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Rockin' Robin by Bobby Day

Album: Rockin' RobinReleased: 1958Charted:
2
29
  • Originally titled "Rock-In Robin," this was the only Top 40 hit for Bobby Day, whose sound was a hybrid of Pop and R&B. His innocent, upbeat songs were a great fit for Michael Jackson, who's 1972 recording of "Rockin' Robin" also went to #2 in the US. Also in 1972, Michael's group The Jackson Five went to #13 with Bobby Day's "Little Bitty Pretty One." Day's version of "Rockin' Robin" was a #1 R&B hit.
  • This song was written by Leon René, a songwriter and record executive who also wrote "Little Bitty Pretty One" and "Over and Over" with Day. The songwriting credits get confusing, as René used pseudonyms. On "Rockin' Robin," he is credited as either Jimmy or Jesse Thomas. Bobby Day is also sometimes credited as a co-writer on the song under his real name, the very appropriate Robert Byrd. Another name that sometimes shows up on the credits is Michael Mc Ginnis, which might be another name Day used.

    "We sort of had a little deal on this song," Day explained. He says that René pitched him the song, and Day recorded it using the musician from his former group, the Hollywood Flames. That group had a #11 hit with Buzz-Buzz-Buzz" earlier in 1958. The changed their names to the Satellites just prior to recording "Rockin' Robin."
  • Musicians on this track included Barney Kessel on guitar and Earl Palmer on drums. That famous piccolo part was played by Plas Johnson, who was better known as a saxophone player - he did the Pink Panther theme. These guys were some of the first call Los Angeles area studio musicians who played on hundreds of sessions and built a reputation for their skill and proficiency. Later on, musicians like Hal Blaine, Glen Campbell and Carol Kaye were added to mix.
  • In the '60s and '70s, this was widely covered by many popular artists, including Chuck Berry, Gene Vincent, The Hollies, Cliff Richard and The Spinners. In 1980, the song was also featured on The Muppets, with their house band The Electric Mayhem performing it in a tree with some feathered friends.
  • The B-side of this single was a song called "Over And Over," which in 1965 became a US #1 hit for The Dave Clark Five when they covered it.
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Comments: 5

On December 18th, 1958 Bobby Day performed "Rockin' Robin" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
Four months earlier on Aug. 4th it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; it peaked at #2 (for 2 weeks) & spent 21 weeks on the Top 100...
And on October 13th, 1958 it reached #1 (for 2 weeks) on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart...
Michael Jackson covered it in 1972 as "Rock-in Robin"; he peaked at #2 on both the Top 100 & R&B charts...
In 1964 the Rivieras released their version, they peaked at #96...
Mr. Day also performed "The Bluebird, The Buzzard, and The Oriole" on 'AB' that day; it reached #54 on the Top 100...
RIP Mr. Day (1930-1990) & Mr. Jackson (1958-2009).
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
Rockin Robin was not written by Bobby Day, Bobby purchased the song from Ray King who was the writter. Ray King and the Kingmen (Rock a Billy Hall of Fame) Ray sold him the song and Bobby had the rights, but he was not the writer.Keith - Patterson, La
This chick about drove me nuts playing this original record on a jukebox over and over
in a retro's 50's joint. she worked there as a waitress!
Steve Dotstar - Los Angeles, Ca
I think he should've used his real name on the
label of this 45. Bobby Day's real name was
Robert Byrd. Get it Robin - Byrd.
Frank - Valley Stream, Ny
Day's version is the best.Jon - Oakridge, Or