Robert Crawford, the subject of Lisa Johnson’s documentary His Name is Bob, is happy to call Dallas his home. If you enjoy the music scene around downtown Dallas (which, if you’re reading this, you probably do), then there is a fair chance you have met Bob at some point or another. Bob is a character you can’t miss, and for many, one that you cannot forget.
Often referred to as “Keyboard Bob” or “Deep Ellum Bob,” Bob can be found dancing on the floors of music venues or chatting with locals, usually carrying his Casio keyboard. Having frequented the area for decades, Bob is now a recognizable figure in the community, and he is always more than happy to have his photo taken by fans.
Growing up, Bob had a difficult life. After a childhood of physical and emotional abuse, his mom left him when he was only eight, bringing him to the Laconia State School for the Feeble-Minded, with no intention of returning.
Bob dealt with his issues by drinking to the point of becoming an alcoholic. He fought through this addiction, and he’s been sober since 1970. He came to Dallas when he was 40 years old, being abandoned (once again) by his sister. After suffering a life with a poor IQ of only 63, anxiety, and alcoholism, he had finally found a home in Dallas.
Often asking for money or a ride home, Bob is sometimes seen by locals as a nuisance, but for the most part, he is a welcome addition to the night, always bringing along a few smiles and dance moves to cheer people up or give them a laugh.
In March, a GoFundMe page was created to raise $1,000 for Bob while he was facing undeclared personal challenges. The page reached its goal, raising $1,177. Last week, the Dallas Observer reported that Bob was in the hospital, recovering from surgery. The reason for the 67-year-old’s surgery was not stated.
Whether you find him annoying, fun, interesting, kind, or all of the above, there’s no doubt Keyboard Bob will leave an impression on your night.
Go out tonight, and any night. Jukely is a concert subscription that gives members guestlist access to hundreds of music events – for one price. Whenever you want to go out, you’ll always have something to do. Learn more and sign up at jukely.com.