SPOTLIGHT ON THE ROBINS - PART TWO (RPM/CROWN LABELS)
SPOTLIGHT ON THE ROBINS - PART TWO (RPM/CROWN LABELS)
"Found Me A Sugar Daddy"/
"I Made A Vow"/
Above: Circa 1954 photo of The Robins (L-R) Bobby Nunn (bass), Ty Terrell (tenor), Roy Richard (baritone), Billy Richard (tenor), and Grady Chapman (tenor). These are the group members on Crown 106. The same line-up is on Crown 120 as by "The Robbins," also released in 1954. It's probable that "The Drifters" on Crown 108 are actually The Robins, but may be a different line-up than on the other Crown sides.
Click HERE for an article about The Robins by Marv Goldberg and Todd Baptista.
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Above: Photo of Mickey Champion. The Nic Nacs consisted of Mickey, Bobby Nunn, Ty Terrell, Roy Richard, and Billy Richard. Mickey recorded as a single artist for RPM (1951), Aladdin (1952), and with the Roy Milton Band on DooTone (1956). She performed with Roy Milton (whom she married) until at least 1958.
Above: Clipping from The Billboard dated 4/28/45. The Modern/RPM Records complex was owned and operated by brothers Saul, Jules and Joe Bihari.
Above: Clipping from The Billboard dated 11/20/54. This deal never materialized. Tongue in cheek, maybe Stoller didn't like the idea of being Leiber's "assistant."
Above: Clipping from The Billboard dated 11/19/55. This deal did materialize. The referred song that Leiber-Stoller wrote for Joe Turner was probably "The Chicken And The Hawk" on Atlantic 1080 and for Ruth Brown "I Want To Do More" on Atlantic 1082. They also wrote "Lucky Lips," which was a hit for Ruth on Atlantic 1125. The "new unit" built around Carl Gardner and Bobby Nunn was The Coasters.
Above: Label image of RPM 342 recorded on November 2, 1950 and released in December 1951. This record was released for the Christmas market in 1950, 1951 and 1952 (as RPM 313, 342, and then 313 again). "Found Me A Sugar Daddy" was also released with a different flip side in February 1951 (as RPM 316). The Bihari brothers certainly knew how to get good mileage out of their inventory.
While The Nic Nacs had only the records noted above, "The Robbins" did have one release on Modern Records in 1951. That grouping is the same as The Nic Nacs, but without Mickey Champion.
The Billboard Review (12/13/52):THE NIC NACS—RPM 313
Found Me A Sugar Daddy (74) Boy-girl blues is shouted strongly by the lead singers. Rhythm is slow but penetrating and side might catch some juke coin.
Gonna Have A Merry Xmas (67) Blues about a romantic holiday reunion has a sad, sad sound. Side isn't likely to do much.
(NOTE: Ratings had a range of 0-100 with 0-39 as "poor," 40-59 as "satisfactory," 70-79 as "good," 80-89 as "excellent," and 90-100 as "tops.") [The range of 60-69 is not shown in this edition of The Billboard, nor in the previous or subsequent issue.]
Above: Label image of Crown 106 recorded on December 31, 1953 and released in February 1954. The red label with silver print and silver ring is consistent with the Modern and RPM label designs.
The Robins also had releases on Excelsior (as The Four Bluebirds, 1949), Aladdin (1949), Aladdin's subsidiary Score (1949), Savoy (1949-50), Recorded In Hollywood (1950-51), RCA Victor (1953), Spark (1954-55), Atco (1955), and Whippet (1956-57). They backed up Maggie Hathaway on Recorded In Hollywood (1950), Little Esther on Savoy (1950) and Mel Walker (as The Bluenotes) on Savoy's subsidiary Regent (1950).
The Billboard (12/5/53): Bihari's Crown R. & B. Label Bows
HOLLYWOOD, Nov. 28—Jules Bihari, prexy of Cadet Record Pressing Company here and previously associated with the Modern and RPM record firms, this week bowed his entry in the rhythm and blues field via a label tagged Crown Records.... Initial releases of the new label have already been cut, with Bihari currently setting nationwide distribution.
[Note the "JB" prefix in the matrix number on the label. There was an apparently different "Crown Records" label, owned by Dick King and located in Los Angeles/Hollywood, from about 1950 to 1954.]
The Billboard Review (2/27/54):THE ROBINS—CROWN 106
I Made A Vow (76) A fairly good rhythm and blues ballad gets a first-rate performance from the vocal group. A pair of strong lead voices spark the reading.
Double Crossin' Baby (75) Good vocal group delivers a simple, riff item with plenty of drive and spirit. Could make noise with this.
(NOTE: Ratings had a range of 0-100 with 0-49 as "poor," 50-59 as "limited," 60-69 as "satisfactory," 70-79 as "good," 80-89 as "excellent," and 90-100 as "tops.")
Listen to this week's selections by The Nic Nacs on RPM 342 from 1951 and The Robins on Crown 106 from 1954:
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
[To download audio files, right-click on link and then select "Save (Link) Target As..."]
A. Stream RealAudio (DO NOT USE...LISTEN USING DOWNLOAD REALAUDIO)...
1. Found Me A Sugar Daddy - The Nic Nacs
2. Gonna Have A Merry Xmas - The Nic Nacs
3. I Made A Vow - The Robins
4. Double Crossin Baby - The Robins
ALL FOUR played in sequence
Click HERE for SPOTLIGHT ON THE ROBINS - PART ONE (SAVOY LABEL).
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