Bobby Bare

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Bobby Bare, Sr.
Bobby Bare 1973.JPG
Bare in 1973.
Background information
Birth nameRobert Joseph Bare, Sr.
Born(1935-04-07) April 7, 1935 (age 79)
OriginIronton, Ohio, United States
Years active1958 – present
LabelsRCA Records
Mercury Records
Columbia Records
Plowboy Records
Associated actsSkeeter Davis, Waylon Jennings, Petter Øien
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Bobby Bare, Sr.
Bobby Bare 1973.JPG
Bare in 1973.
Background information
Birth nameRobert Joseph Bare, Sr.
Born(1935-04-07) April 7, 1935 (age 79)
OriginIronton, Ohio, United States
Years active1958 – present
LabelsRCA Records
Mercury Records
Columbia Records
Plowboy Records
Associated actsSkeeter Davis, Waylon Jennings, Petter Øien

Robert Joseph "Bobby" Bare, Sr. (born April 7, 1935) is an American country music singer and songwriter. He is the father of Bobby Bare, Jr., also a musician.

Early career[edit]

Bare had many failed attempts to sell his songs in the 1950s.[citation needed] He finally signed with Capitol Records and recorded a few rock and roll songs without much chart success.[citation needed] Just before he was drafted into the Army, he wrote a song called "The All American Boy"[2] and did a demo for his friend, Bill Parsons, to learn and record. Instead of using the version Bill Parsons did later, the record company, Fraternity Records, decided to use the original demo recorded by Bobby Bare. The record reached number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, but they made an error: the singles' labels all credited the artist as being "Bill Parsons."[3][4] The same track, with the same billing error, peaked at No. 22 in the UK Singles Chart in April 1959.[5]

Career at RCA (1962–1970)[edit]

Bare's big break in country music came when RCA Records' Chet Atkins signed him. The first song he released on the label was "Shame On Me" in 1962. His second RCA release, "Detroit City," reached #6 Country,[4] #16 Hot 100,[3] and in 1964 earned him a Grammy Award for Best Country and Western Recording. Then a surge of hits followed, including "500 Miles Away from Home" (based on a traditional folk ballad written by Hedy West as "500 Miles")[3] and Ian Tyson's "Four Strong Winds." In 1965 he received two Grammy nominations for Best Country & Western Vocal Performance and Best Country & Western single for the song “Four Strong Winds”. In 1966, he received a Grammy Nomination for Best Country & Western Male Vocal Performance for his song “Talk Me Some Sense”. He also recorded with Skeeter Davis, Norma Jean and Liz Anderson. "The Game of Triangles", a wife-husband-other woman drama that hit number five on the Billboard chart earned the trio a Grammy nomination. In 1968, he recorded an album with a group from England called The Hillsiders.[citation needed][6] In 1969, he had a Top 5 hit with Tom T. Hall's "(Margie's At) The Lincoln Park Inn".[4]

Career at Mercury (1970–1972)[edit]

Bare moved to Mercury Records in 1970 and immediately scored a Top 3 hit with "How I Got To Memphis" and had two Top 10 hits from early Kris Kristofferson compositions, "Come Sundown" (1971) and "Please Don't Tell Me How The Story Ends," (1971).[4] He also scored a No. 12 hit in 1972 with a version of Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show's pop hit "Sylvia's Mother", written by Shel Silverstein.

Second career at RCA (1973–1977)[edit]

After two years at Mercury, Bare returned to RCA Records in 1973 and scored with Billy Joe Shaver's "Ride Me Down Easy" which nearly made the Top 10.

Bare started to release novelty songs recorded live with selected audiences. One such song, "Marie Laveau," reached the number one position on the country chart in 1974; it was his only number one hit. This song was co-written by his friends Shel Silverstein and Baxter Taylor, who received a BMI Award for the song in 1975.

Silverstein penned other songs for Bare including a Grammy-nominated hit, "Daddy What If," which he recorded with his five-year-old son, Bobby Bare, Jr. The song was an immediate success as well not only reaching No. 2 on the country charts but nearly reaching the Top 40 on the Pop charts. Bare's album, "Lullabys, Legends and Lies" became his most commercially successful album and Bare had a new audience with pop radio once again playing his songs and a new following with college kids. These two songs, however, would become Bare's last Top 10 hits. Bare later recorded a very successful album with his family, written mainly by Silverstein, called "Singin' in The Kitchen." It was nominated for best group category in Grammy Awards, but was declined by Bare himself.[citation needed] He continued to record critically acclaimed albums and singles. His biggest hits during this time included "Alimony" (1975), "The Winner" (1976), and "Drop Kick Me Jesus (Through The Goalposts Of Life)" (the world's only Christian-football waltz, and a 1976 Grammy nominee[citation needed]). In 1977 he recorded "Redneck Hippie Romance"[citation needed] and "Vegas" (a duet with his wife Jeannie).

