Burns, Bob

1930s-40s radio & film musical comedian, coined term “bazooka” for his unique comic instrument

Price: $25.00

Description:
(1890-1956) Arkansas-born musical comedian, radio & film performer 1930-47, actor, singer and bandleader. As a boy, Burns played trombone and cornet in his town band. One night, he picked up a length of gas pipe and blew into it, creating an unusual sound. With modifications, this became a musical instrument he named a "bazooka" which had an intentinally narrow range. WW I Marine sergeant, he led the Corps’ jazz band in Europe, often playing his “bazooka.” He led bands, did blackface comedy in vaudeville, carnivals, and early talking films like "Up The River" 1930. In 1931 he began a long career in radio, his first real success in 1935 leading to a 6-year stint on Bing Crosby's “Kraft Music Hall” and ultimately his own 1941-47 program, playing the bazooka and telling tall tales about mythical hillbilly relatives like “Uncle Fud” and “Aunt Doody”. His association with Crosby led to a contract at Paramount for 12 popular films beginning with "Rhythm of the Range" 1936. He played a slow talking, philosophical, bazooka-playing hillbilly or bumpkin who may have looked gullible, but eventually outwitted the city slickers. He and Paramount parted ways after he refused to appear in a proposed 1941 film which he felt would ridicule hill people. He made a few films for other studios, then retired from entertainment in 1947. Other films include: "The Big Broadcast of 1937", 1937; "Waikiki Wedding", 1937; "The Arkansas Traveler", 1938; and "Belle of the Yukon", 1944. During WW II, the Army's handheld anti-tank rocket launcher was nickamed the "bazooka" after Burns’ comic instrument. Autograph sentiment (sincerely”) signed on 3 ½ x 5 ¼ card, undated but ca. early-mid 1940s.

Condition: Very good, slight uniform toning, pale corners
Type:Autograph Sentiment Signed






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