Friday, January 31, 2014

Toledo's Bobby Jacobs sings

Toledo's Bobby Jacobs sings
accompanied by the Rhythm Rascals
CP-4849 — How Deep is the Ocean
CP-4850 — On the Sunny Side of the Street

January 1961

 Bar owner was a real showman
Toledo Blade, June 18, 2002

Robert 'Bobby' Jacobs, 75, a colorful Toledo bar owner and showman whose businesses were synonymous with the area's night life, especially during the 1960s, died of compliations of diabetes Sunday in Toledo Hospital.

Mr Jacobs grew up in North Toledo, the youngest of eight children born to Lebanese immigrants, in the close-knit neighborhood that was home to his famous cousin, entertainer Danny Thomas, and actor Jamie Farr.  He was a graduate of Woodward High School.

Mr Jacobs had an excellent singing voice, which friend and restaurateur Gus Nicolaidis compared to Frankie Laine's, and when he was young longed to be a professional entertainer.

He was inspired by the enormous success of his famous older cousin, but the right breaks never came his way for a career in show business, according to his first wife, Helen Warr.  By way of consolation, he went into the bar, restaurant, and night club business and became a consummate showman on a smaller scale.

"He was a sharp dresser, always wearing the sharkskin suits," Mr. Nicolaidis recalled.  "He had a 12-inch cigar in his mouth and ark hair combed straight back.  His hair was black and shiny.  We called him "Dick Clark" because he was so theatrical. He was a good guy."  Mr. Jacobs' businesses included the Carousel Club, the Whiskey A-Go-Go, the Patio Lounge, and Gigi's.

It was at the Carousel Club, 2620 West Central Ave., that his show-biz flair was most evident, Mr. Nicolaidis said. "He was such a showman.  He had a vocal group that he used to advertise as "Direct from Las Vegas," but they were all local guys. I knew them."

"He would get up on stage and sing, with a cigar in one hand and a microphone in the other," Mr. Jacobs's son, Gary, said.

The gregarious Mr. Jacobs was loved by his customers, who had a way of becoming friends over the years, his son said.  He loved practical jokes.

Mr. Jacobs and his second wife, Lena, were married for 40 years.  For much of that time they owned and operated Gigi's, a restaurant at 4350 Monroe St. with an upstairs apartment they lived in.

His health deteriorating badly, Mr. Jacobs retired 10 years ago.  For the last 2½ years he was a resident of the Darlington House nursing home in West Toledo, his son said.

Mr. Jacobs was an avid golfer, hunter, and fisherman.


The Rhythm Rascals were husband and wife,  Anita and Eddie Boudreau, veteran instrumentalists (bass and guitar) and comedy duo.  They started in the show business around 1940. 

In 1960-61, they played the Patio Lounge in Toledo.

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