Hackett’s first professional gig was at age sixteen with Cab Calloway’s Orchestra.
Despite he couldn’t read music in those days,Cab gave him twenty-five dollars for a week’s pay.
Bobby continued to play locally for about four years until he went to Boston.
Then he settled in New York City via Boston in the mid-1930s.
His early recordings had been recorded “Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen,” which featured the Andrews Sisters in 1937.
In 1939 Bobby Hackett formed a big band.
His orchestra got critical and commercial success, but his band broke up by poor management.
He had to pay down his debt.
So he sought his work with the other big bands.
Fortunately he was invited to appear as one of the few guest artists at the famed Carnegie Hall jazz concert led by Benny Goodman in 1939.
Then he joined the Glenn Miller band as guitarist and trumpet soloist in 1941.
There is a very interesting anecdote about his joining.
When Glenn Miller asked him to join Miller’s band, he couldn’t play his horns.
Because his lip was in bad shape after dental surgery, making it difficult for him to play the cornet.
Glenn took him on as guitarist because Glenn Miller came to Hackett’s rescue.
Here is Andrews Sisters sing “Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen”(1938).
Here is Bobby Hackett & His Band play “Jazz Me Blues”.
Here is Glenn Miller with play Bobby Hackett cornet “A String Of Pearls”(1942).