Bob Thiele  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Bob Thiele (July 27, 1922 - January 30, 1996) was an American record producer. His wife was the singer Teresa Brewer.

He hosted a jazz radio show when he was 14. He also played clarinet and led a band in the New York area. At 17 he founded the Signature Records label and recorded many jazz greats, including Lester Young, Errol Garner and, in 1943, Coleman Hawkins. Signature folded in 1948 and he joined Decca Records in 1952, running its Coral Records subsidiary.

He took over as head of Impulse! Records from 1961-69 after founder Creed Taylor went to run Verve Records and signed, and recorded such artists as John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Archie Shepp, Albert Ayler and others. Thiele's most successful hit song was with Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World, which he co-wrote with George David Weiss.

When Impulse! became part of the ABC Records group, Thiele was often brought in to produce some of the artists on the company's BluesWay label. He produced the albums that graduated blues giant B.B. King toward the mainstream, including Lucille (1967), Live and Well (1968), and Completely Well (1969), the last biggest seller of King's career to that point. He also produced BluesWay recordings by John Lee Hooker, T-Bone Walker, and others.

Thiele later formed his own record label, Flying Dutchman Records, which is now part of BMG or Sony BMG. In 1995 he released a memoir titled What a Wonderful World.

Some of the songs Thiele wrote are credited to George Douglas or Stanley Clayton. These are pseudonyms Thiele used, made from the names of his uncles, Stanley, Clayton, George, and Douglas.


LP "Do The Love" by Bob Thiele & his New Happy Times Orchestra feat. The Sunflower Singers & Steve Allen (abc records, abc-615). Tracks: Do The Love, All You Need Is Love, My Blue Heaven, I Just Don't Know What To Say, Here Comes Sgt. Pepper, Jet Me To Frisco, When Day Is Done, Green, The Sunshine Of Love, Goodnight Sweetheart.


  • Bob Thiele (1995) What a Wonderful World: A Lifetime of Recordings, Oxford University Press

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Bob Thiele" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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