Bob Allen; Band Singer of ‘30s and ‘40s


Robert (Bob) Allen, a vocalist with the old Hal Kemp band whose rich, romantic voice made him a favored performer of the lazily arranged vocals of the 1930s and ‘40s, died Monday at his home in Stockton.

He was 75 and died of cancer. Until his health began to fail he had been living in Encino, where he had retired from music but was successful in woodworking.

Allen was the second featured male vocalist in the sweet-sounding Kemp band, behind Skinnay Ennis, who also doubled on drums.


Ennis went on to lead his own orchestra on the Bob Hope Pepsodent radio show which, sadly for Kemp, was broadcast at the same time as Kemp’s Chesterfield program.

Kemp was in the process of re-forming his orchestra when he was killed in an automobile accident in 1940. Allen and others took over the band briefly, but it soon faded from memory.

Allen then took over Vince Patti’s band in Cleveland but gradually moved away from music and into retirement.

He is survived by his wife, Margaret, and three sons.