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Episode #207 – The Robins

Air Week: April 21-27, 2014

The RobinsThe Robins

This week, the “Juke In The Back” features The Robins, one of the earliest and most influential West Coast R&B vocal groups. They first appeared on wax in April of 1949 as the 4 Bluebirds, backed up by bandleader extraordinaire, Johnny Otis, who had discovered the group at his Barrelhouse Nightclub during a talent competition. Otis had the Robins duet with Little Esther on the 1950 smash, “Double Crossing Blues,” which spent more than 2 months at the top of the R&B charts. Real fame came when the group hooked up with the young, talented songwriting duo of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. On their Spark Records, the Robins scored with “Riot In Cell Block #9″ and “Smokey Joe’s Caf ,” two early rock n’ roll smashes. Two members would leave The Robins and form The Coasters with Leiber and Stoller and much of their history is complicated, but host Matt The Cat gets to the bottom of it all with this “Juke In The Back” look at The Robins’ early career. This truly is the “soul that came BEFORE rock n’ roll” and you’ll only hear it on the “Juke In The Back.”

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