Bob Dorr was born in Chicago where he grew up listening to WLS Radio, which inspired him to start singing when he was about 8. He began drum lessons at 13. His biggest influence is John Lennon, with the Blues of Muddy Waters, B.B., Albert, and Freddie King having a major impact as well.
His first paid performance was with Tortoise & the Hair for a 9th grade dance, after moving to Davenport.
He became an announcer and music director for KUNI Radio while at UNI in Cedar Falls, also leading the band, The Baggs Revue.
From ’77 – 1980, he was singing and playing harp with The Little Red Rooster Band. Gregg Allman and Roy Buchanan both had occasion to sit in with the band during this time.
Dorr has been the weekend host on KUNI since 1980 and has led the popular Blue Band since ’81, while at the same time forming his own Hot Fudge record label, dedicated to recording Iowa talent.
His bands have shared bills with B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Koko Taylor, Bobby Rush, Robert Cray, Roomful of Blues, Tower of Power, Leon Russell, Lonnie Brooks, Duke Robillard, Maria Muldaur, Little Charlie & the Nightcats, Asleep At The Wheel, James Harman, Eddy Clearwater, and Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials.
Dorr has performed at the Mississippi Valley Blues Fest 4 times, twice at the Kansas City Jazz & Blues Fest, and performed in Memphis at B.B. King’s Blues Club as part of the Bluestock Fest.
He has aired his interviews with some of the greatest names in the business on KUNI, including Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Elvin Bishop, Albert Collins, and Rory Gallagher.
Dorr has produced 6 volumes of The Iowa Blues Compilation discs, resulting in Iowa artists getting airtime across the globe. In addition to recording over 20 titles with the Blue Band, Hot Fudge has released many other albums by top Iowa artists, and the Iowa Blues New Year shows that he organizes have been a fixture since ’93.
IPTV will be releasing a Blue Band 25th Anniversary DVD of their performances through the years.
Bob Dorr was inducted into the Iowa Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2000 for his work with KUNI.
– Don “T-Bone” Erickson
PHOTO © SCOTT ALLEN – VIVIDPIX.COM