Bobby Caldwell

Bobby Caldwell (born August 15, 1951 in New York City) is an American singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who, despite a prolific musical output over his 30-year career, is still best known for his 1978 hit single "What You Won't Do for Love." While he has always maintained a devoted fan base in the United States, a more legendary status has been bestowed upon him in Japan. Early life Bobby Caldwell was born in Manhattan to Bob and Carolyn Franklin, the hosts of Suppertime, an early television variety show. Living in Memphis and, chiefly, Miami (which he has called an influential "dumping ground" for all kinds of music), he took up piano and guitar as a preteen. Forming his own band at 17, he took the group on the road, later recording an album entitled Kathmandu. ...show more

Bobby Caldwell (born August 15, 1951 in New York City) is an American singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who, despite a prolific musical output over his 30-year career, is still best known for his 1978 hit single "What You Won't Do for Love." While he has always maintained a devoted fan base in the United States, a more legendary status has been bestowed upon him in Japan. Early life Bobby Caldwell was born in Manhattan to Bob and Carolyn Franklin, the hosts of Suppertime, an early television variety show. Living in Memphis and, chiefly, Miami (which he has called an influential "dumping ground" for all kinds of music), he took up piano and guitar as a preteen. Forming his own band at 17, he took the group on the road, later recording an album entitled Kathmandu.

Caldwell's first performances were more rock-oriented than the bulk of his career would indicate; early dates had him playing Jimi Hendrix and Cream covers in small clubs. [edit] Recording career [edit] Bobby Caldwell (What You Won't Do for Love) Bobby Caldwell was signed to legendary Miami label TK Records, home to many different kinds of musical acts: the pop-disco of KC & The Sunshine Band, the Latin-flavoured funk of Foxy, the down-home soul of George McCrae and his wife Gwen McCrae, and the futuristic, jazzy disco of Peter Brown and T-Connection. For this very hot label, Bobby recorded his double platinum-attaining self-titled solo album, scoring hits with the singles "What You Won't Do for Love", "My Flame" and, in Britain, "Down for the Third Time." In order to ensure significant airplay on the African American-dominated R&B radio format of the time, Caldwell's management took certain steps -- such as portraying the artist only in silhouette on the cover and in advertisements -- to hide the fact that he was white. The secret was, for obvious reasons, shattered by his first live appearances.

After the tracks were first recorded and the record was considered "complete," TK owner Henry Stone said that he enjoyed the album but couldn't hear a hit. Attempting to address this issue, Caldwell and his band re-entered the studio, laying down the song's now-familiar rhythm tracks. After he quickly penned a set of lyrics, "What You Won't Do for Love" was born. "What You Won't Do for Love" in its novelty vinyl incarnation Reaching the top ten on both the pop (#9) and R&B (#6) charts, the song proved to be a success, though a bit of a surprise one due both to the haste with which it was written and the fact that Caldwell assumed "My Flame", the LP's second track ("What You Won't Do for Love" is the sixth), would wind up as the standout single. ...show less