Soul And / Or Related Artists
bob and earl

Bob and EarlBobby RelfBobby Relf

Bob and Earl comprised of:

Bobby Byrd / Bobby Day (a.k.a. Robert James Byrd Snr.) b. 1st July 1930, Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.A. d. 27th July 1990, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.)

Bobby Relf (b. Robert Nelson Relf, 10th January 1937, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. d. 20th November 2007, Bakersfield, Kern County, California, U.S.A.)


Earl Nelson (b. Earl Lee Nelson, 8th September 1928, Lake Charles, Louisiana, U.S.A. d. 12th July 2008, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.)

The original incarnation comprised of Bobby Byrd and Earl Nelson.

The duo were both members of the group entitled The Hollywood Flames.

The Flames 1952

The Flames were a doo-wop ensemble from Los Angeles, California whom achieved some success with the song 'Buzz Buzz Buzz' in 1958.

By 1957, Bobby Byrd left the group and began writing and recording under the pseudonym Bobby Day.

In 1960, he and Earl Nelson began recording together as Bob & Earl.The duo then went their seperate ways and Bobby Relf became recruited to the ranks. Bobby had also utilised his own pseudonym's, Bobby Garrett and Bobby Valentino.

Bobby Relf had previously recorded as part if several acts including the Laurels, the Upfronts, and Valentino and the Lovers.

The Upfronts and Valentino and the lovers also featured a young Barry White playing keyboards and singing. This latest incarnation of Bob and Earl recorded 'Harlem Shuffle' in 1963.

Harlem Shuffle

The song was written by Relf and Nelson, released on the Marc imprint, and was arranged by Barry White (with whom Bobby was to write material for the following decade).

Bobby Relf wrote Love Unlimited's 1974 hit 'Walking In The Rain'.

'Harlem Shuffle' saw modest success on it's initial release date, however a subsequent re-release in 1969, saw the song hit the pop charts at number 10.

Bob And Earl continued to record further singles, although 'Baby It's Over', in 1966, was their only further hit.

Bob and EarlBob and Earl

By 1969, the duo had recorded as individual artists, with Earl Nelson recording under the name of Jackie Lee.

When 'Harlem Shuffle' became successful on reissue, the duo reunited as Bob and Earl to tour. They later were to go their seperate ways in the early 1970's.

Suffering from bouts of athsma during his life, Bobby Relf died on the 21st of November 2007, between 7:00 am and 8:00 a.m. in Bakersfield, California.

Bobby was in hospital when he passed. He had become frail and could not walk very well. 5 unreleased songs by Bobby are yet to see the light of day.

A graveside service was held at 1 p.m. the 27th of November, Evergreen Cemetery, 204 N. Evergreen Ave., Los Angeles, Greenlawn Southwest Mortuary.

Sadly, in July 2008, Earl Lee Nelson passed away.

Bob & Earl

Information provided, with many thanks, from Bobby Relf's sister in law, Andrea Relf and the Relf family.

Real Player


Harlem Shuffle (Tip/Sue Records 1966)

Bob And Earl (Crestview/B&C Records 1969)

Together (Joy Records 1969)

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