Bob Crane was a broadcasting pioneer who made landmark contributions to the industry on both coasts, but until now, has never received proper credit for much of it. Ford and her colleagues delve into Crane’s radio career like never before. What they have discovered and presented here is nothing short of amazing. —Danny Lyons, WICC 600-AM and WEBE 108-FM operations manager/WEBE on-air personality, Bridgeport, Connecticut
Carol Ford and company have ripped the lid off the real story of Bob Crane—talented drummer, radio veteran, and comic genius, who, like so many other great television actors, found himself hampered by typecasting. The public has had too much useless information about Crane—here is the real deal they need to know to understand one of entertainment’s most gifted and complex performers. —Marakay Rogers, Broadway World
If you’re a Bob Crane fan, this book is a must. Loved the old pictures of Crane in his WLEA days. —Kevin Doran, former owner, WLEA 1480 AM, Hornell, New York
Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography is the most extensive biography I’ve read about a movie or TV actor. I’m impressed with the amount of research authors Carol Ford, Dee Young, and Linda Groundwater did over the last 12 years. The authors captured fond memories and perspectives from Bob’s friends and relatives who knew him best, from early childhood in Stamford, Connecticut, to his time on Hogan’s Heroes, and his work afterwards. Professional and family photographs provided by Bob Crane’s children, Karen and Scott, are priceless and add greatly to this biography.
I also wanted to know more about Bob Crane’s career in radio before Hogan’s Heroes, and this book does an excellent job. I enjoyed the stories told by Bob’s co-workers and friends at WICC in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and KNX in Los Angeles. Generations of fans know Bob Crane’s work in Hogan’s Heroes, which is still on TV today. However, this biography explains how Bob Crane worked tirelessly day and night to become an innovative, entertaining, and highly rated morning show host on major radio stations in Connecticut and Los Angeles. Bob Crane was also a successful interviewer at KNX, and spoke extensively on the air with celebrities like Ray Charles, Bette Davis, Bob Newhart, and Mary Tyler Moore. While he was on Hogan’s Heroes, Bob continued his radio work through the U.S. Armed Forces Radio Network, and later, at KMPC in Los Angeles.
Nothing is held back in this book because the authors interviewed people who knew about Bob Crane’s struggles and sex addiction. Because books and documentaries have been written one-sided about Bob’s death, this unfortunate part of his life needed to be added for a full and extensive biography.
Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography is a must read for anyone who is a fan of his TV show and legendary radio work. —Bill Dillane, NHTV, North Haven, Connecticut
There is a good reasons why the authors and publisher of Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography agreed on the choice of title: because it is indeed the definitive biography on Bob Crane. Carol M. Ford, Dee, Young, and Linda Groundwater have amassed a wealth of knowledge and present a remarkably detailed look at the life of the man most remembered as “Colonel Hogan” in the 1960s television hit Hogan’s Heroes, his sensationalized prowess with beautiful women, and for the grotesque murder that took his life in 1978. However, this beautifully written, respectful biography presents amazing aspects of Crane’s life that are mostly unknown by his fans and too often ignored by others. Bob Crane was a talented musician (having played drums with the likes of Gene Krupa), and a radio pioneer skilled at creating affable characters and contrived conversations during his top-rated show. He became the most popular radio personality in Los Angeles. During his tenure at the CBS affiliate there, Bob Crane also interviewed thousands of celebrities. Publicists and agents scrambled to get their clients interviewed by him. It became an honor to sit for an hour with the biggest and best voice of the air. Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography is a 660-page heavyweight. Usually, books of such length are tedious, overly footnoted tomes best suited for Presidents, monarchs, and historic battles. But I was immediately pulled into the narrative’s breezy style. Carol Ford writes beautifully. The research and anecdotal contributions of coauthors Young and Groundwater, and the quotes and recollections from interviews of 200 people who knew Bob Crane privately or professionally, are sprinkled expertly and evenly throughout. There are over 200 photographs in the [hardcover edition]—many never published until now. I have read hundreds of biographies…hundreds. Bob Crane’s definitive book by Ford, Young, and Groundwater is easily one of the best Hollywood-related books I have seen. The research is fantastic. The pace is comfortable, and the overall presentation was extremely well thought out, with an emphasis focusing on what truly comprised the life and career of this all too often misunderstood man. With all the above consideration, and the simple fact that this book does what [no one else has done before for Crane], I would easily place Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography in a top ten list of performing arts nonfiction. —James Zeruk, Jr., Author, 'Peg Entwistle and the Hollywood Sign Suicide'
This book sheds light on an addiction that is tragically confined to the shadows, behind closed doors. Sex addicts are subject to immediate moral judgment, when we are ironically more accepting of other addictions. Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography can serve as an inspiration for anyone seeking to understand the often double world of the sex addict. —Susanne A. Quallich, ANP-BC, NP-C, CUNP, FANNP, University of Michigan Health System; Member, Editor, Urologic Nursing Journal; and an Expert on Men’s Sexual Health
Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography is an in-depth, well-researched look at a man with immense talent that has been, since his death, highly underrated. The authors have done an outstanding job. There are many biographies in the world of literature, and this is certainly up there with the best of them. —Dean Mardon, former host, The Dave Dee Drivetime Show, Radio Kidnappers, 1431-AM/104.7 FM, Napier, New Zealand
Carol Ford and her colleagues have exhaustively researched every conceivable detail of Bob Crane’s life. This book shifts the focus from the sensational and the negative to a holistic, factual view of a talented individual whose life ended too soon. Even those who are not fans of Bob Crane will find this book worthwhile reading. —Cindy Vitto, PhD, Dean, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Rowan University, Glassboro, New Jersey