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The Traditional Delta and Country Blues

Bob Robinson

b. September 16, 1893 in New York, NY, d. spring of 1970, active 1920s - 1930s.

There is some mystery as to who Bob Robinson actually was. His name appears connected to a series of sides issued by a loose group of Chicago musicians under the monikers the Hokum Boys and the Down Home Boys (depending on what label) in the early to mid-'30s. Most of these sides were issued by Paramount Records, and a Bob Robinson was listed as a singer, guitarist, clarinetist, and banjo player on some of these cuts. These were hokum blues releases (hokum was then in its heyday) generally centered around Jimmy Blythe on piano, and the actual identity of the multi-instrumentalist Bob Robinson is a bit vague. It would appear that, at least to some researchers, the mysterious Bob Robinson was actually Alexander Robinson, who was married to composer and pianist Aletha Dickerson, who also happened to be a staffer at Paramount Records. Robinson was known as a pretty fair pianist (although he reportedly never tracked a side on piano), as a fine baritone singer, and as a composer, songwriter, and piano teacher. He and his wife owned and ran a music store that was frequented by various musicians and performers, including Little Brother Montgomery, and Alexander Robinson also hosted a music program with Blythe on the KYW radio station for a time. If Alexander Robinson is indeed the same person as Bob Robinson, and there is debate on the matter, then he was born September 16, 1893 in New York City and died in the spring of 1970. - Bob Robinson Biography by Steve Leggett.