Career at Columbia Records (1978–1983)[edit]

Bare signed with Columbia Records and continued to have hits like "Sleep Tight Good Night Man" a near Top 10 in 1978 and releasing critically acclaimed albums like "Bare" and "Sleeper Wherever I Fall". In 1979, he started off Rosanne Cash's career in a big way by singing a duet with her called "No Memories Hangin' Round" which went Top 20 for them. In 1980, he scored a near Top 10 with "Numbers" which came from his album "Down and Dirty" where Bare started to experiment with Southern rock and continued this with his next album "Drunk and Crazy". In 1981, Bare released an album entitled "As Is" which was produced by Rodney Crowell and returned Bare back to his country roots with songs like "New Cut Road". Bare was still doing well chartwise into the early 1980s. In 1983, he released a Top 30 duet with Lacy J. Dalton called "It's A Dirty Job". His last trip into the Top 30 came that summer with the novelty song "The Jogger".

Eurovision 2012[edit]

On 4 February 2012, Bare joined up with Petter Øien at the 2012 Melodi Grand Prix to choose the entry for Norway's entry to the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan in May. His song, "Things Change", got through to the Norwegian final, held on 11 February 2012. In the final he finished third.

Film career[edit]

Bare was also given an opportunity to star in the movies. He acted in a Western with Troy Donahue, A Distant Trumpet, and a few episodes of the TV series No Time for Sergeants. He turned his back on Hollywood to pursue his career in country music.

Later career in country music and today[edit]

From 1983 to 1988, Bare hosted Bobby Bare and Friends on The Nashville Network which featured him interviewing songwriters who sang their hit songs on the show.

In 1985, Bare signed with EMI America Records where he scored 3 charted singles, but none of these reached the upper regions of the charts.

In 1998, he formed the band, Old Dogs, with his friends Jerry Reed, Mel Tillis and Waylon Jennings.

In 2005, he recorded a new album after over 20 years, called The Moon Was Blue, produced[7] by his son Bobby Bare, Jr., who is also a musician. He continues to tour today.

In November 2012, Plowboy Records released Bare's "Darker Than Light", his first LP since 2005. ‘Darker Than Light’ was produced by Plowboy Records co-founder Don Cusic and tracked at famed RCA Studio B in Nashville, with a band that includes Buddy Miller and Randy Scruggs on guitar, Byron House on bass, Marco Giovino on drums and other members of Robert Plant’s Band Of Joy. The album is Bare’s first release in seven years, and features his inspired interpretations of songs by Bob Dylan, Alejandro Escovedo (who also makes a guest appearance), Lead Belly and others, plus new originals. Since then he has appeared on Music City Roots, The Grand Ole Opry and in March 2013, South by Southwest. Find out more at Plowboy Records

In 2012, Bare performed a duet of the song "I'd Fight The World" on the Jamey Johnson album Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran.

On April 10, 2013, the CMA announced that Bare would be a 2013 inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Other 2013 Inductees include Cowboy Jack Clement and Kenny Rogers.[8]

In nearly 50 years of making music, he has made many firsts in country music. Bare is credited for introducing Waylon Jennings to RCA.[citation needed] He is also one of the first to record from many well- known song writers such as Jack Clement, Harlan Howard, Billy Joe Shaver, Mickey Newbury, Tom T. Hall, Shel Silverstein, Baxter Taylor and Kris Kristofferson.[citation needed]



YearAlbumChart PositionsLabel
US CountryUSCAN Country
1963"Detroit City" And Other Hits9119RCA Victor
500 Miles Away from Home9133
1964The Travelin' Bare14
1965Tunes for Two (w/ Skeeter Davis)8
Constant Sorrow
1966The Best of Bobby Bare
Talk Me Some Sense6
The Streets of Baltimore7
This I Believe17
1967The Game of Triangles (w/ Norma Jean & Liz Anderson)16
A Bird Named Yesterday20
The English Country Side (w/ The Hillsliders)29
1968The Best of Bobby Bare - Volume 233
1969(Margie's At) The Lincoln Park Inn
(And Other Controversial Country Songs)
1970Your Husband My Wife (w/ Skeeter Davis)
Real Thing
This Is Bare Country37Mercury
1971Where Have All the Seasons Gone44
I Need Some Good News Bad
1972What Am I Gonna Do?19
High and Dry
1973I Hate Goodbyes / Ride Me Down Easy31RCA Victor
Bobby Bare Sings Lullabys, Legends and Lies5
1974Singin' in the Kitchen (Bobby Bare and Family)27
1975Hard Time Hungrys33
Cowboys and Daddys21
1976The Winner and Other Losers18205
1977Me and McDill27
Sleep Wherever I Fall
1980Down & Dirty214
Drunk & Crazy4717
1981As Is43204
1982Ain't Got Nothin' to Lose29
1983Drinkin' from the Bottle
1998Old Dogs (with Waylon Jennings, Jerry Reed, & Mel Tillis)61Warner Bros
2005The Moon Was BlueDualtone
2012Darker Than LightPlowboy Records


