Born September 18, 1943, in Racine, Wisconsin, Robert Marshall Schacht was the second of five children. His was a musical family and he pursued his love of music throughout his life, playing up-right bass and singing tenor in bluegrass bands and guitar in church groups.
He was a founding member of the internationally-recognized Fort Collins, Colorado-based band, Front Range.
Bob Schacht was introduced to bluegrass in the 1970s while teaching anthropology at the University of Maryland.
After graduating from Madison’s Wisconsin High School in 1961, and from the University of Wisconsin in 1965, Bob earned a Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of Michigan, specializing in archeology.
In the 1970s he went to Iran to do some archeological research, and academia took him to various parts of the States. He taught anthropology at the universities of Maryland and Houston, Wayne State, Ganado College and Northern Arizona University, before obtaining a research and grant support position at the Northern Arizona University Institute for Human Development in Flagstaff, where he worked for many years. In 2004 he moved to Honolulu to work as Research Director of the Pacific Basin Rehabilitation Research and Training Center.
During the late 1990s he played in the Hillwallys bluegrass band.
Schacht was an early member Bluegrass Hawaii, the Traditional & Bluegrass Music Society founded in 2003, and their Secretary for a while.
Following his retirement in 2008 he returned to Flagstaff.
Bob Amos, Front Range co-founder, now of Bob Amos & Catamount Crossing, remembers ….
“Bob Schacht was a really nice guy and a fine bass player. When Mike Lantz and I started Front Range in Denver in 1983 Bob Schacht was our first bass player. He stayed with us for about a year, until he moved away. We were basically a local Denver band at that time. We went through several line-ups after Bob left before the eventual formation of the final long-term recording and touring line-up of myself on guitar, Mike Lantz-mandolin, Ron Lynam-banjo, and Bob Dick-bass in late 1991, but Bob Schacht was the very first bass player we had in those early years in Colorado. We saw him several times off and on during our touring years, and he remained a good friend. He will be greatly missed.”
A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe.
He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.
Latest posts by Richard Thompson (see all)
- The Music of the Stanley Brothers – Gary B Reid - March 2, 2015
- The Story behind the Song – Church in the Wildwood - February 26, 2015
- Bluegrass in Baltimore – The Hard Drivin’ Sound and Its Legacy - February 20, 2015
If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to receive more just like it.