Bassist and arranger Bob Haggart was best known as a founding member of the Bob Crosby Orchestra and Bob Cats band in the 1930s, and also as the composer of several hit songs which have become standards of the jazz canon, such as “What’s New,” “South Rampart Street Parade,” “My Inspiration,” and “Big Noise From Winnetka.”
Starting out on the guitar, Haggart taught himself bass while in high school in Douglastown, NY. He gained fame when he joined Bob Crosby in 1935. Along with fellow arrangers Matty Matlock and Deane Kincaid, they defined the unique New Orleans-inspired sound of that popular band.
After Crosby broke up his band in 1942, Haggart became a studio musician and took part in a great number of recording sessions, particularly for Decca.
In addition to his studio work, Haggart teamed up with Yank Lawson to co-lead the Lawson-Haggart Band, and later the World’s Greatest Jazz Band. In 1985 he appeared on Benny Goodman’s last TV special for PBS, Let’s Dance. As a bassist, Haggart was in great demand at many jazz parties and festivals through the years prior to his death in 1998.