Robert Lilley
Santa Barbara, CA

Created April 15, 2001
Updated 7/17/09
See more Barron links here
Bob Lilley's contributions to the Robert V. Barron web site

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New "Cindy, Oh Cindy" .wav file 7/20/01 

Smiling Bob Barron
When I discovered that my good friend Bob Barron had passed away in the year 2000, I was moved to look back through scrapbooks and tapes for some of the mementos of a much earlier time, when Bob was already in the radio business and doing some acting, and I was just finishing high school. 

He gave Bob Jones and me, two seniors from South Charleston (WV) High School, an opportunity to collaborate with him on a two-hour Saturday morning radio program, the "Bop Shop." This program aired for a couple of years on radio station WGKV-AM (later WHMS) in Charleston, WV. It was one of those rare opportunities to grow up a little, to take on some real responsibilities and to have useful stuff to do. This came at a time of life when dumb choices sometimes get made during too much spare time.

We corresponded all too seldom after Bob Barron moved to Hollywood, and my own move more recently to Santa Barbara reminded me that we should get together. Alas, no way.

I am finally back in touch with Robert C. Jones (yes, he is still in television work in Florida). I was able to let him know that Bob Barron's works are now his complete works; we three had great fun together. 

Thanks for allowing me the honor of contributing to this memorial, and thanks, Bob Barron, for believing in a couple of kids. Those were good times for Bob, Bob and Bob...

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In July, 2009, I received the following note from Edward Morris. Thanks!

I thought you might want to know a little more about Bob Barron, whom I met in the fall of 1954 when we were both freshmen at Morris Harvey College in Charleston (now the University of Charleston).   He and I became friends when we went through Hell Week together as pledges to Kappa Sigma Kappa fraternity.  Always the actor, Bob enlivened one night of Hell Week with his portrayal of Richard III on the steps of what is now the Kanawha County Public Library (I forget what it was at the time).  When I became editor of the college paper, The Comet, my sophomore year, I gave Bob a weekly column, which he named The Barron Waste.  He wrote some truly funny stuff.  I think it was during his second year at Morris Harvey that he spent some time in New York and California looking for acting jobs.  That's when I first discovered his genius as a correspondent.  His flawlessly penned, spelled and punctuated letters were always causes for celebration.  He once decided that he and I should write some freelance articles together.  So for several days I went over to his house on the West Side (I think he lived on Wyoming Avenue), where we wrote little but listened a lot to Julie London sing "Cry Me A River."  He, I and the rest of the fraternity brothers drank excessively, each fantasizing that he was a Hemingway in embryo.  Our favorite establishment was The Barn, which was a few blocks from Morris Harvey on MacCorkle Avenue toward the South Side Bridge.  I recall that several of us once visited Hugh McPherson when he was on the air to talk to him not about jazz but flying saucers.
 
During the 1960s, when I was teaching at various small colleges, Bob and I kept up our correspondence, although we never met face to face.  Mostly we wrote about scriptwriting.  When he wrote "Hoss and the Leprechauns" for Bonanza, I felt like I knew a Nobel prize winner.  In the late '60s, he edited a literary tabloid, The Glebe, to which I contributed a poem or two.  The first time I saw him since the 1950s--and the last time I ever saw him--was in the winter of 1981 when I went to Los Angeles to cover a convention for Billboard magazine.  He was playing Sherlock Holmes in some little theater production.  Of course, he was Holmes incarnate.  We continued to correspond intermittently through the 1990s.  The only time he seemed out of character and distant from his usually jocular personality was when he suffered through one of the big earthquakes and decided to move north.  In his letter describing this experience, I found no traces of his humor.  He was such an emotional fixture of my "creative" days that I miss him as acutely now as the day I heard he'd died.
 
Edward Morris
Nashville, Tennessee

Click on the thumbnails for larger pictures (the downloads may be pretty lengthy unless you're on DSL or cable).
Make creative use of your browser's "back" button to return here. 
Bob did much work with the "Kanawha Players," a Charleston, WV group, and got a little local press for it. Click on the links to the right for a series of newspaper reports on his activities / antics in the late 50s.
Short Barron History in Carbide Publication

Sol Padlibsky article on Bob Barron, Part 1

Sol Padlibsky article on Bob Barron, Part 2

Bob in "Inherit the Wind"

Bob in "Say, Darling"

Bob in "The Virginian"

  This is a picture, probably earlier than 1959, at another Charleston, WV radio station, WKNA-AM. Wow - a dress code? We never wore white shirt and tie at WGKV / WHMS!
Barron WKNA
 Here's a Hollywood promotional shot, probably late 50's.
Barron Publicity Pix
 A Kanawha Players (Charleston, WV) playbill for "Visit to a Small Planet" with Bob in the starring role. My high-school girl-friend and I attended.
KP Playbill
KP Playbill Too
A letter excerpt from 1990 when Bob and I re-connected after a long silence. My daughter had moved to Los Angeles, and she was interested in seeing how film production works.
TolucaFilm Masthead
 
 A two-page letter from 1990, in which Bob is reacting to an audio tape I sent him of some "poetry" recorded in 1960 or so, and is sending me a video tape with excerpts of his work.

Karen is my older daughter, and unfortunately, as schedules slip in real life, she never had the chance to see Bob at work.

Barron Letter 1990
Barron Letter 1990 Too
 And here's the index of the video tape. Maybe we can get some video clips posted one of these days. There's some classic stuff in here!
Barron Video Tape Label
Bob wrote the song "Cindy, Oh Cindy" with Bert Long in 1956 ("...Cindy don't let me down; write me a letter soon, and I'll be homeward bound..."). It became a top-10 hit in 1956 for Eddie Fisher and also for Vince Martin with the Tarriers. 

Listen to the Eddie Fisher version here. Note, it's almost 400K, so be patient.

Rest in Peace, Bob