The first of many labels started by Bobby Robinson making him one of the first – and most notable – black independent record owners of the rock era.

Robinson operated one of the first black owned businesses in Harlem, Bobby’s Record Shop, opened in 1946 and through the store which became a hot spot for other labels specializing in black when trying to determine what sold, he began getting interested in making records in addition to selling them.

In late 1951 he started Robin Records, acquiring masters from other labels as well as producing them on his own, including his first hit, The Mello-Moods “Where Are You?”.

Soon after he was informed there was another Robin Records in existence out of Tennessee and so he changed the name to Red Robin and continued releasing primarily rock vocal groups and sax instrumentals augmented by blues records through mid-decade, by which time he started other labels beginning with Whirlin’ Disc Records in 1956, Fury Records the following year. Sue Records, Fire Records and Enjoy Records followed in short order and Robinson’s music empire remained strong into the 1980’s when he was among the first to release rap singles, including Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, The Funky Four +1 and Spoonie Gee, who was Robinson’s nephew.

Red Robin though started it all and had a few notable hits over the years while their vocal group output by The Vocaleers, The Scarlets, The Velvets and The Rainbows, among others, was noted for the clean crisp sound and well-rehearsed arrangements.

RED ROBIN RECORDS DISCOGRAPHY (Records Reviewed To Date On Spontaneous Lunacy):

THE MELLO-MOODS: Where Are You (Now That I Need You) ★ 10 ★ (Robin 105; December, 1951)
THE MELLO-MOODS: How Could You? (6) (Robin 105; December, 1951)
THE MELLO-MOODS: I Couldn’t Sleep A Wink Last Night (4) (Red Robin 104; April, 1952)
THE MELLO-MOODS: And You Just Can’t Go Through Life Alone (2) (Red Robin 104; April, 1952)
RED PRYSOCK: Wiggles (5) (Red Robin 107; June, 1952)
RED PRYSOCK: Crying My Heart Out (5) (Red Robin 107; June, 1952)
THE DU-DROPPERS: Can’t Do Sixty No More (4) (Red Robin 108; September, 1952)
THE DU-DROPPERS: Chain Me Baby (4) (Red Robin 108; September, 1952)
THE VOCALEERS: Be True (7) (Red Robin 113; December, 1952)
THE VOCALEERS: Oh! Where (5) (Red Robin 113; December, 1952)