This photo of the Bob Martin Band was taken at the Urbana Country Club on New Year’s Eve, 1951, and submitted to this newspaper 50 years later by George Cox. Of the hundreds of musicians who played for Robert K. Martin when he directed the Urbana High School band from 1954-1984, not many knew that he also led a popular dance band before and during his tenure there.
Pictured on this occasion (from left) are George Cox, Herb Magly, Don Gilbert, Dick Reed, Mel Parshall, and Martin on piano. Although Parshall, a pilot for Grimes, played on this occasion, brothers Lee and Malcolm Reich also drummed for Martin.
The Champaign County Historical Museum is a not-for-profit organization that depends upon donations and dues to preserve, protect, archive and display the artifacts that tell the Champaign County story. The free public museum located at 809 E. Lawn Ave., Urbana, is open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.