Wednesday, April 2, 2014

No Roberts nor Bobs Need Apply: The 10 Best Bobbys

Hey everybody!  It's day two of the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge. If you have no idea what that happens to be, check out this introductory post, and then come back here when you are done. So, are ya back? Understand everything now? Ready to move on? Good, let's get going. So, as I was saying, this is day two of the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge, or the BFAtZAC, if you are so inclined, and that means it's time to play something with the letter B, and what better way to do so, than with one of my famous (or infamous, if you will) top ten lists.

This time around, in honour of the letter B, we will be looking at the ten best Bobbys. That's right kids, the ten best Bobbys. No Roberts nor Bobs around these parts, just good ole Bobbys. Sorry Bob Dylan and/or Robert Oppenheimer, but if ya didn't go by Bobby (at least most of the time), then we got no time for you.  But before we get to the countdown (complete with a personal special mention), howzabout a few runners-up to wet your appetite? These appetite-wetting runners-up are (in no particular order): legendary basketball coach, and all-around trouble-maker, Bobby Knight; current SNLer Bobby Moynihan; Country/Pop one hit wonder Bobby Gentry (who here remembers "Ode to Billie Joe?" - you know, the Tallahatchee Bridge song!); Bobbie Jo Bradley, one of the sexpot sisters from Petticoat Junction; King of the Hill's very own Bobby Hill; baseball buffoon, Bobby Valentine; grillmaster Bobby Flay; Shot heard 'round the world New York Giant, Bobby Thomson; and manly-man tennis douche, Bobby Riggs.I should also add Hockey great, Bobby Orr. I actually forgot him originally but was convinced to add him after the fact. Check out the comments to read all about that. So that's that.

A note on a pair of iconic TV Bobbys who didn't make the list: Back in my misbegotten youth, when life was so carefree and easy, two of the shows I watched regularly could not have been more different. One was the king of the night time soap era. The other was one of that smart set of sit-coms. And each had their own iconic Bobby. Patrick Duffy played Bobby Ewing on the CBS drama, Dallas. A cool enough Bobby that he even came back from the dead once. Well, kinda. It's a pretty lame story, so let's just move on. The other iconic Bobby, actually wasn't all that iconic. Grease star Jeff Conaway (a hickey from Kenickie) would play Bobby Wheeler on the show Taxi, but only for the first three of the eventual five seasons. Actually Bobby was overshadowed on the show by pretty much every other character, so maybe he doesn't belong here after all. And don't even get me started on Bobby Brady. Oh well. Let's move on with the countdown, shall we?

And awaaaaaaay we go...

Special Mention: My Wife's Uncle Bobby
With her mom and dad both having six siblings each, my wife has a slew of aunts and uncles. One of these fits perfectly into a list such as this. Granted, he isn't world famous like many others on the list, so he only gets a special mention, but don't let that sell the guy short. My favourite thing about my wife's Uncle Bobby, is his collection. You see, for many years, my wife's Uncle Bobby worked for Keebler. You know, the cookie-making elves. Anyway, Uncle Bobby has a vast and wonderful collection of Keebler collectibles. And anyone who knows me, knows that I love collections, any collections. I wish I had a picture of this collection, but alas, this Keebler corporate parking spot will have to suffice.

10. Bobby McFerrin

Don't worry, be happy. Many people would leave Mr. McFerrin off a list such as this, just for that song alone. That all-too-catchy 1988 hit song, alone. That annoyingly unstoppable song, alone. These are much weaker people than I. Yes sirree! I say embrace Don't Worry, Be Happy. Become one with the once-omnipresent song. Take the song's advice, and stop worrying, and be happy. Nothing necessarily cheezy or self-helpy, just a simple, Don't Worry, Be Happy, dammit!! And that is why Bobby McFerrin is on this list.

