boat and they played one song together, but Bob quickly excused himself and that was the last Dick has seen of him.
In 1973, Bob and Grand Rapids songwriter Jodi Bancino co-wrote a song titled “It’s Hard to Be a Big Man on your Knees.”
By 1965, Reinhardt was part of the Acuff-Rose Publishing company, as he began providing his songs for numerous country artists (including Don Gibson, Roy Orbison,Dick Curless, Sue Thompson, George Hamilton IV, Waylon Jennings and Charlie Walker) as well as recording his own string of singles and albums. A single was released that same year on the Wand label. It was entitled “Honey, You’ve Been on My Mind,” penned by Bobby Bond and published by Tree Music Publishing Company. From 1964 until the mid 70s he recorded for labels including MGM,Parrot, Hickory and Warner Brothers.
In the May 24, 1969 edition of Billboard Magazine, a brief but promising mention of Bobby Bond was presented in the following context: “Mike Maitland (our prexy) and Wesley Rose (Nashville’s prexy) have developed their answer to our pop-country bag, a young man named Bobby Bond….. Bobby will be very very big, say Mike and Wesley.”
Though huge fame eluded Bob Reinhardt, the quality of his songwriting and his recordings confirm that he certainly had tremendous talent.
Article Written by Kim Rush and posted by Doug Taylor.
Thank you to Dick Wolf, Lloyd Miller and Jim Taylor for their important input.
This is one of the better (and complete) Bobby Bond discographies I have located. Among other things, it serves to illustrate the substantial number of recordings which were created by Bobby Bond and must have required heavy researching.
Bobby Bond Discography
ca. December 1960 poss. Detroit, MI – Bobby Bond And The Bandits
001 ZTSC-67309 SWEET LOVE Danceland D-1000 Jamie 1185
002 ZTSC-67310 LIVING DOLL Danceland D-1000 Jamie 1185
(ALBUM) The Country Side of Things; ca. November 1963 Columbia Recording Studio, 804 17th Avenue South, Nashville, TN – Bobby Bond (Bobby Bond [vcl], Kelso Herston [gt], Ray Edenton [gt], Wayne Moss [gt],
Pete Drake [steel], Buddy Killen [bass], Buddy Harman [drums], Hargus Robbins [piano], Charlie McCoy [harmonica], Boots Randolph [sax]. Producer: Bob Shad)
003 IT’S SO HARD TO FORGET YOU THAT WAY Time S-2122
004 FOOTPRINTS IN THE SNOW Time S-2122
005 GOLDEN WEDDING BAND Time S-2122
006 IT’S HARD TO BE A BIG MAN ON YOUR KNEES Time S-2122
007 THIS IS A LONELY LONELY TOWN Time S-2122
008 YOUR OWN PRECIOUS WAY Time S-2122
009 FIVE HUNDRED MILES Time S-2122
010 YOU’RE WALKIN’ OUT OF MY LIFE TOMORROW Time S-2122
011 HOW’S EVERYTHING IN YOUR WORLD TODAY? Time S-2122
012 HALF-PAST ELEVEN O’CLOCK Time S-2122
013 DUEL AT DAWN Time S-2122
014 I CAN’T FIND MARY ANYWHERE Time S-2122
c. 1965 Bobby Bond
014a KS-50055 TWENTY MEN Parrot PAR 10830
014b KS-50056? WHERE DOES THE MAN GO FROM HERE Parrot PAR 10830
1965 unknown – Bobby Bond (Producer: John Harley)
014c 50501 You’ve Got Time WND 1102/
014d HONEY YOU’ve EEN ON MY MIND WND 1102
1965 Nashville, TN – Bobby Bond (ALBUM) THE SONGS OF ROGER MILLER:
015 KING OF THE ROAD Somerset/Stereo Fidelity SF-24400 SF-25200 SF-28800
016 CHUG-A-LUG Somerset/Stereo Fidelity SF-24400
017 GREENBEANS Somerset/Stereo Fidelity SF-24400
018 ENGINE ENGINE NO.9 Somerset/Stereo Fidelity SF-24400
019 SAD EYES Somerset/Stereo Fidelity SF-24400
020 DANG ME Somerset/Stereo Fidelity SF-24400
021 KANSAS CITY STAR Somerset/Stereo Fidelity SF-24400
022 CAMPTOWN RACES Somerset/Stereo Fidelity SF-24400
023 YOU CAN’T ROLLER SKATE IN A BUFFALO HERD Somerset/Stereo Fidelity SF-24400
024 SNOWBALLS IN JULY Somerset/Stereo Fidelity SF-24400 – 65
ca. late 1965 Nashville, TN – Bobby Bond
025 A CITY CALLED BLUE Somerset/Stereo Fidelity SF-25200
026 ROVIN’ GAMBLER Somerset/Stereo Fidelity SF-25200 SF-28800
027 ABILENE Somerset/Stereo Fidelity SF-25200 SF-28800
027 SIX DAYS ON THE ROAD Somerset/Stereo Fidelity SF-25200
1966 Nashville, TN – Bobby Bond
028 DISTANT DRUMS Somerset/Stereo Fidelity SF-26300
029 FOUR WALLS Somerset/Stereo Fidelity SF-26300
030 RED RIVER VALLEY Somerset/Stereo Fidelity SF-26300
031 WABASH CANNONBALL Somerset/Stereo Fidelity SF-26300
