Robyn Robins (born 1951, Detroit, Michigan) is an American rock and roll keyboardist, founding member of the
Bob SegerSilver Bullet Band, and the owner of a successful production studio servicing the music and film industries in the US and throughout Europe.
Robins entered the Detroit Conservatory of Music for piano at the age of seven and studied there seven years. By the time he was 15, he was working as a session keyboardist for Punch Andrews and for
Motown Records, Staxx Records and Hideout Records and various other independent pop labels. In a national music competition in Atlantic City, NJ, his band won third place playing one of Robin’s compositions. He toured with bands across the US, Canada and Europe, working with Sly and the Family Stone, The Platters, The Coasters and many others and accompanied Tiny Timon an NBC special. In 1970 Robins replaced keyboardist, Tim Lambert, in the Stuart Avery Assemblage. With their new sound they soon had a hit single which reached #14 on the charts. Shortly after this success, the Assemblage split up and Robins joined Bob Seger with his new band, the Silver Bullet Band.
The Silver Bullet Band achieved their commercial breakthrough with 1976 album, Night Moves. Evocative and nostalgic, title song, "
Night Moves (album)” was critically praised and reached #4 as a hit single on the Billboardpop charts. It became an album-oriented rock airplay mainstay. "Mainstreet", a #24 hit ballad, and AOR anthem "Rock and Roll Never Forgets" are also on this album. In 1978, Night Moves was followed up with album, Stranger in Town. The first single, "Still the Same" made the Top 5 on the pop singles chart. "Hollywood Nights" was an up-tempo Top 15 hit, while "We've Got Tonight" was a slow ballad that not only was a Top 15 hit on its own, but would become an adult contemporary favorite in years. The final single, 1979's "Old Time Rock & Roll", reached the Top 30, and achieved substantial AOR airplay. Due to its use in the 1983 film, Risky Business, it later became one of their most recognizable songs. Other tracks from Stranger in Townwere equally strong, with "Feel Like a Number" being especially memorable for its raging powerless fury.
In 1980, Against the Wind was released and it became their first and only #1 album on the Billboard 200. First single "Fire Lake" featured
Eagles Don Henley, Timothy B. Schmit, and Frey on backing vocals and reached #6 on the singles chart, while the title song "Against the Wind" reached #5 as a single. "You'll Accomp'ny Me" became the third hit single from the record. Against the Wind won two Grammy Awards. Stranger in Town and Against the Wind were followed by the 1981 live album, Nine Tonight which encapsulated this three-album peak of their commercial career. Seger's take on Eugene Williams' "Tryin' to Live My Life Without You" became a Top 5 hit from Nine Tonight and would go on to sell 4 million copies.
Night Moves was their first Top 10 album in the Billboard 200, and thirty years after its release, it had sold over 6 million copies in the U.S. Its long term commercial success activated sales of the band’s back catalog, so that Beautiful Loser would eventually sell 2 million and Live Bullet would sell 5 million copies in the U.S.
In 1980, Robins left the band and moved to Florida where he studied and worked as a studio musician, sound engineer and producer. After attending and Full Sail College and University of Central Florida in sound and film production and engineering, PhD in audio engineering, he eventually opened his own studio, Birdland Music Productions. He worked with the
Bee Gees, Wally Stocker, Ronnie Woodand others. In 1992, he toured with The Commitmentsand is featured in the film documenting that tour. He collaborated with Stanford University on a metacognition project at the Florida Dolphin Institute in Marathon Florida sampling dolphin conversations.
It was in Florida, he met his wife and in 1992, they moved with their first son to her homeland, Ireland, where he opened Mid-Atlantic-Digital Studio in Fermanagh County, which was voted 25th of a list of 50 fastest growing technical companies in Europe. Robins worked with music director and composer for Hot Shot Films, Belfast; John T Davis who directed many classic Irish features and short films and director J. Wolfe of Pinewood Studios, London. He also worked with Jim Sheridan, director and writer for
My Left Footand In the Name of the Father. Robins did post production and soundtrack composition for the award winning film, The Boxer. Voice overs and post production work for TV and films were a regular part of the work load at MAD, including films, Dust on the Bible, Uncle Jack and Route 66 from film-maker John Davis and seven award winner, Goldfish Memorywith director, Elizabeth Gill. Robins helped create a six week TV series Blast Beat, which aired throughout Europe and the UK. Most of the music coming out of Ireland, during this period, came from Mid-Atlantic Digital. He mastered and produced for many international artists, such as now top sellers Rodrigo y Gabriela, Sinéad O'Connor, Damien Rice, Mary Black, Mairtin O’Connor, Christy Moore, Daniel O’Donnell, Patricia Daly and The Saw Doctors; worked on solo albums for every member of Riverdance, Celtic WomanI and II, and remasters for U2 and Van Morrison and others. The Vatican, Disney, DuPont, Coca Cola, Guinness, Hummingbird Records, EMI Records, Sony Records, BMG Records, Universal Music, Warner Chapel, RCA, ABC, NBC, Opus Management, Ark Advertising, Go Danish Folk Music, and JMI are among his corporate clients. Between music and film, he has produced over 2000 releases worldwide. Of these, over 60 have gone gold or platinum and have won numerous awards.
Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
In 2007, Robyn moved his family back to the US to broaden his sons’ outlook, choosing his home state Michigan. From his private studio, he continues with corporate clients working on various film and music projects. Many of his European clients continue to work with him, flying over to record new albums or by sending sound files over high speed lines for mastering. Within the past several months, he has worked with Scottish band Journeybox. Aside from established artists and corporate clients, Robins shares his knowledge and inside view of this industry that has provided him a living from the time he was in his teens, by working with new and emerging artists. Grand Rapids band, Ensemble Al-Asdeka [http://www.al-asdeka.com] most recently took advantage of Robin’s proximity and world music experience. He fully produced their new album, which was released in December. He has completed mastering projects for Universal Music and Warner Chappell, tracks from associate Kid Rock’s recording studio, another Michigan success story and is currently producing an album for Craic Wisely, soon to be known as Solar Bonfire. NUROKSOL, Hide from Cleo; Funklinium and singer Danny D are also current on his list.
Currently researching locations, he intends to open a full service production studio in Michigan continuing the work he started in Ireland as a liaison for EU and US artists and markets on both continents; and to take on film and TV projects.
* http://home.att.net/~s.m.geer/bands.htm (Rusted Chrome)
* http://www.robynrobinsmastering.com/about.shtml interviews with Robyn Robins
* [http://www.robynrobinsproductions.com Official website]
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