Dennis Robbins

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Dennis Robbins
Birth nameDennis Anthony Robbins[1]
Born (1949-08-23) August 23, 1949 (age 73)
Hazelwood, North Carolina, U.S.
GenresCountry
Rock
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter
Instrument(s)Vocals
electric guitar
slide guitar
acoustic guitar
Years active1983–1994
LabelsNSD
MCA
Reprise
Giant
Formerly ofThe Rockets, Billy Hill

Dennis Anthony Robbins[2] (born August 23, 1949) is an American musician who first made himself known as a guitarist in the band Rockets. After his departure from The Rockets, he began a career in country music, recording three major-label albums and several singles of his own, in addition to writing hit singles for Highway 101, Shenandoah and Garth Brooks.

Biography[edit]

Robbins was born in Hazelwood, North Carolina on August 23, 1949. He learned to play guitar while in his teens, taking his influences from both rock & roll and bluegrass. After a brief stint in the United States Marine Corps, he moved to Detroit, Michigan, where he found work in several bands before joining a group known as Rockets.

After retiring from Rockets, Robbins moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where he was signed to MCA in 1986, recording his debut album The First of Me that year.[2] Later the same year, he founded the supergroup Billy Hill with songwriters Bob DiPiero and John Scott Sherrill. This group recorded one album on Reprise Records and charted three singles before disbanding in 1990.[2] The three members of Billy Hill also co-wrote "The Church on Cumberland Road", a Number One single for Shenandoah in early 1989, and Highway 101's "(Do You Love Me) Just Say Yes."[1]

Solo career & Billy Hill[edit]

After retiring from Rockets, Robbins moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where he was signed to MCA in 1986, recording his debut album The First of Me that year.[2] Later, as success was starting to lack on him, he founded the supergroup Billy Hill with songwriters Bob DiPiero and John Scott Sherrill. This group recorded one album on Reprise Records and charted three singles before disbanding in 1990.[2] The three members of Billy Hill also co-wrote "The Church on Cumberland Road", a Number One single for Shenandoah in early 1989, and Highway 101's "(Do You Love Me) Just Say Yes."[1]

Giant Records, a subsidiary label of Warner, opened a country music branch in 1990, and Robbins was the first act signed to this newly formed division.[2] Also that year, he contributed to another Number One single, when Garth Brooks topped the country music charts with "Two of a Kind, Workin' on a Full House" (which Robbins himself had charted with three years previous).[2][3]

Robbins' second album overall, Man With a Plan, was issued in 1992. Included on it was the single "Home Sweet Home", his only solo Top 40 hit on the country charts. Also found on this album was his own rendition of "I Am Just a Rebel" (which was later cut by both Confederate Railroad and Joy Lynn White), as well as the track "Paris, Tennessee", which was later cut by both Kenny Chesney and Tracy Lawrence. In 1993, he was named one of the New Faces of Country Music by the Country Radio Seminar.[4]

A second album for Giant, Born Ready, was issued in 1994, producing one more chart single "Mona Lisa On Cruise Control" (#68). He has not recorded any more albums ever since.

Songwriting[edit]

A few other of Robbins' penned material were later cut by other artists, such as: "Finally Friday" was recorded by Earl Thomas Conley on his 1988 album The Heart of It All and also by George Jones on his 1992 album Walls Can Fall. "No Chance To Dance" was first cut by Johnny Rodriguez in 1988 for his album Gracias and his version was released as a single in early 1989, but it peaked at No. 72 on the Billboard country singles chart. Then, Robbins later cut the song along with the co-writers of the song (Bob DiPiero and John Scott Sherrill) when they formed Billy Hill and it was released as a single in 1990, but their version didn't reach the charts. And then Highway 101 recorded the song in 1993 for their album The New Frontier, but their version wasn't released as a single. "Too Much Month at the End of the Money" was originally cut by Robbins when he formed the band Billy Hill, it peaked at No. 25 on Billboard in 1989 and it was later cut by Marty Stuart on his 2003 album Country Music, and he too would release it as a single where it would at No. 54. The Church on Cumberland Road was first recorded by Robbins in 1987, which served as the B-side to his MCA single Two of a Kind, Workin' on a Full House, which would later become a No. 1 hit for Garth Brooks, Cumberland Road would later become a No. 1 hit for the band Shenandoah in 1989.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • The First of Me (1986) (MCA)[5]
  • Man With a Plan (1992) (Giant)[6][7]
  • Born Ready (1994) (Giant)

