Robbs, The

Band members               Related acts

- Bruce Robb (aka Bruce Donaldson) -- vocals, keyboards

- Craig Robb (aka Craig Donaldson) -- drums, percussion

- Dee Robb (aka David Robinson)-- vocals, guitar (1966-70)
- Joe Robb (aka Joe Robinson) -- vocals, guitar (1966-70) 



- Dee Robb (solo effort)




Genre: pop

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  The Robbs

Company: Mercury

Catalog: SR 61130

Year: 1967

Country/State: Oconomowoc, Wisconsin

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: minor ring, edge and corner wear; stereo pressing

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 5198

Price: $40.00

Cost: $66.00


I know you're dying to know if these guys were actually related ... turns out they were.  Keyboardist Bruce, singer/guitarist Dee and guitarist Joe Robb were in fact brothers. Drummer Craig was their cousin. 


So much for the important stuff.  While I don't know a great deal about this Oconomowoc, Wisconsin-based outfit, they apparently got their initial recognition in the early-1960s after relocating to Florida where they began backing the likes of Bryan Hyland, Gene Pitney, Del Shannon and Bobby Vee. 1964 and 1965 saw them attract wider attention as an opening act for The Dave Clark Five. The following year they were tagged to replace Paul Revere & the Raiders as the house band for the television program Where the Action Is. The resulting exposure resulted in a contract with Mercury.


Over the next year the group released an impressive string of five 45s:


- 1866's 'Race With The Wind b/w 'In A Funny Sort Of Way' (Mercury catalog 72579) 

- 1966's 'Next Time You See Me' b/w 'I Don't Feel Alone' (Mercury catalog number 72616) 

- 1966's 'Bittersweet' b/w 'End Of The Week' (Mercury catalog number 72641)

- 1966's 'Rapid Transit' b/w 'Cynthia Loves' (Mercury catalog number 72678)

- 1967's 'Girls, Girls' b/w 'Violets Of Dawn' (Mercury catalog number 72730) 

In 1967 Mercury released the self-produced "The Robbs".  Basically a compilation of the earlier singles, the album was certainly a period piece, but was far better than the lightweight popsters label they'd been slammed with. While they were definitely a pop-oriented outfit, overlooking the yellow polka dot outfits, their self-titled album is nothing short of wonderful.  Musically these singles managed to blend the best of protest folk-rock ('Violets of Dawn'), Byrds-styled jangle rock ('Race with the Wind'), should've-been-a-massive-radio-hit pop ('Cynthia Loves' and 'See Jane Run') and light psychedelia (the backward guitar propelled 'Next Time You See Me' and the freak-out 'Jolly Miller'). Great songs (most penned by Dee), killer hooks and strong harmony vocals ... how can you not go for this?   Naturally the album vanished without a trace (well it actually charted, somehow managing to hit # 200).

"The Robbs" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Violets of Dawn (Eric Anderson) - 2:25
2.) Race with the Wind (Dee Robb) - 2:30
3.) Cynthia Loves (Dee Robb) - 2:37
4.) Next Time You See Me (Dee Robb) - 2:34
5.) Girls Girls (Dee Robb) - 2:31

(side 2)

1.) Bittersweet (P.F. Sloan - Steve Barri) - 2:35
2.) See Jane Run (Dee Robb) - 2:42
3.) In a Funny Sort of Way (Dee Robb) - 2:22
4.) Rapid Transit (C. Smith) - 2:39
5.) Jolly Miller (arranged and adapted by Dee Robb) - 3:52

With Mercury dropping them from its recording roster the band drifted from label to label, though they continued to record and release singles through 1970. 


- 1968's 'Castles In The Air' b/w 'I Don't Want To Discuss It' (Atlantic catalog number 45-2511) 

- 1968's 'Changin' Winds' b/w 'A Good Time Song' (Atlantic catalog number 45-2578) 

- 1968's 'Movin'' b/w 'Write To You' (Dunhill catalog number 4208) 

- 1969's 'Last Of The Wine' b/w 'Written In The Dust' (Dunhill catalog number 4233) 

- 1970's 'I'll Never Get Enough' b/w 'It All Comes Back' (ABC Paramount catalog number 11270)


In 1971 they reappeared as Cherokee (see separate entry) and subsequently established Cherokee Studios, turning their attention to engineering and production work.  Bruce and Dee have worked on hundreds of albums, covering the entire rocks spectrum from The Lemonheads to John Mellencamp.




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