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 THE DISC JOCKEYS


Rockin' Robin
 

Rockin' Robin (Fred Robinson) was one of Baltimore's premiere black radio personalities. He was born and raised in Swedesboro, New Jersey. After graduating from high school in 1953, he worked briefly on an assembly line at a Chrysler plant in Delaware before moving to Philadelphia to attend broadcasting school. Robin broke into radio in 1956 in Atlantic City. In 1959, Rockin' Robin landed a gig at legendary R&B outlet WHAT in Philadelphia. It was around this time that Robinson adopted the 'Rockin' Robin' handle, and employed the Bobby Day song as his opening on-air theme. He came to Baltimore in 1962 to work at 1360 WEBB. (The photo at top left was taken at WEBB in 1964). WEBB at the time was in a 3-way dogfight for the R&B audience with WWIN and WSID. By 1967, he left then-daytimer WEBB for 24 hours a day WWIN. There, working with the likes of Hot Rod, Fat Daddy, and Al Jefferson, Rockin' Robin helped WWIN achieve the #1 position in local R&B ratings. In 1969, after getting word that singer James Brown had purchased WEBB, he returned to the station. Throughout the 70's, Rockin' Robin also ran a company called Premiere Attractions. He brought national recording acts to the Baltimore Civic Center. Robinson over the years co-owned an agency which managed and produced local recording artists. He was also a licensed barber. When 1980 rolled around, he switched format hats and joined WITH. At this time, the former Top 40 outlet was now playing big-band music. He remained with the station for over a decade, and then departed with the majority of the air staff in 1993 for big-band competitor WWLG. That station, interestingly enough, was formerly WEBB. By this time, the 'Rockin' Robin' handle was discarded and Baltimore radio listeners heard him as Fred Robinson. His on-air patter underwent a transformation from high energy to a more laid-back style. Sadly, Robinson left WWLG in 1995 due to illness and in June of 1996, passed away at the age of 60 of complications from a stroke. It is said that the mark of a true radio professional is having the ability as well as the willingness to adopt to different formats. This was truly a staple of Rockin' Robin/Fred Robinson.

  

 
     

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