b. Robert Edward Wilson, 21 January 1904, St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Raised in Chicago, Wilson played drums in a boys’ band, then took up the violin. He played in various bands in clubs in Chicago and also on pleasure boats. In the 20s he was mostly in the north-east, eventually playing in New York at the end of the decade. He visited Europe with Noble Sissle’s band and remained there for many years, playing with local bands and also with visiting fellow countrymen. He worked in Germany, Spain, Holland, France and North Africa, the latter region with a band led by Little Mike McKendrick. He held residencies as a featured artist in Malta where he remained until the mid-50s. He continued to tour the Mediterranean region for a few more years before visiting Paris en route to the USA.