Bo Wagner Musician Profile and Early Career as a Child Performer

Some details about the early entertainment career of Bo Wagner, the practitioner in charge of drbo.com and currently running a natural health clinic, which recently relocated from Sherman Oaks to Santa Monica, California.

Bo Wagner was a prolific child entertainer from the very beginning, that is from five years old, he was involved in different areas of the entertainment industry.

Dr. Bo, as he is usually known today, was a tap dancer, actor, record producer, drummer, percussionist, marimba and vibe player, choreographer, dance instructor, keyboard artist, and studio musician.

Bo Wagner beginnings, the child performer.

Bobby Wagner, as he was first known, was involved from a very early age in the industry, as his father and mother were entertainers. Thus, it was only natural that Bobby Wagner would display natural inclination to be in the same industry.

Bobby Wagner was less than six years old when he was already appearing in musical variety TV shows that used to air in the early 1950’s. His main acts on TV were as a tap dancer and drummer.

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Playful Picture of Bobby Wagner Dancing on Drums

TV was not enough for the precocious Bobby Wagner, since he also traveled to top class hotels and night clubs to perform his musical and dancing routines.

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Bobby Wagner and Ted Lewis at the Beverly Hills Country Club in Newport Kentucky

He traveled extensively, cross country, from the east coast to the west coast. Bobby Wagner had the pleasure of performing from New York City, to Hollywood, California and most other major cities in between, continuously, throughout his early childhood. One of the great entertainers Bo had the pleasure to perform with was Ted Lewis of the “Me and My Shadow” fame.

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Bobby Wagner with Tony Pastor, band leader

 

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Bobby Wagner with Ted Weems, band leader

 

Being such an accomplished young musician, Bobby Wagner got invited to play with some famous Big Bands. Worth mentioning are the Glenn Miller Orchestra, The Tony Pastor’s Orchestra, The Ted Weems Orchestra and the novelty band, The Spike Jones Band.

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Wee Bonnie Baker, singer with Ted Weems Orchestra, and Bobby Wagner

 

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Bobby Wagner and Freddie Morgan of the Spike Jones Band

Bobby Wagner tap danced and played drums on the original Mickey Mouse Club Talent Roundup Day.

The original Mickey Mouse Club was a very successful American Variety Show which aired from 1955-1958 and reran through 1966.

The Original Mickey Mouse Club was created by Walt Disney, and it helped promote and finance Disneyland, the theme park. After Walt got too busy with other projects, the direction of the TV Program was taken over by Bill Walsh.

The Original TV show was aimed mainly at children and young TV viewers. Some distinguishing features were, musical and dance acts, a newsreel, cartoons, talent shows, comedy skits and mini-series.

Originally cast members wore nothing on their heads. Roy Williams, a staff member and “Mooseketeer” on the show, had the brilliant idea that cast members and all performers wore Mickey Mouse’s ears. The idea was readily accepted, and even nowadays everybody pictures “Mouseketeers” wearing these hard, not to notice, Mickey Mouse ears.

The “Mouseketeers” were the regular child and teen performers on the Original Mickey Mouse Club. Some famous “Mouseketeers” include Annette Funicello, Bobby Burgess and Cubby O’Brien.

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This picture shows Annette Funicello with three other performers doing a dancing routine on the Original Mickey Mouse Club

On Friday nights, the Original Mickey Mouse Club included a special segment called the Talent Roundup Day. On these days already established and upcoming new performers were invited to show their talent by the TV show producers. When “Bobby” Wagner was 10 years old he got to showcase his talent on the Original Mickey Mouse Club Talent Roundup Day. He performed several tap dancing routines and also played the drums. After his performance “Bobby” Wagner obtained the title of “Honorary Mouseketeer”; he was also issued a lifetime membership in the Original Mickey Mouse Club.

 

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Here we can appreciate “Bobby” Wagner playing the drums on the Original Mickey Mouse Club Talent Roundup Day

 

In the next picture from the Walt Disney archives we can see the young performer “Bobby” Wagner tap dancing as an invited guest in the Original Mickey Mouse Club Talent Roundup Day. The background shows a blacksmith shop in an Old West town. A “Horses for Sale” is also visible, as well as other signs.

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The musical career of Bo Wagner spans a few decades. When he was an early teenager, he became a regular performer on the Lawrence Welk’s Show. On this show Bo Wagner used to play the drums, vibes, marimba, and tap danced. Being a young music entertainer, he did rather well as he stayed with this show for a period of three years.

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Bo Wagner Playing the Marimba on the Lawrence Welk Show

 

There is a video of Bo Wagner on YouTube where he is seen playing the marimba and tap dancing with Cubby O’Brien and Jack Imel.

 

Other groups, musicians, and renowned entertainers that Bo Wagner has been involved with, include: The 5th Dimension, The Lewis & Clarke Expedition Group, Eternity’s Children, Liberace, Roger Williams, and Starbuck.

Starbuck was a pop-rock band featuring Bruce Blackman, lead singer and keyboard player, Johnny Walker, guitar player and vocalist and Bo Wagner, played marimba, vibes and percussion.

Starbuck released three albums. In 1976 Moonlight Feels Right, in 1977 rock & Roll Rocket, in 1978 Searching for a Thrill. From all the songs that Starbuck played, the one they’re most renowned for is “Moonlight Feels Right”

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Bo Wagner and Bruce Blackman Re-United in the 80’s

 

The group Starbuck has played a few current  reunion concerts for their fans. On this YouTube video, Starbuck is playing in front of a sold out audience at Chastain Park, in Atlanta, Georgia.

 

Lyrics for Moonlight Feels Right
The wind blew some luck in my direction
I caught it in my hands today
I finally made a tricky French connection
You winked and gave me your o.k.
I’ll take you on a trip beside the ocean
And drop the top at Chesapeake Bay
Ain’t nothing like the sky to dose a potion
The moon’ll send you on your way

Moonlight feels right
Moonlight feels right

We’ll lay back and observe the constellations
And watch the moon smilin’ bright
I’ll play the radio on southern stations
Cause southern belles are hell at night
You say you came to Baltimore from Ole Miss
Class of seventy-four gold ring
The eastern moon looks ready for a wet kiss
To make the tide rise again

We’ll see the sun come up on Sunday morning
And watch it fade the moon away
I guess you know I’m giving you a warning
Cause me and moon are itching to play
I’ll take you on a trip beside the ocean
And drop the top at Chesapeake Bay
Ain’t nothin’ like the sky to dose a potion
The moon’ll send you on your way

Song Listing for Moonlight Feels Right Record

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Moonlight Feels Right featured a marimba solo played by Bo Wagner, it was the first time that a Top 40 record included a marimba composition.

Track Listings

Disc: 1
1. I Got To Know
2. Drop A Little Rock
3. Lash Larue
4. The Slower You Go (The Longer It Lasts)
5. Moonlight Feels Right
6. I’m Crazy
7. So The Night Goes
8. Working My Heart To The Bone
9. Lucky Man
10. Bordello Bordeaux

 

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