Bobbe Van Heusen (born Josephine Brock; November 28, 1902 - May 2, 1999) was a singer and part of the Brox Sisters trio (see below).
In 1969, she married Jimmy Van Heusen, a composer for film, television, theater, and frequently Frank Sinatra.
Jimmy died of complications from a stroke in 1990. Bobbe died on May 2, 1999 in Glen Falls, New York. They are both buried near Sinatra in Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City, California.
The Brox Sisters were an American trio of singing sisters, enjoying their greatest popularity in the 1920s and early 1930s.
The sisters were:
Lorayne (born Eunice, November 11, 1901 – June 14, 1993)
Bobbe (born Josephine Brock, November 28, 1902 – May 2, 1999)
Patricia (born Kathleen, June 14, 1904 – August 27, 1988).
The family name "Brock" was changed to "Brox" for theater marquees. The trio grew up in Tennessee and retained Southern accents during their performing careers.
They began in the 1910s touring the Vaudeville circuit in the United States and Canada. At the start of the 1920s they achieved success in New York on the Broadway stage. Near the end of the decade they relocated to Los Angeles. The act broke up in the early 1930s after the sisters got married. They made their final professional reunion appearance on radio in 1939.
The trio performed in Irving Berlin's Music Box Revue from 1921 to 1924, at the New York Theatre. Berlin's hit song "Everybody Step" was written for and debuted by the sisters. They recorded a number of Berlin compositions, including "Bring on the Pepper," "How Many Times," "Lazy," "School House Blues," "Some Sunny Day," and "Tokio Blues."
In 1925 and 1926, they performed on Broadway in the musical comedy The Cocoanuts, with the Marx Brothers. In 1927, they appeared in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1927 at the New Amsterdam Theatre with comedian Eddie Cantor.
The Brox Sisters were among the earliest artists to appear on Warner Bros.' Vitaphone sound shorts in the late 1920s. They were featured in three productions: "Glorifying the American Song," "Down South" (both in 1928), and "Headin' South" (1929). None of these features currently exist in full audio and visual format, with research underway to locate missing visual or audio components.
In 1929, they appeared in the film The Hollywood Revue of 1929, performing the songs "Singin' in the Rain" with Cliff Edwards and "Strike Up the Band" in the finale of the first act.
In 1930, the sisters appeared in the film King of Jazz. They performed the song "A Bench in the Park," with Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang, and with The Rhythm Boys (Bing Crosby, Harry Barris and Al Rinker). In that year they also appeared in the film Spring Is Here in which they performed the song "Crying for the Carolines."
They perform "Falling in Love Again" in the movie Hollywood on Parade (1932).
Radio and recordings
The sisters also made radio broadcasts in the 1920s. They recorded a series of phonograph records for Brunswick Records and Victor Records, as well as appearing on sides for Columbia.
1. Bobbe Brox obituary
2. The Vitaphone Project