Bob Duncan is the second tenor in the
Crew Cuts. He was born in Santa Monica, CA, April 2, 1940, attended Van
Nuys High School, and began his professional career in the eleventh
grade when he recorded a hit record called “Image of a Girl”. Football,
track, and singing were the focus of high school, but that focus changed
January 23, 1958.
On January 23, 1958, Bob accepted Christ
as his Savior. This was a life-changing event. Bob dedicated his life to
the Lord for full-time ministry. The path of that dedication has had
many turns but the commitment has always been the center of his
Bob married Judith Anne in 1970, and they
have 2 children, Christopher, 23, and Jennifer, 21. Christopher has his
diploma from U.C.S.B. in mechanical engineering. Jennifer attends
college and is a third grade teacher’s aide and the director of the
before and after school day care
After high school, Bob pursued a football
career with the newly formed A.F.C. He joined the L.A. Chargers and
played till a torn knee stopped him.
Since the time of his conversion, Bob
still felt the yearning to do full-time ministry. His mentor in that
pursuit was Dr. John Gustafson, the Minister of Music at the First
Baptist Church of Van Nuys.
From 1958 to 1962 Bob was John’s
assistant at Van Nuys First Baptist. John recommended Bob to audition
for a spot in The Westmont Quartet. Bob did that and was awarded a full
scholarship to Westmont College.
“In April of 1964, my friend from the
quartet, Steve Smith, and I were invited to be the escorts for Laura and
Bonnie Lewis. We were going to attend a “live” performance of The
Lawrence Welk show. This was at the Palladium on Sunset Boulevard in
Hollywood. It was “Grandma” Lewis’s birthday. While watching Lawrence
Welk it occurred to me maybe our Westmont Quartet could audition for The
Welk show. At the intermission Mr Welk was signing autograghs. I
approached him and asked for an audition. Mr Welk invited Steve and me
backstage right then. Mr Welk liked Steve’s solo voice and asked him to
get together with the piano player, Larry Hooper, and prepare an
arrangement on the spot to sing that night!
Meanwhile I went out to the Lewis family
and told them Steve was going to sing. I asked them to do the
following, ‘When Steve starts to sing stand about two thirds of the way
back from the stage and spread out. About half way through the song
start applauding and push the crowd toward the stage.’
“It worked like a charm. The crowd moved
forward applauding before the song was through. The song he was singing
was “Moon River”. Well, Mr Welk was very impressed with the crowd’s
reaction and asked Steve to sing another song. Steve sang “Red Roses
for a Blue Lady”. The same thing happened (with the Lewis family doing
their part). Mr Welk then said ‘There is another boy here and their
quartet is going to audition tomorrow.’ I called the other two members,
Greg Dixon and Johnny Johnson, at two in the morning and told them to
get down to USC where we were staying and to start rehearsing for an
audition with The Lawrence Welk Show the next day.
The rest is history. We passed the
audition and became permanent members of The Lawrence Welk Show.
Lawrence gave us our new name ‘The Blenders’. (He really liked Fred
Waring and thought the Waring Blender was named after Fred Waring.)
The Westmont quartet became “The
Blenders” on The Lawrence Welk Show.
After a successful career on “The Welk
Show” Bob was offered a full- time ministry at The First Baptist Church
of Downey. This was the beginning of a full-time Music Ministry. Bob
built the ministry to include 12 choirs, a 22- piece orchestra, 3 Bell
Choirs and a program that continues today called “The Living Christmas
In 1974, Bob reached a crossroads in the
ministry. He and Judy, his wife of 4 years, felt that there was more to
the ministry than just building new groups. Bob and Judy felt that the
leading of the Holy Spirit, not committees, must determine the direction
of their lives.
Bob was offered many attractive church
positions but chose the least attractive possibility, the First Baptist
Church of Oxnard, CA.
This church had gone through 2 church
splits and was ready to be sold. The members could only pay for six
months of Bob’s salary. This was the perfect place to determine if the
“Ministry” was led by committees or by The Holy Spirit.
Since there were no committees, The Holy
Spirit was the only One in charge. The results were miraculous. The
Pastor, a new youth minister named John Lutz, and Bob, all felt free to
follow God’s lead.
In 1977, Bob renewed his friendship with
a former Westmont Quartet member, John Felton. John was the leader of a
50’s group called “The Diamonds”. John asked Bob to sing tenor
part-time. (Bob was then the pastor of The First Baptist Church of
Oxnard, a job that continued till 1980.
