Tucker, Bobby [Robert Nathaniel, Jr. ]
- Howard Rye
- and Barry Kernfeld
[Robert Nathaniel, Jr. ]
(b Morristown, NJ, Jan 8, 1923; d Morristown, NJ, April 12, 2008). American pianist. Having taken piano lessons from the age of four, he began performing when he was 14 and later studied in New York at the Institute of Musical Art. While serving in the army in Cheyenne, Wyoming (from 1943), he played trombone in a military band and piano in a dance band alongside George Duvivier. In 1946, following his discharge, he became accompanist first to Mildred Bailey and then, in the autumn, to Billie Holiday, with whom he remained until summer 1949; during the same period he played in clubs on 52nd Street with Lucky Thompson and Stuff Smith. He continued to make recordings with Holiday in the 1950s (1951, 1954, 1955; notably I thought about you, 1954, Clef 89150) and also took part in a session led by Marshal Royal (1953...