Tuesday, July 19, 2011


"Mr. Bob" Trendlar, the bandleader of the Big Top band on WGN-TV's Bozo's Circus during the 1960s and 1970s in Chicago, passed away today at the age of 99. Bob Trendler is shown above, wearing the white band uniform, in a 1968 Bozo's Circus publicity photo. He was part of a truly great era of Chicago TV!


Val Ginter said...

Bob Trendler did a lot more than Bozo's Circus. I wasn't born until 1939 (he had started at WGN in 1935), but during the 1950s, when Jimmy Petrillo (thankfully) required radio and television stations to hire musicians, Trendler conducted the WGN orchestra in such great radio shows as Top Tunes with Trendler and This is Music. When WGN began televising in 1948, This is Music continued the Trendler tradition. And then in 1954, WGN sold The Music Show to the DuMont Television Network. Although the program was blacked-out in Chicago for financial reasons, The Music Show was a showpiece for some of the finest British Light Music (Robert Farnon, Sidney Torch) of the era, in addition to a tremendous amount of Cole Porter. Toward the end of the fifties, as musicians had to leave through attrition, Trendler had a jazz band that played Shorty Rogers and Gerry Mulligan arrangements (I used to tape them on my Webcor). Toward the end of his career, he became "Mr. Bob" to another generation on Bozo's Circus. Trendler contributed a lot!

Val Ginter

Frank said...

I would like to hear Bob's circus music !