In 1980, The Lord led Bob and John to
WORD RECORDS. They produced a TV show called “More than Music”. The
show could be compared to a Christian MTV. Bob worked with many young
artists, Amy Grant being one.
In 1982, Bob went back to professional
show business. Bob became the owner and leader of THE DIAMONDS. This
was a singing group that had found stardom in the 50’s, faded from
public view for a while, the became a sought after group from 1982 until
Bob sold his interest in THE DIAMONDS in
1998. He reformed an old group called THE CREWCUTS and they sing across
the world today. Often, they are booked with his wife’s group, THE
CHORDETTES. Whose hits include: “Mr. Sandman” and “Lollipop”
In 2000, Bob became the first full-time
Minister of Music for the Ojai Valley Community Church.
In June of 2001, Bob produced a new show
called “A’ WUNNERFUL, A’ WUNNERFUL” featuring The Stars of the Lawrence
Welk Show. Though this show has sold out everywhere it’s played and
continues to be in demand, Bob’s heart for the ministry still burns
Bob continues to find new opportunities
and in October of 2004 created and produced a show in Las Vegas called
“The Magic Jukebox”. This was a show that featured The Platters, The
Crewcuts, The Coasters, The Drifters, David Somerville, Donnie Brooks,
Jerry Fuller, and Al Wilson. It is currently being booked across
Bob is currently creating and producing a
new show called, “Forever Blowin’ Bubbles”, featuring his friends from
The Lawrence Welk TV Show, that will tour this November in The Pocono’s.
1955 First professional singing
job. – The Lobos
1956 Recorded first hit “Image of a
Girl” - The Safaris
1958 Accepted Jesus Christ as
Savior January 23rd 1958 and began church ministry singing
with the Jubilaires Quartet at The First Baptist Church of Van Nuys, CA.
1959 With mentor, Harold l. Fickett,
set a prayer course with the Lord for the following:
A college degree in Music (Westmont
Professional experience in Recording,
Television & Performance (“ The Blenders” on The Lawrence Welk Show”
and recording under the “Dot” label)
minister of Music (The First Baptist Church of Downey.
All of the above was the result of
answered prayer started in 1959.
1960 Played with the L.A. Chargers
(which became the San Diego Chargers)
1962 Westmont Collage on scholarship to
sing with The Westmont Quartet
1964 The Westmont Quartet became The
Blenders on “The Lawrence Welk Show”
1967 Became the minister of music at the
First Baptist Church of Downey
Living Christmas Tree” which is still performing today
Developed 12 Choirs and 22-piece
2 Bell Choirs
7 High School/ College Tours (2 out of
4 Jr. High choir tours
Produced and coordinated 3 services on
Sunday (7 years)
1968 Was asked to join The Metropolitan
Ministers of Music Organization, of which he is still a member today.
1970 Married Judith Anne Lehmann
the Minister of music at The First Baptist Church of Oxnard, CA
1975 Developed the High
School/College Choir from 4 to 125 the first year, Created a musical
outreach to the community called “The Kids Next Door", Developed “The
Living Cross” for the adult ministry
1976 “ The Kids Next Door” won the
Oxnard Trophy for service and recognition to the city of Oxnard. In 5
years over 1000 young people came to the Lord.
1979 Became The Minister of Music at
The Tampa Bay Community Church
1980 Produced 13 shows for Word Records
TV Division with Gospel stars that included: Amy Grant, Russ Taff
(Gaither Vocal Band) Brush Arbor.
1981 Son Christopher Duncan was born
1981 Joined “The Diamonds” a 50’s
recording and performing group
1982 Became the president of Diamond
Productions and owner of “The Diamonds” Reformed the group and recorded
5 Albums and Performed over 200 performances a year for the next 16
1883 Jennifer Duncan was born
1985 Formed a production company called
Jubillee Productions, Inc.
Created a singing group called
“The New Chordettes” of which his wife is the founding member.
This group has performed continually up to today
1986 Produced the First “Hot August
Nights” in Reno, NV. This is the largest event of its kind and
continues today. Produced “Hot August Nights” until 1989
1998 Sold his interest in “The Diamonds”
and reformed “The Crewcuts”
2000 Created and own a show called
“Forever Blowin’ Bubbles” featuring Stars from the Lawrence Welk Show
2004 Created and produced a show called
“The Magic Jukebox” which debuted at THE GOLDEN NUGGET in Las Vegas last
2005 The Crewcuts are recording their
first “gospel album’ and will launch their Gospel ministry with concerts
and appearances across America.