Jacob Mendez
Jacob Mendez

A tragic accident or a quarrel over a woman? Bobby Bloom’s career was cut short by his sudden death

Bobby Bloom was born in January 1946 in New York, and started taking his first steps on the music scene as a teenager in a doo-wop group The Imaginations.

He left the band in the late 1960s when he was offered the opportunity to write and sing a Pepsi commercial jingle. At the time, Bloom was also a songwriter with the label Kama Sutra/Buddah.

The musician wrote, among others: “Mona Mona” for Tommy James And The Shondells (listen!) and “Sunshine” for The Archies (listen!).

Bloom’s big breakthrough came after the premiere of the song “Montego Bay”, which describes a story taking place in this city in Jamaica (check the lyrics!). A music video promoting the song was also shot on the island, in which we see the singer sailing on a boat.

A song produced by Bloom’s good friend, Jeff Barry achieved considerable success, reaching the TOP10 of charts in the United States, Canada, Australia and Great Britain.

The label that released the song also had an original idea for promoting the song. Wherever she became popular, Bloom was soon appearing on television. In this way, the singer performed in London, Hamburg, Copenhagen and Amsterdam. After his success, he visited Jamaica again, where the label organized a four-day trip for him.

“Bobby was a great guy. Extremely bright and talented. He loved writing and singing. The only thing he didn’t like was performing. He was a real handsome guy, women were crazy about him,” recalled musician Jeff Barry. “He had a house in the Hollywood Hills, a motorcycle and a Porsche. Sometimes he was really crazy, he could throw the motorcycle into the swimming pool and never get it out,” he added.

The single heralded the musician’s debut album, which was released in 1970. The album, which is a mixture of calypso, pop and rock, also includes the song “Heavy Makes You Happy”, which a year later the band members turned into a big hit. The Staples Singer.

A career that was starting well was tragically interrupted due to a fatal gunshot. Bloom was only 28 years old at the time. The police investigating the death concluded that the singer accidentally shot himself while cleaning the gun.

Investigators rejected the possibility of suicide (Bloom had suffered from depression for many years) and potential murder. The artist’s relatives strongly demanded that this thesis be investigated (including Jeff Barry), but the police never followed up.

In an interview with in 2006, the producer of the hit “Montego Bay” revealed that Bloom could have died as a result of a quarrel over a woman. “Someone shot him after a fight over a girl. (Bobby) kicked the door and ran into the room, and the guy reached for his gun. The guy was never found,” he said.

Bobby Bloom’s hit has received several new versions. One of them – recorded by Jon Stevens – turned out to be a huge hit in New Zealand, where in 1980 it spent seven weeks at the top of the local charts.