Bob - Bio

Bob Ketchum

Bob Ketchum has been a professional musician since 1964. Although drums is his main instrument, he also plays and composes on guitar, bass and synths. Bob started on the drums in his late teen's playing in the local band "The Vipers". They stayed together 5 years and performed rock & roll and R&B at private parties and college frat parties throughout the late 60's. The peak of their short-lived career was a prestigious summer job at the Lodge of the Four Seasons where they shared the bill with international celebrities and bands in the Internationale Pavillion. Today, three of the original five members still live in the Mountain Home area. There has already been one Vipers reunion in 1992, and getting together for old times sake has been discussed. Recently, several European internet sites have shown an interest in some of the old garage recordings of the Vipers original material engineered by Bob way back in 1966 and 1967. Tentative plans are to release the original recordings on a vinyl-only release on selected specialty labels in the European market.

Most of Bob's musical chops during the 70's were honed by opening for concert acts and through studio session work. One such recording session earned Bob an RIAA-Certified Gold LP for playing drums on Freddy Fender's "Wasted Days & Wasted Nights" in 1975. Bob got his first DJ job in the late 60's at KOTN in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, learning the ropes from one of the Great Ones, Mr. Buddy Dean. While working in radio and playing in a R&R band he had the opportunity to learn audio engineering and eventually producing. He helped pioneer what was to become "AOR" radio throughout the early 70's on on KWHN 5,000 watt AM & KMAG 100,000 watt Stereo FM, simulcasting on both stations to a 5-state area from Ft. Smith, Arkansas. During those years he started Dime A Dozen Productions and began promoting concerts with acts like Trapeze, Black Oak Arkansas, Mitch Ryder & Detroit, Bloodrock, Sugarloaf, and the Box Tops, among others.

In June of 1976, after 12 years of radio broadcasting and recording experience, Bob moved back to his hometown to fulfill a lifelong dream of having his own recording studio "back in the woods" which he named Cedar Crest Studio. Bob received two more Gold Records in the 80's while working with KROKUS on the "Headhunter" and "Blitz" albums.

For a complete discography of projects Bob has worked on, go HERE.

Bob got into video right about the time Beta format saw the handwriting on the wall. He started the video production end of the studio in 1982, producing TV commercials, legal/medical videos, commercial/industrial/promotional videos, and as a news stringer for several regional television stations. His music publishing company, Dime-A-Dozen Music, has enjoyed over 20 years of affiliation with BMI.

Bob began writing his own musings for the public since the late 80's in a column called "News From The Woods" which appeared in "Nightflying" music magazine for years and is now found online. Bob has also served duty as a staff writer for newtekpro magazine. His contirbutions include product reviews, interviews, and articles on audio support in video production. He also wrote bylines for the "NewTekniques" online web site called "The Idea Factory" and "Hear Ye! Hear Ye!". A complete listing of his current online contributions can be found here.

Bob is 64 now, still playing both live and in the studio, located in the longtime family residence CastleRock, which his parents built as a showcase "house of the future" for their real estate company (aptly called Cedar Crest Acres) in the 60's. The house straddles two of the choicest lots of the original 110-acre developement. It is situated on a bluff and the view from the control room window overlooks beautiful Lake Norfork and a two-county perspective of his native Arkansas Ozarks.

The Entertainment section of the Baxter Bulletin featured Bob in 2001. The August 9th copy of the newspaper featured him prominently on the front page. It was a fine article written by Thomas Garrett. The publication sent their photographer, Kevin Pieper, to take some "mug shots". The one they used is sort of a: "Bob - the serious side" shot. You can see a reprint of the article HERE.

Bob still has the same drum set he bought new in 1964 and learned how to play on, a 4-piece set of Ludwig Super Classics with oyster blue pearl finish. It is actually the Ringo Starr set model, cymbals and all. He admits to never having owned cases for them and is still playing them regularly in his current band "Spilt Milk". He has also managed to keep about 80% of his original album cache accumulated through over 12 years of radio work and private collecting. He still has all of his 45 rpm singles collected since 1957 and continues searching them out today. He also enjoys collecting vintage microphones and music instruments. He claims his extensive library of classic and obscure sci-fi movies is second to none. He keeps them all on Betamax format so no one can borrow them.

Bob Ketchum

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