Browse Categories
Browse by Manufacturer
Mailing Lists
Enter your email address in the form above to get email updates regarding the latest VIEW Video and Arkadia Records new releases and promotions.
Visit Our
Business-to-Business Resource Center
for High and Low Resolution cover images, and exstensive Video/Audio clips, product spreadsheets and pdf files.
Advertise with us
Bobby Short Biography

Born September 15, 1926 in Danville, Illinois, Robert Waltrip taught himself how to play the piano at an early age and describes his childhood as being “normal.” He modestly proclaims himself to be a “saloon singer,” whereas in reality he has become a cabaret legend, keeping alive the classics and the “little songs” of Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hart, Irving Berlin, and other songwriters of the 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s.

His start in show business came at the age of twelve after being discovered by agents visiting his hometown at a large American Legion convention. They recommended he break in his act in nearby Joliet before he took it to the big city of Chicago. His mother agreed to let her son go on tour, and the birth of a long and successful career in music had begun.

Bobby, then known as “the miniature king of swing” met Cab Calloway and other great musicians while playing the Chicago nightclub circuit. Due to economic constraints and age restrictions, he played the nonunion venues and any bar that had a piano. By 1954, he had cultivated a following, which allowed him to play on both American coasts as well as London and Paris.

In 1968, he toured the United States with Skitch Henderson and the New York Pops. During a concert at Town Hall on May 2nd of that year, he made the acquaintance of Mabel Mercer. This meeting seriously influenced the direction of his future career path. (Tickets for that concert sold for $10.) Since then, he has found his home at the posh Café Carlyle of the hotel with the same name on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

Bobby Short recorded his first album, Songs by Bobby Short, for Atlantic Records in 1955 and has gone on to release over 30 albums as a leader. His many performances on PBS and other networks, as well as his appearances on national commercials have kept him in the public eye and made him the key representative of the Great American Songbook, providing a temporary passage through yesterday’s mirror, and a deep desire to escape into the glory, regret and nostalgia of the smoky past.