9. Bobby Brown

Okay, so if Bobby McFerrin belongs here, then that other Bobby from the late 1980's pop music scene should be here too. Yeah, I know, I know. The guy was a crack head, he was married to Whitney Houston, he was part of New Edition - all strikes against the guy. But don't be cruel, it's my prerogative to include him if I want. By the way, if you are a Bobby Brown fan, then you are now laughing hysterically at what I just said. If not...oh never mind. But seriously, with every little step, Bobby Brown deserves to be here. Yeah, I did it again (for all you Bobby Brown fans out there).  Basically though, it comes down to Bobby Brown being included here just for giggles' sake. So there. 

8. Bobby Murcer

As a Yankees fan, it was a sad day in 2008 when former Yankee great and then-current Yankee broadcaster, Bobby Murcer, passed away. Sure, he was a Giant and a Cub too, but most of his career, and his post career career, were spent in those beautiful pinstripes. He began his career a Yankee and he ended his career as a Yankee. A .277 lifetime batter, Murcer, at the tender age of 27, became just the third New York Yankee (after DiMaggio and Mantle) to earn at least six figures a year. Bobby Murcer was a five time all-star, and will be missed by all those who were lucky enough to watch him play.

7. Bobby Beausoleil

This Bobby is most likely the least known of all the Bobbys on this list. Almost definitely. Anyone who has read up on the Manson Family probably knows this name though. Beausoleil was an aspiring musician and poet when he was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Gary Hinman in 1969. An outlying figure of the Manson Family, for Beausoleil was already in jail when the infamous Helter Skelter murders took place - though my wife, an expert on the subject, tells me that Beausoleil was actually the reason behind the aforementioned infamous murders - so maybe not so outlying after all. This particular Bobby did manage to record a movie soundtrack while in prison. He did the music for Kenneth Anger's experimental film, Lucifer Rising, while in prison in 1978 - ironically a film that he was to star in back in the late 1960's before having a falling out with the director. The film never did see the light of day until 1980. Perhaps not the best Bobby to use as a role model, but still an intriguing figure. And, to give proper credit where proper credit is due, I would have completely forgotten about this particular Bobby, if it hadn't been for my lovely wife's helping hand suggestion. Thanx honey.

6. Bobby Drake

Ice Ice, Baby. Yeah, that's right. I went there. Bobby Drake is better known to the world at large as the mutant superhero, and founding member of the Uncanny X-Men, Iceman. Bobby has usually been relegated to back seat status in the mutant community, playing third, fourth, or fifth fiddle to the likes of teammates Cyclops, Angel, Storm, Rogue, Beast, Jean Grey, Colossus, and Wolverine (among others). Bobby has always been seen as the clown prince of the X-Men, so his star has not shone as brightly as it probably should have. Which is a shame, as Bobby is a lot more powerful than he has ever been given credit for. Well, almost never. Bobby has also found himself as both a Defender and a Champion, not to mention one of Spidey's best buds in the cartoon world. But he should get more credit. After all, he is one of the originals, and only four other mutants can say that, and at least one of them is dead.

5. Bobby Fischer

Being the greatest chess champion in the world should already be enough to get one on this list. Beginning that chess champion stuff at age thirteen, make sit even more remarkable. Add in this Bobby's renegade record, and you got yourself a freakin' trifecta, baby! After refusing to defend his championship in 1975, Fischer became a recluse until a surprise rematch in 1992, in Yugoslavia. The US government, being the US government, wanted the taxes owed from Fischer's winnings in Yugoslavia. This led to Fischer going into hiding. Eventually the chess champ became a citizen of Iceland, who refused to give him up to the US. He lived in Iceland until his eventual death in 2008. So there ya go - a renegade chess champion. Howzabout that!?

4. Bobby McGee

This subject of a Janis Joplin song is the only fictional character on this list. Yeah, I just called Iceman a real life figure. Whatchya gonna do about it? Anyway, Bobby McGee is the star of Joplin's "Me and Bobby McGee" (okay, technically it was a Big Brother and the Holding Company song, but Janis was the lead singer of the now overshadowed band). This just happens to be one of my all-time favourite songs, and dammit, Janis basically sings the shit out of this song - as she does all of her songs. Sure, the song was actually written and recorded by Kris Kristofferson, and covered by the likes of Willie Nelson and Roger Miller, but it is Janis' song, through and through. Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose.

