On November 20, 1951 Bob Campbell was born as Robert Campbell Jr. in Elmhurst, New York, the first of five children to Robert and Germaine Campbell. His musical interest began when his grandfather gave him his first guitar around the age of 8, and Bob enjoyed many hours playing Beatles tunes which dubbed him the name “Bobby Beatle.” He spent his high school years at Regis in New York City where one of his English teachers, Anthony Meyer S.J., gave him the opportunity to write a song rather than an essay as one of his assignments and that began his career as a songwriter. In 1968 his first recorded song, “Hand on your Shoulder,” was included in a compilation album entitled Holy Ghost Reception Committee #9. His college years at Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts as an English major continued to hone his skills as an incredible writer.
The mid-70’s found him back in New York living, writing and performing as Bobby Bell in Greenwich Village. His first band, Full Moon, played his original songs at the Dugout on Bleecker Street. From there he went on to play at Kenny’s Castaways and Folk City where his song “Walkin’ in the Sun” was a favorite and covered by a number of his fellow songwriters.
During the 1980’s Bob continued to write music, but his performance schedule waned as his growing interest in natural foods and holistic medicine became more of a focus in his life. This led him to manage two natural foods stores in Manhattan and then a very successful sales career in the commodities food industry. In 1984 Bob married Bethany and fathered two children, Rachel and Robert III. He spent the next period of his life juggling parenthood and a full time career which only left him enough time to play his music for his family and friends.
After a move to a house in Long Island in 2001, Bob connected with the Island Songwriter Showcase which rekindled his passion for writing and performing. His growing insights into the political and social events of the time became the fuel for the lyrics of the “Working Man” CD. Bob was thrilled to be back in the music scene once again and began playing his music to Long Island audiences both solo and as a member of “Blacklisted and the Banned.”
Unfortunately Bob’s performing and life were cut short due to a mysterious lung and heart ailment that had plagued him for the last seven years. After pursuing both alternative and traditional medicine, he passed away on November 2, 2009 at the young age of 57. In his memory his studio producer and good friend Vincent Crici completed the tracks that they had spent many hours recording together. Bob’s “Working Man” CD was released in April 2010 at a memorial concert held for family and friends.