Bob Kelly Bio (by Jay Ramsey 11-6-17)

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(Written by Jay Ramsey about Bob Kelly for possible induction to the Las Vegas Entertainer Hall of Fame 11-6-17)

BOB KELLY BIOGRAPHY Most of his close friends just call him, “Kelly.” However, the man usually known by one name has worn many hats in show business. Before making his mark in Las Vegas
entertainment history, Robert (Bob) Kelly set out from Texas to follow his dream. After getting his business degree at North Texas State University, the degree his father wanted him to have in case
the “music thing” didn’t work out, Kelly headed for Hollywood. There was a stint as Captain of the pirate ship ride at Disneyland. He also sang demo recordings of other writer’s songs for eight
dollars per song at Imperial Records. Then Kelly’s own songwriting started drawing attention and major stars of the day began to record his original songs in the late 1950’s. Gene Vincent, Wayne
Fontana and the Mindbenders, Commander Cody, Mac Curtis and later, Dave Edmonds released Kelly’s songs. Due to the success of these songs and the continuing popularity of these artists in Europe,
Bob Kelly is in the Rockabilly Hall Of Fame. In the early 60’s Kelly was a DJ at WRR in Dallas when he met Jay Ramsey and Jerry Brown. By then, he also owned and operated a recording studio and he
decided to record and release some of Jay Ramsey’s original songs. Along with Jay’s high school friend, Frank Cole, the foursome eventually founded their performing group “The Expressions” and in
late 1964 set out to conquer the entertainment world. Kelly booked the band and negotiated the contracts as the group worked the top supper club circuit. Then after adding Kirby St. Romain, the
band became self-contained and Kelly began to add Nevada lounges to the schedule. By the early 70’s he had also secured recording deals for the band with labels such as Mercury’s Smash Records and
United Artist’s Mediarts label, one of which changed the name of the band to simply “Expression.” After over 10 years with no personnel changes, some original members left. Then, along with Jay
Ramsey, Bob Kelly kept the award winning group together for a total of 15 years. During that time “Expression” played over 2,000 shows in Las Vegas in almost every major strip hotel. An
entertainment newspaper critic wrote about the band, “If you thought you’d never hear pop music played with rock fire and jazz precision in local lounges, think again.” After the “Expression”
years, Kelly started his own band “Kelly and the Kid” and later “Kelly and Miss D.” Then he performed for several years in Las Vegas as a one man band. During most of his career, Kelly has also
owned, operated and been the chief recording engineer for his own recording studio in Las Vegas and in recent years, Kelly and Jay Ramsey have formed a music production and publishing company that
has over 40 original song placements in major movies and television series. For Kelly, it all begins and ends with a song.


Submitted: November 06, 2017

© Copyright 2023 Robert Kelly. All rights reserved.

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