Sunday, June 16, 2013

When is Bob Storm NOT Bob Storm?

Or maybe the better question is, who was/is Bob Storm?

One of the most confounding things - among many - about the Halmark label is its artist credits. Much of the time this was handled simply - the artist wasn't credited. But when they DID credit a singer, more often than not, the name given was Bob Storm. When I started collecting song-poem records, I thought I had a fairly good idea who Bob Storm was - the Halmark tracks featuring a pompous, overblown, unctuous baritone, usually singing with a remarkably ridiculous amount of vibrato. That was Bob Storm. Most of the songs, sung by a male singer, that weren't sung by the trebly, somewhat tinny-voiced singer on Halmark. That was Bob Storm. 

In fact, here's a perfect example of the Bob Storm I came to know and love, on a typically turgid piece called "Wonderful Heaven Waiting for You". This one has the astounding extra benefit of having Mr. Storm offer up a spoken word introduction, which makes it just that much more special!

The problem is that, while Bob Storm is the most frequently identified singer on Halmark 45's, the records bearing that name do not always actually feature the singer you just heard on one side of today's disk. I am aware of at least four singers, including one woman, who had releases on Halmark which came out credited to Bob Storm. Most frequently, this happened to the other singer I mentioned up there, Jack Kim. On the other hand, I have one record - my favorite Halmark record of all, "Lady Off Pedestal at Notre Dame", which is credited to Jack Kim, but the singer is clearly the man heard on the track I just shared, the one I always think of as Bob Storm.

The flip side of this record, a rather pedestrian tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, titled "Sleep On, Dr. King", is also credited to Bob Storm. And while this isn't Jack Kim (or the female singer I mentioned), I just don't think this is the usual Bob Storm, either (unless he was capable of MUCH more vocal manipulation than most singers. The range, the style and the overall performance quality are not really in the same ballpark. I'm not sure I even recognize this vocalist from other Halmark records!

So who is/was Bob Storm? Was there actually a singer by that name (as there was for Jack Kim - real name Jack Kimmel)? Or was that just a catchall artist credit that Halmark used on those releasees where they named a singer, with no actual person by that name or even assumed name. Will we ever know?


Sammy Reed said...

You need to put Bob Storm as a label here.

Sammy Reed said...


Darryl W. Bullock said...

The Bob Storm credit is often wrong...I've got a Bob Storm 45 sung by a woman, and you've posted a Bob Storm 45 here which, having listened to again, I'd swear was Jack Kimmel (your Valentine post). I reckon both sides of this 45 could be the same singer, the one we usually assume to be Bob, but putting more of his oily persona on for the splendid A-side. Listen to the vibrato in his voice and see what you think.

Like you, I doubt we'll ever get to the bottom of the Bob Storm saga!

Sammy Reed said...

I'm guessing the "Bob Storm" who sang "Dr. King" may be Bob Gerard.

Sammy Reed said...

I now believe that the singer IS Bob Storm, in "non-smarmy mode"! You can hear him in the blog for July 31, 2015.

mick said...

What about the tune, "Tommy"?