Robby Robinson (musician)

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Robby Robinson
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Background information
Birth nameMax Warren Robinson
OriginLitchfield, Illinois
GenresPop, jazz, orchestral
Occupation(s)Music director, keyboardist
InstrumentsHammond organ, synthesizer
Years active1976–present
Associated actsThe Four Seasons (band)

Robby Robinson is a music director, keyboardist, composer, arranger, and producer living in the Los Angeles area. He is best known as the music director and keyboardist for Frankie Valli since 1978.[1][2] Robinson has worked with musicians such as Tom Jones (singer)|Tom Jones, Liza Minnelli, The Beach Boys, The Commodores, The Four Tops, Albert King, and Eddie Harris.[3] He is the music director of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and in this capacity has conducted orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall,[4] the Houston Symphony,[5] the Pacific Symphony,[6] and the National Symphony Orchestra.[1][3][7]Robinson is a Hammond organ "family artist".[3][8]

Early life and education

Robinson is originally from Litchfield, Illinois. He studied piano from age 7, saxophone from age 8, and started playing in rock bands at age 14. He majored in music at Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville, Illinois|Edwardsville. From high school through college, Robinson played in a variety of bands in the Southern Illinois-St. Louis area, after college he toured the US with Phil Driscoll and "Patch & Didi" (with his brother Rex Robinson, Lynn Hamman, and Didi Carr).[9] The Robinson brothers moved to Los Angeles in 1976.[10]


From 1976 to 1978 Robinson played, arranged, and produced with a broad range of musicians such as Liza Minnelli,[11] Tom Jones, Tonight Show with guest host David Brenner and guest Tom Jones Alphonse Mouzon,[12] Buddy Greco,[13] Les DeMerle,[14] and Willie Bobo. In 1978, at the recommendation of long-time friend Richie Gajate Garcia that Robinson join The Four Seasons (band)| Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, he has been the group's music director, conductor and keyboardist for over 40 years.[15][16][17][18][19][20][21]

