Let me come right and say it: if it weren’t for the hair, Bobby Goldsboro would be cool—or at least a whole lot more cool than most people think he is. Let’s look at the facts. He got his start in music as guitarist and band leader for Roy Orbison. That’s very cool. And much of his work is solid. Sure, With Pen in Hand can be embarrassing, but who else was singing about divorce ins 1968?
What’s more, The Bobby Goldsboro Show featured Jim Henson with a basset hound. (Or not; I can’t find any reference to it, but I remember reading this.)
Anyway, here is Mr. Goldsboro doing his song Summer (The First Time):
Two or Three or Four Things
I think there are two things that stop people from admitting that Goldsboro is cool. First is that mustache that he’s been sporting the last several decades. Second there are the lyrics to Honey. And the choir. Third, there is Watching Scotty Grow. But these were not Goldsboro compositions.
Fourth there is See the Funny Little Clown, which he did write.
Okay! I’ll admit: Miles Davis he ain’t. And I’ll admit he doesn’t have a single song that is great. Sometimes success ruins an artist, although I’d rather be rich than great. It does seem that his best work is all forgotten. I recall a song off Honey called Run to Me that I think was good. Unfortunately, I can’t find it on YouTube. In fact, about the only thing you can find there is Honey.
Now Bobby Goldsboro seems more focused on his painting, which doesn’t suck but isn’t terribly compelling either. And maybe that’s just who he is: not bad but not great. Which is a hell of a lot more than most of us can say.