Ikey Robinson

Isaac L. "Banjo Ikey" Robinson (July 28, 1904 – October 25, 1990) was an American banjoist and vocalist.

Born in Dublin, Virginia, United States, Robinson moved to Chicago, Illinois, in 1926, playing and recording with Jelly Roll Morton, Clarence Williams, and Jabbo Smith during 1928 and 1929. In 1929, Robinson recorded in Chicago with Georgia Tom, billed as The Hokum Boys. Their track, written by Dorsey, "I Had to Give Up Gym" was an early dirty blues song, sometimes described as hokum.

His groups included Ikey Robinson and his Band (w/ Jabbo Smith), The Hokum Trio, The Pods of Pepper, Windy City Five, and Sloke & Ike.

His jazz style influenced many subsequent players, and his 1929 recording "Rock Me Mama" is often cited as an early use of the term "rock" as it evolved from black gospel into rock and roll.

Robinson reunited in the 1970s with Smith for a global tour.

Robinson appeared in the 1985 film Louie Bluie, directed by Terry Zwigoff, a documentary about fellow musician Howard Armstrong. As recounted by Zwigoff, Robinson had not known Armstrong previously and was initially hesitant to meet him because of their differing musical styles. However, the two got on well and perform together in the documentary.

Birth and Death Data: Born July 28th, 1904 (Dublin), Died October 25th, 1990 (Chicago)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1927 - 1938

Roles Represented in DAHR: guitar, banjo, tenor vocal, composer, clarinet, vocalist, lyricist, songwriter

Notes: Listed on some Columbia labels as Banjo Ikey Robison.

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 101 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BVE-38681 10-in. 6/13/1927 Dark alley Jazz Wizards ; Richard M. Jones Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, banjo  
Victor BVE-38682 10-in. 6/13/1927 Hollywood shuffle Jazz Wizards ; Richard M. Jones Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, banjo  
Victor BVE-38683 10-in. 6/13/1927 Good stuff Jazz Wizards ; Richard M. Jones Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, banjo  
Victor BVE-38684 10-in. 6/13/1927 Smoked meat blues Jazz Wizards ; Richard M. Jones Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, banjo  
Victor BVE-57249 10-in. 12/10/1929 It's all gone now Down Home Boys Male vocal duet, with guitar and piano instrumentalist, guitar, vocalist, tenor vocal  
Victor BVE-57250 10-in. 12/10/1929 You do it Down Home Boys Male vocal duet, with guitar and piano vocalist, tenor vocal, instrumentalist, guitar  
Victor BSHQ-71939 10-in. 3/10/1932 Take me away from the river Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra ; Ikey Robinson Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo vocalist, tenor vocal  
Columbia W150379 10-in. 5/1/1930 I'm havin' my fun Alex Hill ; The Hokum Trio Instrumental trio, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, banjo, vocalist, tenor vocal  
Columbia W150380 10-in. 5/1/1930 You've had your way Alex Hill ; The Hokum Trio Instrumental trio, with male vocal solo composer, lyricist, instrumentalist, banjo, vocalist, tenor vocal  
Columbia W150381 10-in. 5/1/1930 He wouldn't stop doing it Alex Hill ; The Hokum Trio Instrumental trio, with male vocal duet instrumentalist, banjo, vocalist, tenor vocal  
Columbia W150382 10-in. 5/1/1930 You're bound to look like a monkey when you get old Alex Hill ; The Hokum Trio Instrumental trio, with male vocal duet instrumentalist, banjo, vocalist, tenor vocal  
Columbia W151278 10-in. 2/6/1931 You've had your way Pods of Pepper ; Ikey Robinson Instrumental ensemble, with scat singing vocalist, tenor vocal, composer, instrumentalist, banjo  
Columbia W151279 10-in. 2/6/1931 Get off stuff Pods of Pepper ; Ikey Robinson Instrumental ensemble, with scat singing instrumentalist, banjo, composer, vocalist, tenor vocal  
Columbia W151280 10-in. 2/6/1931 Gee, I hate to lose that girl Pods of Pepper ; Ikey Robinson Instrumental ensemble, with scat singing instrumentalist, banjo, composer, vocalist, tenor vocal  
Columbia W151281 10-in. 2/6/1931 I was a good loser until I lost you Pods of Pepper ; Ikey Robinson Instrumental ensemble, with scat singing instrumentalist, banjo  
Columbia W152463 10-in. 8/7/1933 The shim sham shimmy dance Lowland Singers ; Williams' Jug Band Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo and vocal ensemble instrumentalist, banjo, vocalist, tenor vocal  
Columbia W152464 10-in. 8/7/1933 Organ grinder Williams' Jug Band Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo and male vocal trio instrumentalist, banjo, vocalist, tenor vocal  
Columbia W152465 10-in. 8/7/1933 Chizzlin' Sam Williams' Jug Band Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo and male vocal duet instrumentalist, banjo, vocalist, tenor vocal  
Columbia W152466 10-in. 8/7/1933 High society Lowland Singers ; Williams' Jug Band Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo instrumentalist, banjo, guitar  
Columbia W152467 10-in. 8/7/1933 Mister, will you serenade? Williams' Jug Band Jazz/dance band, with female-male vocal duet songwriter, instrumentalist, banjo, vocalist, tenor vocal  
OKeh W403338 10-in. 11/16/1929 Gin mill blues The Hokum Boys Male vocal duet, with piano vocalist, tenor vocal  
OKeh W403339 10-in. 11/16/1929 Walkin' the blues away The Hokum Boys Male vocal duet, with piano vocalist, tenor vocal  
OKeh W403340 10-in. 11/16/1929 The folks downstairs The Hokum Boys Male vocal duet, with piano vocalist, tenor vocal  
OKeh W403341 10-in. 11/16/1929 That's my business The Hokum Boys Male vocal duet, with piano vocalist, tenor vocal  
OKeh W403342 10-in. 11/16/1929 Ain't goin' to beg you for that stuff The Hokum Boys Male vocal duet, with piano vocalist, tenor vocal  
(Results 1-25 of 101 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Robinson, Ikey," accessed December 4, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/109807.

Robinson, Ikey. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved December 4, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/109807.

"Robinson, Ikey." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 4 December 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/109807

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