032 DOWN IN THE VALLEY Somerset/Stereo Fidelity SF-26300
033 HE’LL HAVE TO GO Somerset/Stereo Fidelity SF-26300
034 YONDER COMES A SUCKER Somerset/Stereo Fidelity SF-26300
035 STREETS OF LAREDO Somerset/Stereo Fidelity SF-26300
036 HOME Somerset/Stereo Fidelity SF-26300
037 BILLY BAYOU Somerset/Stereo Fidelity SF-26300
31 January 1968 Nashville, TN – Bobby Bond
038 N 50519 ANYWAY MGM K13951
039 N 50520 MR AND MRS. BROWN K13951
ca. early 1969 Nashville, TN – Bobby Bond (Producer: Don Gant)
040 ONE MORE MILE, ONE MORE TOWN (ONE MORE TIME) Warner Brothers 7292
041 M 51571 IF YOU’RE LEAVIN’ ME 7292
ca. August 1969 Nashville, TN – Bobby Bond
042 PACK MY SUITCASE 7341
043 M 17511 JENNIFER, IT’S GOODBYE 7341
ca. March 1970 poss. Acuff-Rose Sound Studio, Nashville, TN – Bobby Bond (Producer: Don Gant)
044 F-1393 HOUSTON BLUES 45-K-1566
045 F-1394 LOOKING FOR MY TRACKS 45-K-1566
046 F-1395 ONE MOR MILE, ONE MORE TOWN (ONE MORE TIME) 45-K-1630
ca. April 1970 poss. Acuff-Rose Sound Studio, Nashville, TN – Bobby Bond (Producer: Don Gant)
047 F-1401? IF YOU’RE GOIN’ GIRL 45-K-1610
ca. November 1970 poss. Acuff-Rose Sound Studio, Nashville, TN – Bobby Bond (Producer: Don Gant)
048 PUT ME ON THE ROAD TO THE COUNTRY 45-K-1610
049 NOTHING NEW IN OKLAHOMA 45-K-1594
050 SIX WHITE HORSES 45-K-1630
051 F-1428 CASE OF THE BLUES 45-K-1594
ca. July 1972 Acuff-Rose Sound Studio, Nashville, TN – Bobby Bond (Producer: Don Gant)
052 F-1580 YOU DON’T MESS AROUND WITH ME 45-K-1649
053 LOOKIN’ FOR MY TRACKS 45-K-1649
054 NEXT TIME AROUND 45-K-1656
055 YOU CAN CLOSE YOUR EYES 45-K-1656
ca. August 1973 Acuff-Rose Sound Studio, Nashville, TN – Bobby Bond (Don Gant)
056 /73L-5416* I’LL SING FOR YOU HK 305*
057 /73L-5417* JOHN MARTIN HK 305*
Time 5122/S-2122 On The Country Side: It’s So Hard To Forget You That Way; Footprints In The Snow; Golden Wedding Band; It’s Hard To Be A Big Man On Your Knees; This Is A Lonely Lonely Town; Your Own Precious Way; Five Hundred Miles; You’re Walkin’ Out Of My Life Tomorrow; How’s Everything In Your World Today?; Half-Past Eleven O’Clock; Duel At Dawn; I Can’t Find Mary Anywhere – 01-64 (MX: TY 270/1)
Somerset/Stereo Fidelity P/SF-24400 The Roger Miller Songbook: King Of The Road; Chug-A-Lug; Greenbeans; Engine Engine No.9; Sad Eyes; Dang Me; Kansas City Star; Camptown Races; You Can’t Roller Skate In A Buffalo Herd; Snowballs In July – 65 (reissued on Alshire S-5312 Country Hits Made Famous By Roger Miller IN 1969)
Somerset/Stereo Fidelity P/SF-25200 A Country Boy Looks Down That Lonesome Road: [Earl Cupti:] Lonesome Road; Detroit City; Saginaw Michigan; Goin’ Down The Road; Columbus Stockade Blues; [Bobby Bondd:] A City Called Blue; Rovin’ Gambler; King Of The Road; Abilene; Six Days On The Road – 66
Somerset/Stereo Fidelity P/SF-26300 I Remeber Jim Reeves: Distant Drums; Four Walls; Red River Valley; Wabash Cannonball; Down In The Valley; He’ll Have To Go; Yonder Comes A Sucker; Streets Of Laredo; Home; Billy Bayou – 66
Somerset/Stereo Fidelity P/SF-28800 Country Boy Keeps Movin’ On: Roving Gambler; Knight Of The Road; Abilene; I’m Movin’ On; King Of The Road; Detroit City; Memphis; Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy; I’ll Be Here A Long Time; Salt Lake City – 11-67 (sampler)
D-1000 Sweet Love / Living Doll – 01-61 (reissued in April 1961 on Jamie 1185)
London/Parrot (unknown, middle 60’s)
45 PAR10830 Twenty Men / Where Does The Man Go From Here
WND-1102 You’ve Got Time / Honey You’ve Been On My Mind – 65
K 13951 Anyway / Mr. And Mrs. Brown – 07-68
Warner Brothers (1969)
7292 One More Mile, One More Town (One More Time) / If You’re Leavin’ Me – 05-69
7341 Pack My Suitcase / Jennifer, It’s Goodbye – 09-69
45-K-1566 Looking For My Tracks / Houston Blues – 04-70
45-K-1594 Case Of The Blues / Nothing New In Oklahoma – 02-71
45-K-1610 If You’re Goin’, Girl / Put Me On The Road To The Country – 09-71
45-K-1630 One More Mile, One More Town (One More Time) / Six White Horses – 03-72
45-K-1649 You Don’t Mess Around With Jim / Lookin’ For My Tracks – 09-72
45-K-1656 Next Time Around / You Can Close Your Eyes – 01-73
HK 305 I’ll Sing For You / John Martin – 09-73