3. Bobby Seale
For anyone who grew up in the sixties (or before), or for anyone (like myself) who have studied the so-called turbulent decade, the story of the Chicago Seven shouldn't be new news. For everyone else, let me tell ya about it. The short version is that seven counter culture freedom fighters (Abbie Hoffman among them) were arrested and tried for supposedly inciting to riot at the '68 Democratic Convention. Now originally, this was called the Chicago Eight trial, before its lone African-American defendant, a one Mr. Bobby Seale, was sentenced to four years for contempt, bound and gagged, and tossed out of the courtroom. Nice, huh? Anyway, Bobby Seale is probably best known for founding the Black Panther Party. In more recent times, this former radical has written a cook book and done commercials for Ben & Jerry's. A rabblerouser to the end, huh.

2. Bobby Darin

Yes, there were a veritable slew of Bobbys back in the early days of rock & roll, from Bobby Rydell to Bobby Sherman to Bobby Hatfield to Bobby Vinton. But above and beyond all these Bobbys, there was the Splish Splash King, Bobby Darin. Darin was the best and brightest of all the early rock & roll Bobbys. Not only did this Bobby record Dream Lover and Beyond the Sea, as well as the aforementioned Splish Splash, he also did a great cover of Mack the Knife. Granted, I prefer Louis Armstrong's version of the song (who doesn't prefer Satchmo over most others!?), but Darin's comes in at second place. Darin was also a chess enthusiast, which ties him into number 5 on the list. Darin was also a big political activist, and was there on that fateful June 4th evening at the Ambassador Hotel, which ties him in with...

1. Bobby Kennedy

Hey, this is the man who would be king. The man, the legend. If not for his tragic assassination (is there an assassination that is not tragic) Bobby Kennedy would have become president in 1968. Just imagine that. No Nixon. No Watergate. No Ford. Maybe even no Reagen. How different things would have been. Of course if big brother Jack hadn't also been tragically assassinated five years earlier, how different things most definitely would have been in this country.The country was in shock when John Kennedy was killed, and then went back into shock when Bobby was gunned down - and just two months after Dr. King was tragically gunned down as well. But alas, all we can do is speculate on what would have, what could have, what should have been. The dream of Camelot is over. Goodnight Bobby. Goodbye, farewell, and amen.

That's it gang.  See ya 'round the web.


  1. I didn't know all of these Bobby's, but I approve of your inclusion of Bobby Drake - I've always had a soft spot for Iceman :). But how dare you ear worm me with Bobby Mcferrin, I now have 'Don't Worry, Be Happy' running round my brain!

    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - A to Z Ghosts
    Fantasy Boys XXX - A to Z Drabblerotic

  2. My husband usually goes by Rob and only one of his friends ever calls him Bobby, so it took me a long while to figure out I was married to Bobby Drake :). I wish I could say he had mutant powers, but he does have the blond hair and the boyish charm ::g::. Great list of Bobbys thanks for sharing.
    Tasha's Thinkings

  3. It's a great name. I had a sister Bobby, and a cousin Bob.

  4. You had me way up at the top with Bobby Hill, from King of the Hill. Yep. :)

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption
    Minion, Capt. Alex's Ninja Minion Army
    The 2014 Blogging from A-Z Challenge

  5. Thanx to everyone for stopping by today. Glad to have ya and glad ya like the Bobbys. Seems to be a lot of love for good ole Bobby Drake. Glad to hear it. Thanx again for checking me out. I'll be checking you all out too. See ya 'round the web.

  6. Love your list of Bobbys. And thanks for visiting my blog, too.

  7. When I saw that you were doing a list of the all-time best Bobbys my first thought was Number Four: Bobby Orr. But then I figured he'd have to be in the top three....

    Um... am I missing something? Surely you didn't forget one of the greatest hockey players of all time. No? Not even a brief mention at the top? I'll let Bobby Murcer slide cause you're a Yankee fan. And Bobby Knight is a no-brainer. But Bobby Riggs? Bobby Valentine? Bobby Beausolil? Please tell me you left Bobby Orr off your list on purpose because you hate Boston sports teams, and not because you've never heard of him. :D

  8. Oh Bobby Orr. Sorry Chris. Of course I have heard of him, but I just never thought of him when compiling the list. I've never been a hockey fan, and can probably not even name 20 NHL players as it is (though Orr is one of those). No slight intended, just honestly forgot about him. But I may just squeeze him into the intro since he is considered one of the greats of his sport.

