Baritone Bob Carroll sang and recorded with Charlie Barnet in 1940 and 1941. In summer 1942, he was featured on Meredith Willson’s radio program, a replacement for Fibber McGee and Molly during the seasonal hiatus. He also recorded with Gordon Jenkins and David Rose that year and made a soundie, “Tenement Symphony,” for RCM.
When the Willson show ended in September 1942, Carroll found himself going into the Army Air Force. While in the service, he sang with Glenn Miller’s AAF band in 1943, being heard on their weekly recruitment broadcasts while they were stationed in New Haven, Connecticut.
Upon his discharge in April 1946, Carroll joined Jimmy Dorsey’s outfit, replacing Buddy Hughes. The signing was of mutual benefit for the two performers. Carroll needed a name outlet to re-establish himself, and Dorsey, whose was struggling at that time, needed a strong vocalist. Carroll remained with the orchestra, recording often, until late 1947 when he left to go solo, signing with Decca in December. He made the nightclub circuit and performed on radio throughout the rest of the 1940s.
In early 1949, Carroll recorded on the Taylee label, backed by organ soloist Joanne Lee, and in mid-1949 he sang for Kay Kyser, recording several numbers with the Ol’ Professor. He recorded with Gordon Jenkins again in 1951 and then with Tutti Camarata. In 1952, he released solo material on the Comet label, switching to Derby by year’s end. 1953 proved to be his banner year as a recording artist, however, when one of his Derby numbers, “Say It With Your Heart,” became a popular hit and his most successful song.
Carroll began to work in television during the late 1940s, appearing on multiple programs in dramatic roles into the 1960s. In 1951, he had his own weekly musical show on NBC, and in early 1954 he became a regular on Fred Allen’s NBC television program. In early 1955, WABC tapped him as male vocalist for their new daytime show. Carroll also appeared in several stage productions, most famously as Tevye in the touring company for Fiddler on the Roof during the early 1970s.
Carroll continued singing as well as acting up into the 1980s, recording for a variety of minor labels and making the nightclub circuit. He also sang with several pops orchestras.
Bob Carroll passed away, age 76, in 1994 after a long illness.