July 10, 1998
What a special time it was when I finally had the honor of speaking with Bobby Troup!
Bobby was born in Harrisburg, PA. His family owned the J A Troup Music House
stores in Harrisburg and Lancaster. Bobby's father played the piano and music was a big
part of his young life. While attending the University of Pennsylvania, he joined
the Mask & Wig show that has been a tradition of the school since 1881.
"Daddy" was written for the play by him in 1941.
After graduating from the Pennsylvania Wharton Business School, he enlisted in the
Marines. When he was not called for duty right away, he went to New York and worked for
Tommy Dorsey as a writer. After the incident at Pearl Harbor, Bobby was sent to
Officer Training School in the Marine Corps. He was sent to Saipan as a Captain. and while
there, did a lot of thinking about song writing. When he returned, he told his
mother that he wanted to try to become a song writer. He bought a 1941 Buick with his
first royalty check from his song "Daddy." At that time, New York and California
were the places for song writers to be.
He said he would give himself two years to make it and headed off to Los Angeles,
California, writing half of the song "Route 66" in the car along the way. The
song was formally recorded on March 16, 1946. He also noted that a lot of his songs were
written while he was in cars. His idol was Nat King Cole, and when he heard Bobby's
songs, he loved them. Bobby's songs have been recorded by many artists through the
years, including Julie London. The song "Meaning of the Blues" was written for
Julie. Along with several others. Bobby also wrote the title song for "Man of the
West" which starred Julie London and Gary Cooper in 1958 [which by the way, if you
have not seen it is one of Julie's best movies in my opinion]. Bobby has recorded
six albums and Julie has done thirty. One of Bobby's favorite movies he enjoyed
doing was The High Cost of Loving (1958).
His move into movies and tv shows was the result of studios getting actors to act as
singers and musicians, and Bobby was ask to be involved since he really knew what he was
doing. He played those parts in many shows, and was great at being himself at the
As for Emergency!, Jack Webb knew him and liked him, and thought he would be
good in the show as Dr. Early. They had Julie cast as Dixie and thought it would be
nice to have her husband, Bobby in there also. Bobby said working on Emergency!
was one of the happiest experiences of his life. Everyone got along just great, no petty
jealousy, and all were like one big family on there. One of his favorite scenes was with a
small child in the examine room (They took turns listening to each other's hearts.)
Bobby and Julie have been married for over forty years now and have four grandchildren
with another due in December from daughter, Kelly.
Thank you Bobby for the interview and the time you took to talk with me!
copyright 1998 by Rozane
Go to our Bobby Troup tribute page.