Big Boy Groves

Big Boy Groves (Ervin Groves Jr., January 20, 1927 - July 21, 1982) was an American rhythm & blues pianist, arranger, and composer. Ervin Groves Jr. was born in Oklahoma. After playing in the Army band, he became a bandleader and songwriter, appearing on labels like Money Records, Spark, Vita, and Dolphin in the 1950s, with songs like Big Boy's Bounce, You Can't Beat the Horses, and more. Growing up in La Jolla, Groves was interested in both music and art. He attended both the La Jolla Art Institute and San Diego City College, studying music at the latter before moving on to Westlake College of Music in Hollywood. After enlisting in the Army in the mid-1940s, he served in Japan, where he organized a special service band, playing both piano and trombone. He spent several years gigging in Guam and Hawaii, leading the house band at venues like the Royal Lahaina Hotel in Kaanapali, Maui, where he held residencies at Moby Dick's and at Coconut Willie. At the same time, he still pursued his muse as an illustrator, producing a cartoon book called The Funny Side of Hawaii. That was later followed by The Funny Side of Las Vegas, said to have been inspired by a visit to his friend, comedian Redd Foxx, in that city. His cartoons were so good that he drew for a local newspaper, and is said to have also invented several educational games. While in Hawaii, Groves wrote and arranged an album called Composer in Paradise. During this period, Groves also wrote Welcome to Paradise, which w...

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