Bobby Robinson

The Original Bobby’s Happy House, 301 West 125th St.

Bobby’s In Th Early 90’s.

They’re going to bury Bobby Robinson (Morgan Clyde Robinson, born April 16, 1917, in Union, S.C.) tomorrow at the United House Of Prayer For All People on 8th Ave and 125th Street, the viewing is 3-6 PM with a service to follow.  Obit can be found here.
Bobby’s the last of the great New York record men, he died early this week at age 93, but he really died a few years ago when he could no longer afford the rent on his 125th St. record store Bobby’s Happy House (his old store is now a KFC, he was relocated around the corner for a few years,  that building was torn down and Bobby was out on his ass), Bobby’s Happy House which had been on the block since 1946.  Priced out nearly twenty years ago, the block is now home to Starbucks and Bill Clinton and the white gentrification of Harlem.
  Christ, how many great R&B and rock’n’roll records did Bobby make?  Kansas City by Wilbert Harrison, the #1 record the day I was born (May 23, ’59), always made me feel like we had a personal bond. Lee Dorsey, Wild Jimmy Spruill,  Lightnin’ Hopkins, Elmore James, a couple of hundred great doo wop records, early hip hop, Jerry Wexler couldn’t shine his belt buckle.  I met him many times when Jimmy Spruill would take me by the record store, he always had a funny story to share, a smile, a joke, and some honest advice.  Bye bye pal, the town won’t be the same without you.
Bobby & Buddy- What’s The Word, Thunderbird (Fury 1008)

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