Robert John

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Robert John
Born (1946-01-03) January 3, 1946 (age 76)
Brooklyn, New York City, United States

Robert John (born Robert John Pedrick, Jr., January 3, 1946)[1] is an American singer-songwriter perhaps best known for his 1979 hit single, "Sad Eyes", which reached number 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100.


John was born in Brooklyn, New York City, United States.[1] Under the name of Bobby Pedrick, Jr., he first hit the pop chart in 1958 when he was only 12 years old with "White Bucks and Saddle Shoes", written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman.[1] As the lead singer of Bobby & The Consoles, he had the minor 1963 hit entitled "My Jelly Bean" on Diamond Records. By 1965, he had changed his name and signed with MGM Records for two ill-fated singles.[1] In 1967, he signed a contract with Columbia Records and released a string of singles with help from writing partner Mike Gately.

After a short tenure from 1970 to 1971 with Herb Alpert's A&M Records, 1971 brought his next hit, a cover version of The Tokens' 1961 hit, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight",[1] which climbed to number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972, selling over one million copies and receiving a gold disc awarded by the Recording Industry Association of America on March 15, 1972.[2] Several years later, recording for EMI America Records, John hit number 1 with "Sad Eyes",[1] one of the few chart-topping singles of 1979 that had no disco beat or influence.

The 1980s saw John recording for Arista Records with collaborator and guitarist Bobby Mancari and keyboardist Steve Butera. A newly recorded version of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" was released on his 1992 greatest hits album.

John, who has not performed often in concert in recent decades, received a chance to appear in his hometown of New York as part of a "70s Reunion Concert" produced by radio station WPLJ-FM on March 24, 1995. Among the acts who took the stage at the sold-out concert were Three Dog Night, Rupert Holmes, Looking Glass featuring Elliot Lurie, Andrew Gold, Alan O'Day, Ian Lloyd (lead singer of Stories), Sonny Geraci (lead singer of the Outsiders and Climax), and John.

Select discography[edit]


  • 1968: If You Don't Want My Love
  • 1971: On the Way Up
  • 1979: Robert John – US No. 68, CAN No. 81
  • 1980: Back on the Street – US No. 205


Year Title Chart positions
US US AC Australia[3] UK CAN
1958 "White Bucks and Saddle Shoes" (as Bobby Pedrick, Jr.) 74
1963 "My Jelly Bean" (as Bobby & The Consoles)
1968 "If You Don't Want My Love" 49 42 21
"Don't Leave Me" 108
1970 "When the Party is Over" 71 60
1972 "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" 3 6 31 15
"Hushabye" 99 70
1979 "Sad Eyes" 1 10 9 31 3
"Only Time" 102 42
"Lonely Eyes" 41 49 80
1980 "Hey There Lonely Girl" 31 10 81
"Sherry" 70
1983 "Bread and Butter" 68
1984 "Greased Lightning"*
  • *"Greased Lightning" – peaked at No. 60 on the US Dance chart



  1. ^ a b c d e f Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 1290. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  2. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. pp. 295–296. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  3. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 159. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  4. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 286. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.

External links[edit]