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart
positions
Album
US Country CAN Country
1983 "If I Could Get Over You"
1986 "Hard Lovin' Man"[8] The First of Me
"The First of Me"[9]
1987 "Long Gone Lonesome Blues"[10] 63
"Two of a Kind (Workin' on a Full House)" 71
1992 "Home Sweet Home"[11] 34 73 Man With a Plan
"My Side of Town"[12] 59
"Good News, Bad News"
1993 "Looking for a Thing Called Love"[13] Born Ready
1994 "Mona Lisa on Cruise Control"[14] 68
"Travelin' Music"[15]
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Music videos[edit]

Year Video Director
1992 "Home Sweet Home" Roger Pistole
"My Side of Town"
1993 "Looking for a Thing Called Love"
"Mona Lisa on Cruise Control" Marc Ball

Chart Singles written by Dennis Robbins[edit]

The following is a list of Dennis Robbins compositions that were chart hits.

Year Single Title Recording Artist Chart Positions
Billboard Country Billboard Hot 100 RPM Country
1980 Desire
co-written with John Badanjek
The Rockets 70
1988 (Do You Love Me) Just Say Yes
co-written with Bob DiPiero and John Scott Sherrill
Highway 101 1 1
1989 The Church on Cumberland Road
co-written with Bob DiPiero and John Scott Sherrill
Shenandoah 1 1
No Chance to Dance
co-written with Bob DiPiero and John Scott Sherrill
Johnny Rodriguez 72
Too Much Month at the End of the Money
co-written with Bob DiPiero and John Scott Sherrill
Billy Hill 25
1990 Nickel to My Name
co-written with Bob DiPiero and John Scott Sherrill
Billy Hill 76
1991 Two of a Kind, Workin' on a Full House
co-written with Warren Haynes and Bobby Boyd
Garth Brooks 1 1
1998 When You Get to Be You
co-written with Curtis Wright and Michael Dan Ehmig
Lisa Brokop 64 57
2003 Too Much Month (At the End of the Money)
co-written with Bob DiPiero and John Scott Sherrill
Marty Stuart and the Fabulous Superlatives 54

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Gregory, Andy (2002). International who's who in popular music. p. 433. ISBN 9781857431612.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Brennan, Sandra; Brian Mansfield. "Dennis Robbins biography". Allmusic. Retrieved December 29, 2007.
  3. ^ Joyce, Mike (July 3, 1992). "Dennis Robbins, Sliding By". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on October 23, 2012. Retrieved December 29, 2007.
  4. ^ "New Faces of Country Music". Country Radio Seminar.
  5. ^ "Album Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. May 24, 1986. p. 76.
  6. ^ "Album Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. July 11, 1992. p. 46.
  7. ^ "Albums" (PDF). RPM. July 18, 1992. p. 10.
  8. ^ "Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. April 19, 1986. p. 85.
  9. ^ "Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. August 30, 1986. p. 83.
  10. ^ "Single Reviews". Billboard. December 6, 1986. p. 69.
  11. ^ "Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. May 2, 1992. p. 84.
  12. ^ "Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. August 29, 1992. p. 77.
  13. ^ "Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. July 31, 1993. p. 75.
  14. ^ "Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. December 11, 1993. p. 117.
  15. ^ "Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. May 21, 1994. p. 51.

External links[edit]