As I continue to do a lot of really tedious work trying to make damaged Hi8 video footage viewable, I thought I’d share a very rare color photo of Rockin’ Robin Roberts.
Rockin’ Robin Roberts is a very important person in the legend of LOUIE LOUIE. His version of the song recorded with the Wailers, released in 1961 by Etiquette Records, is considered be the inspirational archetype that led to the recordings two years later by both the Kingsmen and Paul Revere & the Raiders. This is an extremely rare image of Robin with the Blue Notes, a band led by Little Bill Engelhart. A few years after this photo, Robin and bassist Buck Ormsby left the Blue Notes to join up with the Wailers.
While there’s no question that other musicians (Ron Holden & Playboys, The Frantics, Dave Lewis, the Swinging Esquires, among others) performed LOUIE LOUIE in the Pacific Northwest between 1957-1963, there’s a certain degree of debate whether Rockin Robin or Little Bill were the first musicians to record Richard Berry‘s catchy little composition. One thing that cannot be denied is the fact that Rockin’ Robin created a very powerful rendition of the song that inspired countless other bands in the Northwest to perform this song.
One could make the case that Rockin’ Robin was the quintessential “misssing link” between Richard Berry and the Kingsmen.