Alvin Robinson (musician)
|Also known as||Al Robinson
December 22, 1937|
New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
|Died||January 24, 1989
|Genres||Rhythm and blues|
|Occupations||Singer, guitarist, songwriter|
|Years active||c.1958 – c.1980|
|Labels||Imperial, Tiger, Red Bird, Atco, A.F.O., Pulsar|
Alvin "Shine" Robinson (December 22, 1937 – January 24, 1989), sometimes credited as Al Robinson, was an American rhythm and blues singer, guitarist, and songwriter, based in New Orleans. His recording of "Something You Got" reached the Billboard Hot 100 in 1964.
He was born in New Orleans, and by the late 1950s was established as a session musician in the city. In 1961 he recorded for Imperial Records in New Orleans, with "I'm Leaving You Today" betraying his influence by Ray Charles. His management was soon taken over by singer Joe Jones, who had had a hit with "You Talk Too Much" and who won Robinson a recording contract with Tiger Records, a new label set up in New York City by songwriters and record producers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. In 1964, he recorded a version of Chris Kenner's song "Something You Got". The song, featuring Robinson's "fantastically bluesy growl", rose to no.52 on the Billboard pop chart.
He moved with Leiber and Stoller to their next label, Red Bird Records, and recorded "Down Home Girl", a song written by Leiber with Artie Butler, arranged by Joe Jones, and produced by Leiber and Stoller. Although the record was critically acclaimed, and was regarded by Leiber and Stoller as the best record issued on the Red Bird label, it was not a commercial success, but was covered by the Rolling Stones on their 1965 album The Rolling Stones No. 2. Robinson's later recordings for Red Bird and its subsidiary Blue Cat label, including a reshaped version of "Let The Good Times Roll" arranged by Wardell Quezergue, also failed to reach the charts.
Robinson continued to record in his own name and as a session guitarist. He moved to Los Angeles, and recorded "Let Me Down Easy", written by King Curtis, for Atco in 1967. He also began playing with Dr. John, and appeared as a guitarist on the albums Babylon, Dr. John's Gumbo, and Hollywood Be Thy Name, as well as co-writing several album tracks with Dr. John. As a solo performer, Robinson recorded for Harold Battiste's A.F.O. and Pulsar labels; one of his recordings for Pulsar, "Sho' Bout To Drive Me Wild", featured contributions from many New Orleans musicians including Battiste, Dr. John, Jessie Hill and King Floyd. He was also credited on Carly Simon's album Playing Possum, and Ringo Starr's Goodnight Vienna.
Robinson later returned to New Orleans, where he died in 1989 at the age of 51.
- Dan Phillips, "Further Reflections On Shine, Part 1", Home of the Groove, 14 September 2010. Retrieved 12 May 2013
- Al Robinson at The "B" Side, 29 May 2008. Retrieved 12 May 2013
- John Broven, Rhythm and Blues in New Orleans, Pelican Publishing, 1988, p.192
- Blues Profiles: Alvin Robinson. Retrieved 11 May 2013
- Whitburn, Joel (1996). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-1995. Record Research. p. 375.
- Biography by Rovi at Allmusic.com. Retrieved 12 May 2013