    Oh, and thanx for stopping by...and thanx for keeping me on my toes. Somebody needs to.

    1. No worries... I'm used to being the only one thinking hockey. It's why I didn't mention Bobby Hull ;-)

      Can't wait to see what you'll do with the rest of the alphabet. More top 10 lists maybe?

    2. There will be more top tens. For the letters F, Q, & R. I try to do three top tens a month (four for this special month) as well as doing about four top tens for a place called Geek League of America. You can find links to those lists in the GLA tab just under my blog's banner. Glad ya liked it.

  9. Again with the sexist list! I know Bobby (or Bobbie) is not the most common female name, but there are some Mr. Mister. Like Bobbie Gentry, who only gets a brief mention in your runners-up slot. Shame on you bubby.

  10. Bobby McFerrin AND Bobby Ewing in the same world is now complete!!! Great 2nd day blog sir!!!!

  11. Hi, Kevyn. Love it that you included Bobby's World. That was a cute cartoon!

    Happy A to Z-ing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

  12. wow a lotta Bobby's. Bobby Brady...

    Enjoy the A to Z Challenge
    Bridging Sorrow

  13. Poor Bobby Sherman...I guess his "Julie, Do You Love Me" and fringed vest didn't have the same effect on you as it did on me!!! Loved the list - even without my childhood crush!

  14. Wow! So many visitors. This A to Z thang is gettin' groovy.

    As for Bobby McFerrin, I am sorry to those who now have that song stuck in their heads. I'm not really sorry, but I thought I'd say so anyway. Ha!

    Esther - stop your feminazi whining.

    Everyone else (and okay, Esther too) - thanx for stopping by. Hope to see ya all again...even after the A to Z Challenge is over.

  15. Amazing list!! Bobby's World was one of my favorite cartoons as a one ever quite understood why. Glad to know I not the only one shouting out some Bobby love!!


  16. Apparently the Bobbys are a hit! Glad to entertain ya'll. Hope to get to check all ya'll out as well. Tomorrow we are going to space...

  17. Bobby, Bobby, Bobby - oh yea! I've actually met one of these Bobbys, but I'm not saying which one.

  18. Impressive list. Was I disappointed not to see former University of Tennessee point guard Bobby Maze, briefly Internet famous for a tatoo that said 'Stuggles made me who I am' - I don't know who Stuggles is, but the whole world was captivated for a brief time.

    Seriously, this was awesome.

    1. I think I started that comment off asking a question, but changed my mind halfway through. Such is how my life is I guess

  19. Yow! What an excellent post, and a really creative idea for B Day. I'm an A to Z-er also.

  20. Again. Thanx to everyone for stopping by. This A to Z gig sure does bring e'm in. I'm going to try to visit as many of my fellow A to Z-ers as I can.

  21. Great list of Bobby's!! I am very happy you included Bobby McFerrin. I say it with no shame...I LOVE that song!!

    Carrie~Anne at That Dizzy Chick

  22. Great list it includes one of my favorites, Bobbi McGhee. Rock on! LOL

  23. Placing the wonderful Bobby Kennedy on the list with some of these people, such as Beausoleil, is just wrong. Ha Ha!


  24. I'm Bobby DeNiro! but you have a pretty good list none the less.

  25. Hey, some Bobby McFerrin love. Whoulda thunk it?

    As for the Kennedy / Beausoleil thing...yeah, there are the good people with the bad people. Obviously, Beausoleil would never be considered one of the good people, but he does intrigue me, so on the list he goes. Kennedy, on the other hand, was one of the greatest people, Bobby or otherwise.

    As for Bobby D. - that cat doesn't really go by Bobby so much as Robert.

    Thanx for stopping by my peeps.

  26. I really like you B post! Very cool reading through all the various Bobby's!