His Way Volume I
After spending a career in international business, you'd think Bob Wagner would want to sit back, relax and enjoy life at his home in St. Paul de Vence, France. Mais, non! Bob is just getting started. This time, it's his work as a jazz composer and musician he's taking to the next level, delving into a career as a recording artist. It's work that Bob has always done, just not often in public. "I have very much remained the dark horse in the music arena," he says. A dark horse, that happens to be a powerful and proven musical steed. Since taking up songwriting as a university student in the 1950s, Bob has amassed over 150 compositions; mostly big band-era jazz tunes that have been well received on the international stage. His song, "No Small Talk Please" was recorded by Universal Music artist Laura Fygi on her CD, "Change." The song is actually Bob's first composition, and has also been recorded by Andy Williams, who performed it on NBC's Steve Allen Tonight Show in New York in 1954. Bob has also co-written songs with high-caliber musical heavyweights like Academy Award winning British composer Leslie Bricusse, a famous songwriter of West End and Broadway musicals; and recorded with French jazz artists, The Marc Peillon Trio. Most recently, Bob is working with Emmy Award winning pianist, conductor and arranger, Lee Musiker. Bob and Lee have arranged and recorded a number of Bob's original songs together. This time, however, it's Bob taking the limelight as songwriter and singer. No longer is he working behind the scenes as the writing talent; he is the star of the show, along with some other well-known performers who share singing duties. Musically, Bob leans toward jazz ballads, while lyrically, his songs reflect a spirit of romanticism, love and life. Drawing from his life experiences, he has refined his craft to produce a wealth of musical gems. Biography Bob has always managed to make time to play, especially during his university days in New York amidst the height of the Korean War. Bob entertained at venues like The Sea Cliff Yacht Club in Long Island, The Peachtree Lounge on the upper East Side and the U.S.O. Club in mid-Manhattan. "I loved it and had the time of my life!" he says. Bob has forged friendships with musical superstars such as Andy Williams, Hoagy Carmichael, Eddie Fisher, Carol Burnett, Julie Andrews, Shirley Bassey, Anita Kerr and more. He hopes to shine a light in the musical realm just like they have. Time will tell how brightly the spotlight glows on Bob Wagner during his exciting songwriting career. Releasing a CD with his name on it is interesting territory for Bob, whose rare live appearances over the years have mostly been in clubs and cocktail lounges, when he had the time. "I went through long periods of not writing at all while I was engrossed in international business. I lived a seesaw-like love affair with my musical aspirations which more often than not had to take a back seat to my 'bread and butter' existence and survival." Testimonials "Bob Wagner is a very talented songwriter. Be they ballads or swing tunes, it brings back memories of writers who composed for the singers of the great era of love, romance and swing. Bob is challenging the new breed of male vocalists, has a unique voice that soothes, and gives his words a lot of feeling. I enjoy his originality and approach to music. We need more like him if music is to survive." Lee Major Veteran Jazz Broadcaster CJNU FM Nostalgia Radio Host/Producer "I have truly enjoyed working with Bob Wagner, who is not only very charming, but also a great creative mind! His composition, "No Small Talk Please," was my favourite song on the album, Change." Laura Fygi - Universal Music recording artist "Lovely tunes reminiscent of the golden era of songs and songwriters. A most charming and gracious cat." Lee Musiker - Emmy Award winning pianist, conductor and arranger "During the 35 years of our friendship, Bob Wagner has never been far from either a piano or a romantic new melody. He has the knack of creating the wistful and nostalgic music that brings to mind the great songwriters and the great standards from that golden era of popular music between the wars - when the tune was more important than the beat. It is a torch well worth carrying and I have had the pleasure and the privilege of adding a dozen or more lyrics to some of his lovelier themes. There will always be a warm welcome among "those who knew" in the music business for the memorable music of Bob Wagner." Leslie Bricusse - British lyricist, composer and writer/co-writer of musicals, including Victor/Victoria, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Stop the World - I Want to Get Off "A fine marriage of lyrics and melody. Just when I thought there was a real dearth of superior original songs for the Great American Songbook, along comes Bob Wagner with a most refreshing sound for us to embrace. Some of his lyrics are very poetic...the arrangements are all very hip and appeal to a wide demographic. Many listeners seem to be craving for a more innocent time, a nostalgic place where the Sinatras, Clooneys, Tormes and Fitzgeralds ruled, and Bob Wagner fits that need very nicely. My fears that the best songs have been written may be finally over." Ray Alexander - founder of the Winnipeg Jazz Festival and host of Fascinating Rhythm, CJUM 101.5 FM, Winnipeg, Canada.