Monday, August 7, 2017

Alvin Robinson - The Complete 'Shine'


A repost by request: 

This one here is an ongoing labor of love, much like Eldridge Holmes or Charles Brimmer. Ongoing in the sense that I would love to see competently remastered versions of ALL of these songs because in many cases the only copy of a given song that I have ever found is of decidedly poor quality. That said, I DO get to claim the triumph of assembling ALL 34 tracks that 'Shine' ever recorded, something that I don't believe has ever been accomplished by anyone, anywhere! 

b. 1937, d. 24 January 1989 in New Orleans. Robinson was a session guitarist and a vocalist whose first recordings were made with Dave Bartholomew at Imperial in 1961-62. Those first recordings (tracks 1-12) are pretty heavily Ray Charles influenced but the songs are all quite good and 'Shine's' voice is special. One can only hope that at some point those 12 songs and the four unissued tracks from Imperial will finally be remastered and reissued. Unfortunately for Robinson the early 60's were at the tail end of Lou Chudd's personal interest in the record business and thus his association with Bartholomew. With little-to-no promotion, those sides were pretty much limited to local jukeboxes. 

In 1963-64, Robinson went to New York with the Joe Jones band as singer and guitar player and there scored a minor hit in 1964 with a recording of a Chris Kenner song, ‘Something You Got’ backed by 'Searchin'. The single was released on Tiger Records, a short-lived outlet owned by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who then took Robinson to their next venture, Red Bird. His first release there, ‘Down Home Girl’, was an inspired amalgamation of New York pop and Crescent City R&B, the flip side cover of "Fever" is just as strong. Later covered by the Rolling Stones, Robinson’s single was one of the best to appear on that label. It was followed by a reshaped version of ‘Let The Good Times Roll’, and 'I'm Gonna Put Some Hurt on You, but the artist was unable to find another success.  All 8 tracks (13-20) from this period were still actually recorded in New Orleans with the regular cats from J & M.

Robinson recorded one single in New York for Joe Jones' short-lived label in 1966, and another for Atco in 1967. (21-24) He then returned home for a bit until he joined the west coast move in 1969, hooking up with the A.F.O. guys in Los Angeles. During this period he reconnected with old pal Mac Rebennack and was one of several expatriate New Orleans musicians who played on Dr. John’s debut 'Gris Gris' (which was recorded with studio time left over from a Sonny and Cher album!). Robinson also recorded the 10 killer tracks while with AFO in L.A. (only 4 of them were actually released) that fill out the remainder of this collection. (25-34)

Shine was a fairly regular member of Dr. John's band through the 70's, playing again on his New Orleans ‘tribute’ album, Gumbo, and most often in his working band. He returned to New Orleans for good in 1985 and died in 1989. He is well loved and remembered in our music community (Mac was quoted as saying that 'Shine' was a real singer, as opposed to himself, whom he considers to be 'faking it'.), and it is long past time that all these tracks see proper compilation and remastering.


21 comments:

Jazzjet said...

Fantastic bit of archiving, KC. Many thanks. I have to say that Robinson was only a name to me, familiar from the Stones cover, so it's great to go back to the source. Just what the web was made for.

Moe said...

Thanks. Here is some background on Shine:

http://homeofthegroove.blogspot.com/2010/09/further-reflections-on-shine-part-2.html

pmac said...

I know that this was a huge undertaking on your part. I scoured the earth and only had 22 tracks, most in poor audio quality. Poor guy had the bad luck of being labeled a Ray Charles knock off, when in reality, he frequently surpassed what Ray was doing. Great compilation!

RickB said...

All I can say is WOW! Thanks so much.

Feilimid O'Broin said...

Another New Orleans gem from a singer who I heard of but never heard. I suppose it's better to discover and listen to such talent after they're gone than to remain ignorant but its so damn frustrating that many of the singers you post died fairly young and I can only imagine how great they were live. What's more frustrating is why weren't singers like Robinson getting airplay in the 1960s and 1970s commensurate with their talent? Thanks for providing yet another great example of what makes New Orleans so special and unique. Dr. John had it exactly right.

wouter said...

great work, KC!
i know a few of these sides, and i'm really looking forward to hearing the rest of them!

thank you!

GuitarGus said...

You got there in the end ! Nice one KC
Cheers

ceedee said...

Thanks KC, fills a BIG gap in the collection.

Preslives said...

Now THIS is the Holy Grail of R&B. Incredible!

Anonymous said...

This posting, as are many others, are a prime example of why we need sites/blogs such as this one. I am familiar with Alvin "Shine" Robinson and knew of some of his work - and had seen him playing with the good Doctor John...but am amazed at the other information, and 75% of the music, unearthed by King Cake.
Many Thanks..for your time, your trouble and your information

Anonymous said...

Hi, I wouldn't mind a re-up of this one if you don't mind, as I realize my copy is damaged. :(
Thanks a lot.
Lurker

KingCake said...

http://www.embedupload.com/?d=5UNIL3N1DQ

oldDJ said...

Wow, thanks for all the effort and perseverance involved in putting this together!!!

I had only heard a few of these before. Hopefully a label can get inspired to find the masters and put them out.

Thanks again for all the fabulous music and artists you keep alive and introduce to new fans all around the world.

Feilimid O'Broin said...

Damn, le Roi, you are making me aware of how senile I am getting. I always download and listen before I read the comments and, when warranted, compose my own response. So I'm listening to Robinson and noticing the Charles influence, but also thinking he sounds grittier and often more soulful to me, and then go to the comments section only to find out that I have already responded and forgotten both that I had the music and responded already. I'd like to say that this is an isolated experience but frankly when it comes to these re-posts, it too frequently ain't. I can readily see that that Mayo Alzheimer's newsletter to which I subscribed to better understand my father's condition may be soon useful for self-treatment as well. So before I forget, thanks so much for assembling this compilation and, if ever a man could sound sultry, Robinson does on "Fever." By the way, all of your compilations here and on the jazz blogs are wonderful. Just really great stuff that makes for intense listening especially in the evening and at night. I guess the night time is the right time to listen to the music I love.

Tommy C said...

I've been going through your blog and found a lot of great stuff to check out beginning with this Alvin Robinson collection you put together. I have a handful of songs that I've picked up from various places over the years but there's a lot here that I haven't heard. So thanks a lot!

KingCake said...

http://www109.zippyshare.com/v/DAvOEVMO/file.html

BobCat said...

Thanks for the re-up and for all your hard work. Only had a couple of tracks by this artist on compilations so this is very welcome!

monsieur jujube said...

thanks for this, and for all the good things we can found on your blog! Great southern soul, generaly

Chris T said...

Thanks a lot, much appreciated.

jim said...

It took me a good amount of time to get past the pop up demons, but once I did it was worth it! Thanks.

Samuele Conficoni said...

Hi everyone, I'm sorry if I write here. I bumped into the great "Paramount Records" post from 2015, and I'm totally enjoying it. I was looking for the seven missing tracks from Vol. 2, but I can't find any working link. Can someone upload them on Zippyshare? Thank you very much!

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