Bobby Troup

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Bobby Troup
Julie London Bobby Troup Emergency 1971.JPG
Troup as Dr. Joe Early on 1970s television show, Emergency! (with wife Julie London, in the role of nurse Dixie McCall)
Robert William Troup Jr.

(1918-10-18)October 18, 1918
DiedFebruary 7, 1999(1999-02-07) (aged 80)
OccupationMusician, actor
Years active1941–1995
Cynthia Hare
(m. 1942;div. 1955)

(m. 1959)
Children5, including Ronne

Robert William Troup Jr. (October 18, 1918 – February 7, 1999) was an American actor, jazz pianist, singer, and songwriter. He wrote the song "Route 66" and acted in the role of Dr. Joe Early with his wife Julie London in the television program Emergency! in the 1970s. [1]



Robert William Troup Jr. was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. [2] [3] His father Robert William Troup worked for the family business J. H. Troup Music House and founded its Lancaster, Pennsylvania branch store. [4] He graduated from The Hill School, a preparatory school in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, in 1937. [5] He went on to graduate Phi Beta Kappa from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in economics. [6] He was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (ΣΑΕ) fraternity and the Mask and Wig Club.

Military and music

His earliest musical success came in 1941 with the song "Daddy" [7] written for a Mask and Wig production. [8] Sammy Kaye and His Orchestra recorded "Daddy", which was number one for eight weeks on the Billboard chart and the number five record of 1941; other musicians who recorded it include Glenn Miller, Bing Crosby, Kay Kyser, and The Andrews Sisters. [9] "Daddy" can be heard in the 1941 film Two Latins from Manhattan. [10] The song is also performed by the title character in Tex Avery's cartoon short Red Hot Riding Hood (1943). [11]

After graduating from college in 1941, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps but did not receive orders until January 1942. After completing officer training, he was assigned as one of two dozen white officers to direct recruit training at Montford Point, the recruit depot for the first black Marines. [12] In 1943 he became recreation officer and helped build a recreation hall, basketball court, and outdoor boxing ring. A friend installed a miniature golf course. [6] At Montford Point, he also organized the first African-American band of U.S. Marines. [13] During this time he composed "Take Me Away from Jacksonville", which was to become an anthem of sorts for the Marines at Montford Point and other areas of Camp Lejeune. [14]

In February 1942, Troup's song "Snootie Little Cutie" was recorded by Frank Sinatra and Connie Haines with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and the Pied Pipers. [15]

In 1946, Nat King Cole had a hit with Troup's most popular song, "Route 66". [1] The song was also recorded by Chuck Berry (1961) and The Rolling Stones (1964). Troup's hipster interpretation of the fairy tale "The Three Bears" was first recorded by the Page Cavanaugh Trio [16] in 1946 and later by Leon McAuliffe, [17] and Ray Ellington. [18]

Troup's recordings in the 1950s and 1960s were not commercially successful. He recorded for Liberty and Capitol. He wrote the title song (sung by Little Richard) for the 1950s rock and roll film The Girl Can't Help It . [1] An instrumental version of his song "The Meaning of the Blues" appeared on the Miles Davis album Miles Ahead .

Around 1969, Troup collaborated with entertainer Tommy Leonetti, writing the lyrics for Leonetti's song "My City of Sydney". [19]

Television and films

While he relied on songwriting royalties, Troup worked as an actor, appearing in Bop Girl Goes Calypso (1957), The High Cost of Loving (1958), The Five Pennies (1959), and playing musician Tommy Dorsey in the film The Gene Krupa Story (1959). [1] He appeared as himself in the short-lived NBC television series Acapulco . He made three guest appearances on Perry Mason , and on two appearances, "The Case of the Jaded Joker" in 1959 and "The Case of the Missing Melody" in 1961, he showed his musical talents. In 1969 and 1970, he appeared as "Bobby" in two episodes of Mannix , where he was a lounge piano player who helped Mannix unravel cases. [20] [21] Troup tried his luck at bowling on two episodes of Celebrity Bowling (1973-1975). He again appeared as a piano player in a cameo on The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries in 1978. [22]

His later films included First to Fight (1967) and Number One (1969) with Charlton Heston. In Robert Altman's 1970 film M*A*S*H he had a cameo appearance as a disgruntled staff sergeant.

In 1972, Jack Webb, who had hired Troup for a 1967 episode of the television series Dragnet , cast him as Dr. Joe Early in the television series Emergency! with Julie London as nurse Dixie McCall. [1] Both Troup and London guest starred as "Emergency" personnel on an episode of Adam-12 . In 1979, Troup played the part of Sam Gill in the TV miniseries The Rebels .

Personal life

Troup married Cynthia Hare in May 1942. [6] They had two daughters, Cynnie Troup (born 1943) and Ronne Troup (born 1945); both had careers in entertainment. The marriage ended in divorce in 1955. [23] He met singer Julie London at the Celebrity Room where he was singing. [24] He encouraged her to pursue her singing career, and in 1955 he produced her million-selling hit record "Cry Me a River". [25] London, previously married to actor Jack Webb (1947 to 1953), [26] married Troup in 1959. [27] On February 7, 1999, Troup died of a heart attack in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Sherman Oaks. [27]


Selected compositions


1950 Duchess of Idaho Band Member-SingerUncredited
1951 Mr. Imperium Specialty: California CowboyUncredited
1957 Bop Girl Goes Calypso Robert Hilton
1958 The High Cost of Loving Steve Heyward
1959 The Five Pennies Artie Schutt
1959 The Gene Krupa Story Tommy Dorsey
1967 First to Fight Lt. Overman
1967 Banning Cappy SullivanUncredited
1970 M*A*S*H Sgt. Gorman


1972–1978 Emergency! Dr. Joseph Early
1973–1975 Celebrity Bowling Himself
1985 Simon & Simon Dorian Miller
1978 Fantasy Island Dorian Fox


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