From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Lester, Bobby [nee Robert L. Dallas]

(born: 1930  -  died: 1980) 

Bobby Lester, a tenor singer, was born in Louisville, KY. Lester sang with Harvey Fuqua, playing piano when both were teens in Louisville, KY, first performing in 1949. They became members of the Moonglows group in Cleveland, OH. Lester was the lead singer on most of the group's recordings from 1952-1960.

Prior to the group becoming a hit, Lester worked in a coal yard by day and sang at night. One of the group's best known hits is "Sincerely," released in December 1954. With success also came change: the group became known as Bobby Lester and the Moonglows for a bief period.

The group split up around 1960, and Lester returned to Louisville. He was managing a night club in 1970 when he revived the group as the New Moonglows and also revived the Flamingos [which had begun as a Black Jewish group in Chicago in the early 1950s]. The New Moonglows lasted for a couple of years and then reformed in 1972 with Lester, Fuqua, Alexander Graves, Chuck Lewis, and Doc Williams. They recorded the album The Return of the Moonglows. The group would be reconfigured again in 1978 and continue to perform with Lester as a member until his death in Louisville  from lung cancer in 1980. After his death, the Moonglows continued performing with a new leader into the 1990s. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.

See images and hear the Moonglows singing "Sincerely" (1972 version) on YouTube. For more see the Bobby Lester entry in The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars, by J. Simmonds; and the album The Best of Bobby Lester and the Moonglows. For more on the Moonglows see American Singing Groups, by J. Warner.

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Lester, Bobby [nee Robert L. Dallas],” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 23, 2024,

Last modified: 2020-09-21 17:05:07