Bobby Caldwell was born in Manhattan, New York, in 1951 but raised in Miami, Florida. Being raised in Florida, surrounded by music types such as Haitian, Latin, reggae, and R&B, affected Bobby greatly. Bobby’s parents were also in the show business industry, so his career decision came easily.
Caldwell began playing piano and guitar at the age of ten. When Little Richard found him, he was on the verge of a breakout. Bobby was in a band named Katmandu at the time, and Little Richard wanted them to join his tour.
However, it did not result in a recording deal, and Bobby suffered as an artist early in his career. He performed in many bands in Los Angeles and took his tunes to every big record label in town, but no one wanted to sign him. Despite his apparent potential, Bobby opted to take a step back.
There was nothing that occurred. He made the choice to quit and borrow money to return to Florida and leave the music industry, Bobby Caldwell said.
Later, he met Steve Alaimo, a teen idol and vocalist from the early 1960s. Steve had begun working as a producer and had instantly signed Bobby.
The soulful and talented vocalist would go on to create numerous albums and become noted for his smooth-voiced musicianship. He mastered everything from blue-eyed soul to pop, R&B, and reggae and went on to become one of the music industry’s most renowned figures.
Bobby Caldwell shot to fame in the late 1970s when his song “What You Won’t Do for Love” hit the airwaves. The jazzily mellow tune was a tremendous hit when it was published in 1978, reaching the top ten on Billboard Magazine’s Hot 100.
Bobby, on the other hand, was a faceless vocalist at the time. On the lovely and enigmatic cover of “What You Won’t Do for Love,” there was simply a silhouette of him.
It was done on purpose. That wasn’t done to be smart or anything, but they wanted the song to be assessed by its substance rather than its appearance, Bobby said.
Caldwell, a multi-instrumentalist, died on March 14, 2023, at his home in the Great Meadows portion of Independence Township, New Jersey.
According to his wife, Mary Caldwell, her husband died in her arms after a protracted illness. He was 71.
His wife posted on Twitter that Bobby died in his own house. When he walked away from them, she clutched him tightly in her arms. She’ll be devastated for the rest of her life. She also thanked all for their prayers throughout the years.
Bobby passed away here at home. I held him tight in my arms as he left us. I am forever heartbroken. Thanks to all of you for your many prayers over the years. He had been "FLOXED," it took his health over the last 6 years and 2 months. Rest with God, my Love. -Mary Caldwell— Bobby Caldwell (@bobbycaldwell) March 15, 2023
Caldwell’s cause of death has not been disclosed, although Mary reports that Bobby had major health problems after taking an antibiotic recommended to him in 2017. That caused “havoc” on his physique, according to Mary.
He was given that with a runny nose and cough, and that should never have occurred, but it did, and it’s irreversible if you get struck very hard like he did, Mary said, adding, It really takes a toll.
Peace be with you. Thank you, Bobby Caldwell, for all of your tremendous contributions to music. You will be sorely missed – rest in peace!