Golden Oldies Juke Box Saturday Night
Golden Oldies Juke Box Saturday Night 9
January 24, 2015
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January 27, 2015
Singer and songwriter Bobby Day

Rock and Roll

Bobby Day, which is the professional name of Robert James Byrd, was a very influential part of the music business during this doo wop era — and a big part of 1950s music and 1960s music. Originally from Fort Worth, Texas, Day was an R&B, soul singer, songwriter, record producer, and musician. He was a member of the group The Hollywood Flames as well as the original Bob in the duo Bob & Earl. Day founded the group The Famous Flames, of which James Brown was the lead singer — and Day is credited with his discovery. Day also wrote songs for many artists, including Thurston Harris, Clyde McPhatter, and the Jackson Five.

In 1958, Day and Leon René (credited as Jimmie Thomas) collaborated on “Rockin’ Robin.” Day liked the song so much he decided to try his hand as a recording artist and make his own record. The famous piccolo part was played by Plas Johnson, who later played the saxophone solo on “The Pink Panther Theme.” Although Bobby Day wrote many more hits (e.g., “Itty Bitty Pretty One” and “Over and Over”), this was his only hit record as a singer. “Rockin’ Robin” went to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song has been covered by many popular artists, including Chuck Berry, Michael Jackson, Gene Vincent, The Hollies, Cliff Richard, The Spinners, and, of course, The Muppets.

Here are the lyrics to “Rockin’ Robin” by Bobby Day:

(Tweedle-lee-dee-dee-dee, tweedle-lee-dee-dee x 3)
(Tweet x 4)

He rocks in the tree tops all day long
Hoppin’ and a-boppin’ and a-singing his song
All the little birds on Jaybird Street
Love to hear the robin go tweet tweet tweet

Rockin’ robin (Tweet x 3)
Rockin’ robin (Tweet, tweedle-lee-dee)
Go rockin’ robin
‘Cause we’re really gonna rock tonight
(Tweet, tweedle-lee-dee)

Every little swallow, every chick-a-dee
Every little bird in the tall oak tree
The wise old owl, the big black crow
Flappin’ their wings singing go bird go

Rockin’ robin (Tweet x 3)
Rockin’ robin (Tweet, tweedle-lee-dee)
Go rockin’ robin
‘Cause we’re really gonna rock tonight
(Tweet, tweedle-lee-dee)

A pretty little raven at the bird bandstand
Taught him how to do the bop and ‘, it was grand
They started going steady and bless my soul
He out-bopped the buzzard and the oriole

He rocks in the tree top all day long
Hoppin’ and a-boppin’ and a-singing his song
All the little birds on Jaybird Street
Love to hear the robin go tweet tweet tweet

Rockin’ robin (Tweet x 3)
Rockin’ robin (Tweet, tweedle-lee-dee)
Go rockin’ robin
‘Cause we’re really gonna rock tonight
(Tweet, tweedle-lee-dee)

Well, a pretty little raven at the bird bandstand
Taught him how to do the boppin’, it was grand
He started going steady and bless my soul
He out-bopped the Buzzard and the Oriole

He rocks in the tree top all day long
Hoppin’ and a-boppin’ and a-singing his song
All the little birds on Jaybird Street
Love to hear the robin go tweet tweet tweet

Rockin’ robin, (tweet, tweet, tweet)
Rockin’ robin’ (tweet, tweedle-lee-dee)
Go rockin’ robin
‘Cause we’re really gonna rock tonight
(Tweet, tweedle-lee-dee)

Rockin’ robin, (tweet, tweet, tweet)
Rockin’ robin’ (tweet, tweedle-lee-dee)
Go rockin’ robin
‘Cause we’re really gonna rock tonight
(Tweet, tweedle-lee-dee)

(Tweedle-lee-dee-dee-dee, tweedle-lee-dee-dee x 3)
(Tweet x 2)
[Wolf whistle]

Day wrote and recorded the song “Over and Over.” It tells the story of a man who isn’t excited about going to a party until he sees a pretty girl. Unfortunately for him, she’s waiting for her steady date. The song was the B-Side to Day’s hit “Rockin’ Robin.” In 1958, “Over and Over” went to #1 on the U.S. R&B Chart and #41 on the U.S. Top 100 Chart. Thurston Harris released the song the same week as Day, but his version didn’t fare as well on the charts. The group that had the biggest hit with the song , though, was The Dave Clark Five. In 1965, their version was an international success, going to #1 in the U.S. If you would like to read about and listen to the cover of “Over and Over”  by The Dave Clark Five, it is on The Daily Doo Wop’s sister site Pass the Paisley.

Here are the lyrics:

Well, I went to a dance the other night
Everybody went stag
I said over and over and over again
This dance is gonna be a drag

I said over and over and over again
This dance is gonna be a drag
I said over and over and over again
This dance is gonna be a drag

All at once, it happened
Well, the prettiest in this world
Please, won’t you
Come over and talk to me
And be my girl

I said won’t you
Come over and talk to me
And be my girl
Please, won’t you
Come over and talk to me
And be my girl

She said that she was sorry
That I was a little bit late
She would wait and wait
And wait and wait
For her steady date

She would wait and wait
And wait and wait
For her steady date
She would wait and wait
And wait and wait
For her steady date

Now, my poor heart was broken
All of my life, where had she been
But I’ll try over and over and over
And over again

I’ll try over and over
And over and over again
I will try over and over
And over and over again

To hear more music by Bobby Day, you might consider this from amazon: Rockin’ Robin: The Very Best of Bobby Day

To hear a Bobby Day song sung by Thurston Harris: “Little Bitty Pretty One.”

For More Golden Oldies Music

The Daily Doo Wop Rec Room has daily featured doo wop, rock and roll, R&B, or rockabilly songs that were hits during the first era of rock and roll (that is, from about 1952 until the British invasion in 1964). After a song is featured, it then goes into the juke box. You are welcome to listen to any of the 40+ selections there. Every weekend, there is a Golden Oldies Juke Box Saturday NIght, and the juke box is full of song requests from the 1950s and 1960s.

Please click here for the Daily Doo Wop YouTube channel, to which you can subscribe. Thank you for stopping by The Daily Doo Wop.

5 Comments

  1. steve harris says:

    Forgot about over and over. Loving all of this doo wop music history.

  2. […] he sees a pretty girl. Unfortunately for him, she’s waiting for her steady date. In 1958, Day’s recording of “Over and Over” went to #1 on the U.S. R&B Chart and #41 on the U.S. Top 100 Chart. The Dave Clark Five had an […]

  3. […] he sees a pretty girl. Unfortunately for him, she’s waiting for her steady date. In 1958, Day’s recording of “Over and Over” went to #1 on the U.S. R&B Chart and #41 on the U.S. Top 100 Chart. The Dave Clark Five had an […]

  4. […] For other songs by Bobby Day, including “Rockin’ Robin” and “Over and Over”: Bobby Day Songs. […]

  5. […] For other songs by Bobby Day, including “Rockin’ Robin” and “Over and Over”: Bobby Day Songs. […]

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