Composer and performer Robert Drasnin was born in Charleston on November 17, 1927. His parents were Eastern European immigrants who met while working at a munitions factory in Nitro, about 15 miles west of Charleston.
When Drasnin was 10, his family moved to California. In high school, he played sax and clarinet in an all-star band that provided music for Hoagy Carmichael’s NBC radio show. He also performed with big band leaders Tommy Dorsey and Les Brown. His 1959 solo release, Voodoo, remains a classic of the “exotica” genre.