Robert "Bob" Earl Hames (22 January 1920 — 6 September 1998) was an American jazz guitarist from Texas who had played with the dance orchestras of Jan Garber, Orrin Tucker, and Stan Keller — and, in the early 1950s, was a staff guitarist for live productions at WFAA-TV, a Dallas-Fort Worth broadcaster that, since its inception, was a pioneer of national rank producing live and studio music for regional and syndicated television.[1] Down Beat magazine rated Hames as one of the top ten guitarist in the US.[2]



Hames was born January 22, 1920, in Wolfe City, Texas, to Joseph Irl Hames and Jessie Lynn Hames, née Kiser.

Education and early professional career Edit

Hames graduated from Wolfe City High School in Texas in 1937.

In the mid-1940s Hames was a member of the Jan Garber Orchestra and the Orrin Tucker band[3] before enrolling at the University of North Texas. In 1945 he enrolled at the University of North Texas College of Music. While there, he played electric guitar in 1945 with the Aces of Collegeland,[4] the forerunner to the One O'Clock Lab Band. He also taught guitar on and off campus. One of his high-school students, Jack Petersen, went on to become a well-known jazz educator and jazz guitarist.[5][6] Hames introduced Petersen to jazz recordings of Karl Kress, Tal Farlow, Chuck Wayne, Herb Ellis (then a student at North Texas), Barney Kessel, Barry Galbraith, Remo Palmieri, Oscar Moore, and Charlie Christian.

While a student at North Texas in 1946, Hames was one of eight student musicians from North Texas to guest star on Interstate's weekly musical radio show, 3:30, Sunday, April 14, 1946, aired on WFAA. Betty Cooper (vocalist) featured with the Blue Notes, a quartet composed of Lynn McClain, June Heitt, Bonnye Williams, and Elsie Mae Cooper. Bob Hames (electric guitar), Jim Bob Floyd (piano), and Bill Meeks (clarinet) were featured as a trio.[7] Hames was a guitarist on the Jerry Haynes Show on WFAA TV in the mid-1950s, which aired Monday through Friday at noon.[8]

In 1951 Hames received a bachelor of music from the University of North Texas College of Music and during the early 1950s Hames also played guitar for several well-known bands, including Stan Keller and His Orchestra.

Hames also had a music store in Greenville, Texas, on Washington Street. He died in Texas in 1998.

Selected compositions Edit

  • "Lonely Vagabond", Bob Hames and David Chenault (1919–1976) (written 1947) (©1983)
  • "I Didn’t Know My Heart Could Fly", by Bob Hames (©1972)
  • "Happiness is Loving You", Bob Hames (©1981)
  • "Tell me a story", words and music by Bob Hames (written Aug 1972) (©1981)
  • "Bar Whiskey Fool", words and music by Bob Hames (written June 1975) (©1981)
  • "Just a step away", words and music by Bob Hames (written 1979) (©1981)
  • "Lovers Waltz" ("A million Dreams From Now"), Bob Hames, (The Young and the Restless, episode 7512) (©1983)
  • "Wasted Love", Bob Hames (©1983)
  • "Have You Ever Heard (a Lonely Heart Cry)?" words and music by Bob Hames (key of C) (©1983)
  • "My Blue-Eyed Girl", words and music by Bob Hames (1920- ) and Frank J. Milton (1905–1983) (©1983)
  • "Come Back, My Love", Bob Hames (©1984)
  • "Whistle Britches", lyrics and music by Bob Hames (©1988)
  • "'Til the Day You Passed Me By", Bob Hames (©1989)
  • "After You Know It All", words and music by Bob Hames (©1990)
  • "There Goes my Heartache", words and music by Bob Hames (©1990)
  • "Are the Kids Still Cruising Main?", by Bob Hames (©1991)
  • "I Just Laughed 'Til I Cried", lyrics and music by Bob Hames (©1991)
  • "You Are my Rainbow", words and music by Bob Hames (©1991)
  • "Your Next Stepping Stone", words and music by Bob Hames (©1993)
  • "If You Don’t Have a Heart (Please Don’t Steal Mine)", lyrics and music by Bob Hames (©1997)
  • "Jackhammer Boogie", words and music by Bob Hames (©1997)

Family Edit

Robert Earl Hames was married twice:

  1. On December 31, 1942, he married Billye Mildred Goin (August 24, 1921, Bailey, Texas[9] — 11 January 1972, buried Mount Carmel Cemetery, Wolfe City, Texas). Bob and Billye had a son, Robert Barry Hames (born 1945, Denton County, Texas), who is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Worth, Texas, and is married to Ellen Mary Hames (née Erickson).
  2. On August 30, 1975, he married Helen Juanita Bullard (August 30, 1928 — March 4, 1993) in Tarrant County, Texas. Helen had three daughters and a son by a prior marriage to Claude Marvin Hodge, all of whom were adults in 1975.


  1. Advertisement: "WFAA Telethon benefiting the March of Dimes", The Dallas Morning News, February 18, 1954 (Hames is listed as a WFAA-TV personnel member).
  2. "Obituary: Bob Hames", The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX, September 8, 1998.
  3. "Notes Off the Gulf", Dallas Morning News, February 22, 1942.
  4. Aces of Collegeland Orchestra Has Started Many on the Road to Stardom, Denton Record-Chronicle, sec. 5, p. 5, September 10, 1945.
  5. Tim Schneckloth, "Jack Petersen", Down Beat, Vol. 44, March 24, 1977, pp. 32–33.
  6. Maurice J. Summerfield, The jazz guitar: its evolution, players and personalities since 1900, Gateshead: Ashley Mark (publisher) (1998), p. 209 Template:OCLC
  7. "Radio: NTSC Students Guest Stars on Showtime", The Dallas Morning News, p. 9, April 14, 1946.
  8. "Musical Round Table", Dallas Morning News, April 15, 1955.
  9. Fannin County, Texas, Birth Book 11, Certificate 1838

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