Robinson founded the annual Christmas concert, Jam for Jesus, in 1991, which is hosted at Bethlehem SCV in Canyon Country, Santa Clarita, California.[22] In 2017 and in 2019, the Robinson brothers returned to Litchfield to perform in benefit concerts for St. Francis Hospital, the two shows raised a quarter of a million dollars for the small-town hospital.[10][23][24]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Oakes, Jordan (2011-10-26). "Robby Robinson, Honorary Jersey Boy (and Fifth Season)". St. Louis Magazine. Archived from the original on 2021-02-10. Retrieved 2021-10-27.
  2. "Robby Robinson". Playbill. 2016-10-21. Retrieved 2021-10-27.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Robby Robinson". Hammond organ. 2013-05-26. Archived from the original on 2021-04-16. Retrieved November 30, 2021.
  4. "Oh what a night…Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons at the Royal Albert Hall: Review". Express UK. 2015-07-05. Retrieved 2021-12-01. Pony-tailed musical director Robby Robinson, who has been with Valli since 1976, conducts the LSO throughout and will later reveal his talents as a keyboard player despite badly injuring his leg before the tour
  5. Community report (2016-09-29). "Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons live with the Houston Symphony". Chron. Retrieved 2021-12-01. Having collaborated with a multitude of artists ranging from Liza Minnelli to The Beach Boys, conductor and keyboardist Robby Robinson will lead the orchestra in an evening of hit singles that catapulted the famous foursome to the top of the charts.
  6. Rydzynski, Michael (2018-07-11). "Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons to perform with the Pacific Symphony". Daily Pilot. Archived from the original on 2018-09-25. Retrieved 2021-10-27.
  7. Robert Miller (2021-10-04). "Robby Robinson -- Frankie Valli's Music Man". (Podcast). Follow Your Dream. Event occurs at 44:21. Retrieved 2017-10-27.
  8. Cichon, Kathy (2017-02-10). "Hammond organ concert to benefit family of Gregg Gronowski". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on 2021-02-10. Retrieved 2021-10-27.
  9. "Patch". The Metro St Louis Live Music Historical Society. Archived from the original on 2019-08-26. Retrieved 2021-10-27.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Robinson Brothers Bring It Home To Litchfield". The Journal-News. 2019-10-10. Archived from the original on 2020-10-23. Retrieved 2021-10-27.
  11. Tropical Nights (Liner notes). Liza_Minnelli. US: Columbia. 1977. PC 34887. Retrieved 2021-10-26.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  12. Blue Note Live At The Roxy Vol.1 (Liner notes). Alphonse Mouzon. US: Blue Note. 1976. BN-LA663-J2.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  13. Hot Nights (Liner notes). Buddy_Greco. US: Applause Records. 1984. APLP 1004. Retrieved 2021-10-26.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  14. Transfusion (Liner notes). Les_DeMerle. US: Dobre Records. 1978. DR 1020. Retrieved 2021-10-26.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  15. Meteorologist, JOE MARTUCCI Press (1970-01-01). "Review: Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons "Working their Way..." into hearts at Hard Rock". Atlantic City Weekly. Retrieved 2021-12-01. The three solo performances by Robby Robinson really highlighted the musical prowess that helped thrust The Four Seasons into fame. Robinson is the keyboard and musical director for Valli's shows. More than that, though, Robinson is someone Valli considers to be his best friend, with a 40-year bond between the two.
  16. Eck, Michael (2012-05-11). "Frankie Valli solid at Proctors". Times Union. Retrieved 2021-12-01. The opening salvo of "Grease" and "Dawn" showed off both ends of Valli's long radio run, and gave the audience a taste of his tasty band, led by Robby Robinson (who's been at Valli's side for over 30 years).
  17. Eggers, Kerry. "Frankie Valli: a man for all seasons". Pamplin Media Group. Retrieved 2021-12-01. Valli: Including four singers, we have 15 or 16 in our group. We have a couple of new members. I feel good about what we have now. It's something you put together very slowly to make sure you have the right people. My musical director, Robby Robinson (and longtime keyboardest and honorary "Fifth Season" for the group), has been with me about 40 years.
  18. "This Frankie Valli show is the real thing". Retrieved 2021-12-01. There was no opening act and no intermission; when the singers exited the stage for a quick, minuscule change of costume, music director Robbie Robinson, who's worked with Valli for 33 years, sustained the mood by showcasing the talented band.
  19. "Review: Frankie Valli's timeless talent hits just the right note at Omaha Symphony Gala". Omaha World-Herald. 2021-11-16. Retrieved 2021-12-01. Valli's longtime conductor and arranger, Robby Robinson, took over from there — and from the iconic opening bars of "Grease" performed by the symphony's brass section, you could tell you were in for something special. The musicians rocked it on a faster, fuller and more jazzy arrangement of "Dawn" and the percussive "Who Loves You."
  20. "JBB EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Bob Gaudio, Robby Robinson, and Shannon Gaudio". Jersey Boys Blog. 2021-02-10. Archived from the original on 2021-02-10. Retrieved 2021-10-27.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  21. Negron, Roy (2021-11-05). "Robby Robinson Rolls Out "ROBBY'S RECORDS"". NYC Tastemakers. Archived from the original on 2021-11-06. Retrieved 2021-11-06.
  22. Garcia, Martha (2015-12-19). "Christmas concerts spread holiday spirit". The Santa Clarita Valley Signal. Retrieved 2021-10-28 – via PressReader.
  23. "Homecoming Concert Raises Over $105,000". The Journal-News (Hillsboro, Illinois). Hillsboro, Illinois. 2017-09-27. Retrieved 2021-10-28.
  24. "Robinson Bros. homecoming concert Oct. 5". Enquirer Democrat. Macoupin County, Illinois. 2019-09-06. Archived from the original on 2020-08-09. Retrieved 2021-10-28.

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