Bobby Batten

Born1946
60s-70s HometownLake Worth, Lantana
High SchoolTwin Lakes High School
Main InstrumentDrums
Other Instruments 
Early Influences 
Local Bands, Approximate Years 
Current HometownLantana
Current Occupation 
Current Musical Involvement 
Comments, HighlightsBobby Batten began entertaining at age five with his sister Frances doing a tap dance – roller skate routine. At 11 he won a local Checkers/Chess competition. Unfortunately also around this time a childhood vision problem (retinitis pigmentosa) rendered him legally blind. He became interested in the drums and taught himself enough to play in local rock bands in high school. At 18 he got married, and then spent 10 years with the Hewey Grant Band. (His wife Helen also had musical interests. She performed solo, and sang with the John Cimino Quartet in 1983. She later joined Bobby as vocalist in the band About Time.)

In 1974 Bobby joined The Marshall Grant Orchestra. The group played the local clubs in Palm Beach and toured the country, backing stars like Lou Rawls and Perry Como. After 10 years Bobby retired from the road. He continued playing locally with About Time and started working for Lighthouse for the Blind. His dedication there earned him the area Blind Employee of the Year award. He also developed an interest in ham radios and became a licensed technician and operator and a member of the Amateur Radio Emergency System.

Helen became an appeals court clerk at the Palm Beach County Courthouse. They have two daughters, and Bobby still plays the drums.(2009)

Info/Sources:
P. B. Post Archives, 8-6-1994. Also, articles.sun-sentinel.com
Check out Sun Sentinel 4-14-1994 story “Organization Honors Worker” for more detail on the Batten family’s battle with retinitis pigmentosa.
twinlakeshigh.ning.com/ Alumni blog, Bobby Batten’s page. (Unable to find info on Hewey/Huey Grant)