Annual Glenn McClanan Memorial Concert
Featuring Dean Dobbins
Annual Glenn McClanan Memorial Concert
Featuring Dean Dobbins
|Time & Place|
|Saturday, November 2, 2013 @ 7:00 pm
4100 Virginia Beach Blvd.
Virginia Beach, VA 23452
|Canned Food additional donation also welcome|
Dean Dobbins established himself as an LA-based writer who writes in a variety of styles, from ballads to Texas swing. Back in 1990, the Dean Dobbins Band was awarded California Country Music Association Band of the Year and Dean won CCMA awards for Song of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year. He has recorded 8 CDs of original songs, including "The Dean Dobbins Band Volumes I and II." His CD, "She's Hot" contains 24 songs, most recorded in Nashville, and features Nashville singers such as Craig Campbell, Kira Small, and Buddy Jewell. Dean no longer has a band but still performs as a solo singer/songwriter.
Dean has now retired from his day-job in LA and he and his wife, Charlotte, moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia, close to Charlotte's relatives. They have 2 daughters and 3 grandchildren.
For more details, see Dean's myspace website www.myspace.com/deandobbins1, where you can watch videos of Dean performing his original songs "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee" on guitar and "You Mean Everything to Me" on piano.
Dean says "I wrote my first song in March 1971. Since then, I've tried to keep my musical life and my professional life separate, primarily because early on in my writing career a music publisher stopped taking me seriously once I told him my profession. At that point, I decided it would be best to live two lives. But it feels like it's time to come clean with you nice folks."
Dean grew up in East Rockaway, Long Island. As a kid, he played piano and saxophone and sang in the chorus at East Rockaway High School. At Cornell University he majored in Chemistry, briefly played saxophone in the marching band and concert band, but then joined the Cornell Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra, where he played bassoon. While attending the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry he played Beatles songs on the piano and started teaching himself some chords on guitar. His father passed away in 1969 while he was still in med school. In 1971 during a year away from the stress of med school he wrote his first song and knew that he had discovered a lifelong means of self-expression as a songwriter. He has been writing songs since then and expects to continue writing songs as long as he's around."
After medical school graduation in June 1972 he started a Pediatric Internship at Oakland Kaiser Hospital. In 1975 he married Oakland Kaiser Xray Tech Charlotte Dobbins in Berkeley, California and soon adopted her maiden name as his stage name. Using first name "Dean" satisfied his sense of alliteration. Dean's musical style was also influenced by Charlotte's origin in Virginia, which led Dean to listen to country music.
During another residency jazz legend Carmen McRae recorded a jazz ballad that Charlotte and Dean wrote called "I Need You In My Life." In 1982 Dennis Weaver of Gunsmoke and McCloud fame recorded another of his songs: "If I Had A Love Song."
Because initially Dean worked overnight only a few nights a week, he had a few free days every week. After performing solo, then as a duo, then as a trio, he organized the Dean Dobbins Band around 1984. They were an active band in Los Angeles's country music circuit for about 10 years and performed at the Palomino, The Bandstand, The Crazy Horse Saloon, The Longhorn and The Cowboy Palace. They opened for Tammy Wynette in Newport Beach, Rick Nelson at Big Bear, Johnny Lee at The Palomino and The Kendalls at The Mule Lip Saloon in Colton. They were voted 1990 California Country Music Association Band of the Year and Dean himself received several CCMA awards including Song of the Year ("One, Two, Three"), Songwriter of the Year ("Writers and Pickers") and Male Vocalist of the Year.
About 1990 The Dean Dobbins Band recorded about 2 dozen of Dean's original songs, which were sold as 3 cassettes. Later he transferred those songs to 2 CDs The Dean Dobbins Band, Volumes I and II. Several of the band's recordings received considerable airplay in Europe, particularly "Writers and Pickers" and "He Can Dance (The Way They Dance In Texas)," which reached #2 in "Indie Bullet Magazine" out of Tyler, Texas and landed Dean on the cover of the magazine. "He Can Dance" was played on about 50 radio stations across Texas. The band's recording of Dean's "Where There's A Will, There's A Way" was used in the Ivan Reitman film "Big Shots." The band dissolved soon after the Northridge Earthquake in 1994, when his home was damaged extensively and Charlotte, daughter Nadia and Dean lived in an RV in front of the property for 2 1/2 years before repairs were completed and their house completed. The quake inspired his songs "When That RV Is Rockin" and "My Home's Gonna Look Like New." Several local TV stations in LA ran features about the Kaiser pediatrician who wrote a song inspired by the earthquake.
Since the dissolution of the band around 1995, he has continued writing and recording, including his "Thank Heaven" CD in LA in 1995, then "Train Car #4" CD in Nashville in 2000. In 2002 Wendy Lands recorded an album of songs with music written by "the pianist" Wladyslaw Szpilman and new lyrics by current American songwriters, including his lyric "I Wish You'd Ask To Dance With Me."
In 2003 he released "Rickety Boat," the first of 3 "solo" CDs containing piano/vocal and guitar/vocal demos he recorded, mostly in his small home studio. In 2006 he released his "She's Hot" CD, including songs he wrote or co-wrote. Most of the songs were recorded in Nashville and were sung by excellent Nashville singers including Buddy Jewell, who had sung some of the songs on "Train Car #4," and Craig Campbell. Both Buddy Jewell and Craig Campbell subsequently secured recording contracts in Nashville.
In recent years he performed solo in songwriter venues in LA, particularly at Kulak's Woodshed, where he hosted monthly for quite a while and where the live performance videos at this new website were filmed. Dean saw his last Pediatric patient at the Panorama City Kaiser Pediatric clinic in late May 2012. In June 2012 Charlotte and Dean drove cross country with their dogs to Virginia Beach, Virginia, where they're both thoroughly enjoying our retirement. His medical days are behind him, but his musical life continues. Hopefully, one of these days he'll see you in his audience.