Music 01

Lester "Bobbie Lester" Current

June 14, 1937 ~ November 9, 2021 (age 84)

Obituary

Lester Robert Current, age 84 of Minneapolis, MN passed from this life on November 9, 2021.

He is best known by his stage name Bobbie Lester.

Bobbie was born in Detroit, MI. He was preceded in death by his parents Lester Current Sr. and Emma Louise (Washington) Current, grandparents John T. and Earsey Current and brothers Kenneth, Eugene, and Charles Current and stepson Jason Fagin. 

He is survived by his wife Sherry Fagin, his son Phillip R. Current, sisters Gwen, Gloria Jean, Sharon, Carol (Cookie), Dorothy, brother Jimmy, daughter in law Marjorie, grandchildren, his aunt Delores, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Bobbie began playing tenor saxophone at age 11.  Grand father Daddy Vernon bought him is horn.  His first band was at Second Grace Methodist Church with the Reverend Burton. 

He took lessons at Whirlers Music store in downtown Detroit and then played in this band at the Chatsey’s High School where he graduated in 1954.  His first band he took over from his uncle’s Gloster Current’s band, the Nightengales at age 16. The band members were Roy Brooks, Ed McCoy, Lonnie Hollis, Pete Douglas, and Lewis Hayes.

Bobbie enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served from 1954 to 1957 in Japan, playing in the Air Force band.  Upon discharge he went to Los Angeles to be with his father Lester Current who had played with Louis Armstrong and other big bands. 

Bobbie met and married his first wife Rose Amos who gave birth to their son Phillip in 1959. 

Bobbie played tenor saxophone in L.A. clubs and then joined Little Richard’s original Upsetter’s band. The Upsetter’s Band featured LaLa Wilson, Teddy Reynolds, Clifford Soloman, Maurice Simon, Ronnie Salico, Adolf Jacobs, and Rafael.

In 1959 Bobbie formed his own band the Gay Clefs in Los Angeles then went to Honolulu in 1959. The Gay Clefs featured Miles Grayson, Lermon Horton, Howard Green, and Benny Brown. 

After relocating to Honolulu, he founded a second Gay Clefs band with Miles Grayson, Andrew Heard, and Mickey Conway. 1960 Bobbie returned to L.A. and formed the Allstar’s with Henry Dixon Jr., Lee Spells, returning with the band to Hawaii. 

Bobbie stayed there until 1964, then returned to L.A. to play with Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five; the five guys named Moe.  The band featured Lala Wilson, Pete Smith, Ronnie Salico, and Louie Jordan.  After one year of playing with Louie Jordan he had a band behind T-bone Walker; Bobbie Lester, Pete Fox, Miles Grayson, and Andrew Heard.

In 1966 he permanently moved to Honolulu and played seven nights a week for 35 years at the Swing Club and the Hubba Hubba Club and was known as, “Mr. Music.” 

Over the years he made many musician friends; Jimmy Thomas, Don Johnson, Nate Dove, Johnny Tucker, Charles Wright, Johnny Taylor, Screaming Jay Hawkins, Tina Turner and Ike, Etta James, Little Willie John, Johnny Guitar Watson, Al Jacobs, Billy Preston, Jimi Hendrix, Mickey Conway, B.B. King, Q Martin, and John Lee Hooker. 

In 1990 Bobbie moved to Minneapolis to live with his wife Sherry.  His son Phillip joined him there a few years later.  Bobbie toured with the Phillip Walker Blues Band throughout the U.S., Europe, Japan, and Canada.  The band included Don Johnson, Jimmy Thomas, Johnny Tucker, Aaron Tucker, Nate Dove, Leon Blue, Alvie Ventura, and Dino Spells. While living in Minneapolis he played with John Beach. 

Bobbie suffered a stroke while touring in 2005 in Idaho.  He lived in recovery from the stroke at home with grace and dignity.  He was found to have cancer shortly before his death and had hospice care at home, surrounded by his loving family.

 

Arrangements entrusted to SUMMIT Funeral & Cremation

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