Thursday, August 13, 2009
Jango Song Of The Day-Bobby Day
Today Rockin' Robin is probably best known for Michael Jackson's 1972 smash hit version. But it was originally a top five hit in 1958 for Los Angeles doo wop veteran Bobby Day. It was his only top 40 hit. He was born Bobby Byrd July 1, 1928 in Fort Worth, TX and moved to Los Angeles as a teen. He was the lead singer of The Hollywood Flames, not to be confused with Bobby Byrd of James Brown's Famous Flames. So The Hollywood Flames kicked around for several years in the 50s until they signed with Leon Rene's Class label in 1957. Day left to found Bob & Earl with Earl Nelson but left and Bob & Earl would later hit gold with Harlem Shuffle without Day. They recorded for Class under various names and Day wrote Little Bitty Pretty One which would be a big hit for Thurston Harris. In 1958, Day would finally hit the jackpot when Rockin' Robin reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Leon Rene wrote the song under the name Jimmie Thomas. Rene also wrote When The Swallows Come Back To Capistrano. Bobby Day continued to record but was unable to duplicate the success of Rockin' Robin though he wrote Over And Over which was a #1 hit for the Dave Clark Five in 1965. And of course Michael Jackson successfully covered Rockin' Robin in 1972. Ace Records has released a Bobby Day comp but his music is very repetitive so I recommend this excellent various artists comp also from Ace. Bobby Day died on July 15, 1990 at age 62. Here's Bobby Day performing Rockin' Robin on The Art Laboe Show in Los Angeles 1958.