1937 would be the band’s breakthrough year with popular recordings in “Gin Mill Blues” and “South Rampart Street Parade” along with the first record date by Bob Crosby’s Bobcats. Most of the future Crosby stars were in place when the band made its first batch of radio transcriptions on Feb. 26 and Mar. 8, 1936 (released on Nostalgia Arts 3018 as Associated Transcriptions 1936, Vol. 1) including trumpeter Yank Lawson, clarinettist Matty Matlock, Eddie Miller on tenor and clarinet, guitarist Nappy Lamare, bassist Bob Haggart and drummer Ray Bauduc. By Sept. 3 when the music on Vol. 2 was recorded, trombonist Warren Smith and pianist Bob Zurke made the group even stronger.“It’s The Gypsy In Me” has plenty of pep and spirit from the band. Crosby sings the silly lyrics of “Peter Piper” and there are moments for Lawson and Eddie Miller. Bob Zurke is heard briefly taking the lead on “Through The Courtesy Of Love” and he has a melodic chorus on “My Kingdom For A Kiss.” “When A Lady Meets A Gentleman Down South” is the first real jazz performance in this set, featuring a swinging band and a strong chorus from Zurke. “There Goes My Attraction” is also quite danceable and has a solid statement by Lawson. “Come Back, Sweet Papa,” which was recorded previously by the Crosby band on June 12, has an arrangement that quotes liberally from Louis Armstrong’s famous Hot Five recording of 1926 along with a spot for clarinettist Matty Matlock. Associated Transcriptions Vol. 2 allows Bob Crosby’s fans a rare opportunity to hear how his band sounded near the beginning.
Zeke Zarchy, Yank Lawson, trumpets; Ward Stilloway, Warren Smith, trombones; Matty Matlock, clarinet & alto sax; Gil Rodin, Noni Bernard, alto saxes; Eddie Miller, tenor sax, clarinet; Dean Kincaide, tenor sax; Bob Zurke, piano; Nappy Lamare, guitar; Bob Haggart, bass; Ray Bauduc, drums; Bob Crosby, Kay Weber, vocals; unknown violin added on some numbers.