YearSingleChart PositionsAlbum
US CountryUS
1959"The All American Boy" (as Bill Parsons)2Detroit City
1961"Book of Love"106
1962"Shame on Me"1823
"I Don't Believe I'll Fall in Love Today"118
1963"Detroit City"6164
"500 Miles Away from Home"5104500 Miles Away From Home
1964"Miller's Cave"433The Best of Bobby Bare
"Have I Stayed Away Too Long"4794singles only
"He Was a Friend of Mine"134
"Four Strong Winds"36040The Best of Bobby Bare
1965"A Dear John Letter" (with Skeeter Davis)11114Tunes for Two
"Times Are Gettin' Hard"30Constant Sorrow
"It's All Right"7122
"Just to Satisfy You"31
"Talk Me Some Sense"26Talk Me Some Sense
1966"In the Same Old Way"34131single only
"Streets of Baltimore"5124Streets of Baltimore
"The Game of Triangles" (with Liz Anderson and Norma Jean)5The Game of Triangles
1967"Charlestown Railroad Tavern"16The Best of Bobby Bare Vol. 2
"Come Kiss Me Love"14
"The Piney Wood Hills"15
1968"Find Out What's Happening"155English Country Side
"Little Bit Later on Down the Line"147Talk Me Some Sense
"Town That Broke My Heart"1621single only
1969"(Margie's At) The Lincoln Park Inn"47Margie's at the Lincoln Park Inn
"Which One Will It Be"19single only
"God Bless America Again"16This Is Bobby Bare
1970"Your Husband, My Wife" (with Skeeter Davis)22Your Husband, My Wife
"How I Got to Memphis"322This Is Bare Country
"Come Sundown"71226
1971"Please Don't Tell Me How the Story Ends"83Where Have All the Seasons Gone
"Short and Sweet"57I Need Some Good News Bad
1972"What Am I Gonna Do"1324What Am I Gonna Do
"Sylvia's Mother"1217
1973"I Hate Goodbyes"2538I Hate Goodbyes/Ride Me Down Easy
"Ride Me Down Easy"114
"You Know Who"3013
1974"Daddy, What If"A (with Bobby Bare, Jr.)241553Lullabys, Legends and Lies
"Marie Laveau"11
"Where'd I Come From" (with Bobby Bare, Jr. and "Mama")41Singin' in the Kitchen
1975"Singin' in the Kitchen" (with His Family)2943
"Back in Huntsville Again"2314Hard Time Hungries
"Cowboys and Daddys"2920Cowboys and Daddys
1976"The Winner"13The Winner and Other Losers
"Put a Little Lovin' on Me"2323
"Drop Kick Me Jesus"1718
1977"Vegas" (with Jeannie Bare)30The Essential Bobby Bare
"Look Who I'm Cheatin' on Tonight"2110Me and McDill
"Red-Neck Hippie Romance"85Single only
1978"Too Many Nights Alone"2915Bare
"Sleep Tight Good Night Man"118
1979"Healin'"2330Sleep Wherever I Fall
"'Til I Gain Control Again"4247Single only
"No Memories Hangin' Round" (with Rosanne Cash)1738Bobby Bare: The Columbia Years
1980"Numbers"1126Down and Dirty
"Tequila Sheila"3164
"Food Blues"4163Drunk and Crazy
"Willie Jones" (with Charlie Daniels)1915
1981"Learning to Live Again"28As Is
"Take Me as I Am (Or Let Me Go)"2834
"Dropping Out of Sight"35
1982"New Cut Road"1832
"If You Ain't Got Nothin' (You Got Nothin' to Lose)"3131Ain't Got Nothin' to Lose
"(I'm Not) A Candle in the Wind"37
"Praise the Lord and Send Me the Money"83
1983"It's a Dirty Job" (with Lacy J. Dalton)30Bobby Bare: The Columbia Years
"The Jogger"2919Drinkin' from the Bottle
"Diet Song"69
1985"When I Get Home"5351Singles only
"Reno and Me"76
1986"Wait Until Tomorrow"
2005"Are You Sincere"The Moon Was Blue
2012"Things Change" (with Petter Øien)Melodi Grand Prix - Norge 2012

Guest singles[edit]

YearSingleArtistUS Country
1967"Chet's Tune"Some of Chet's Friends38

Music videos[edit]

2005"Are You Sincere"Roger Pistole


  1. ^ "Bobby Bare". Retrieved 2012-10-30. 
  2. ^ Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 7 - The All American Boy: Enter Elvis and the rock-a-billies. [Part 1]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. 
  3. ^ a b c Whitburn, Joel (2000). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, p.49. ISBN 0-8230-7690-3.
  4. ^ a b c d Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Country Hits, p.38-39. ISBN 0-8230-7632-6.
  5. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 419. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  6. ^ The English Countryside, RCA Victor SF-7918 (LSP-3896)
  7. ^ "Bobby Bare: The Return Of The Quiet Outlaw". American Chronicle. 2006-05-23. Retrieved 2012-10-30. 
  8. ^ Staff (April 10, 2013). "Country Hall of Fame Elects Kenny Rogers, Bobby Bare, Jack Clement". CMT News. Retrieved April 13, 2013. 
  9. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2011). Top Pop Singles 1955–2010. Record Research, Inc. p. 61. ISBN 0-89820-188-8. 

External links[edit]