Previous Vocal Group Record of the Week
#816 (6/21/14 - 7/4/14)

"I Know She's Gone"/
"Baby Don't Want Me No More"
by Bill Robinson And The Quails
on DeLuxe 6047
released in 1954

"Somewhere Somebody Cares"/
"A Little Bit Of Love"
by Bill Robinson And The Quails
on DeLuxe 6057
released in 1954

(A special thank you to Marv Goldberg for his extensive help with this Record of the Week)

(From St. Petersburg Times dated 7/25/56)

Quails Entertain Jailers While Waiting For Release

SING FOR VENICE POLICE ....Standing, left to right, Larry Brown, Bernard Taylor, Tony Bell and James Welch. In foreground is Bill Robinson, leader of the Quails, a Miami group.

VENICE, FL—City Jail here Friday night took on an unusual air of Rock 'n' Roll. The police headquarters in the firehouse, which also houses the jail, is usually a quiet place. The tranquility is broken only by the blare of the occasional calls on the police radio, a ringing telephone or the profanity of an occasional intoxicated person brought in to sleep it off.

Friday night, Highway Patrolman David L. McMahone brought in five Negro men accompanied by a young woman, one of whom he had arrested on a charge of illegal passing. The offender was turned over to Deputy Sheriff's Dick Curry and Billy Blackburn.

He explained they did not have $40 for the bond among them, but thought it could be obtained from a friend in Tampa, who would post it at the Hillsborough County's Sheriff's office. The Deputies allowed them to use the phone to arrange for the bond.

While waiting, the group explained they were a Miami singing combination known as Bill Robinson's Quails and en route to an engagement in Clearwater, which they had been trying to reach since that morning.

Besides the arrest, they said they had a flat tire, the fuel pump on the convertible they were driving went out of order and had to be replaced and the top of the vehicle had ripped off. Said one, "last Friday was the 13th, but this seems more like it should be today."

After learning that the quintet were entertainers, the Deputies and others there asked if the boys would do a number. They good naturedly agreed and it was received with such enthusiasm that they obliged with several others.

After more than two hours, bond finally arrived and the group was released. It wasn't known whether they reached their destination without any more bad luck.

However, those that came in contact with the group agreed they were an "unusual group," to be at City Jail.

(Ok, how many think the fine should have been forgiven and the group sent on their way?)

Quails Wail At Club Basin Street Nightly
(From Pittsburgh Courier dated 5/25/56)

THE QUAILS—Bill Robinson and the Quails are scoring nightly at the new Club Basin Street in Miami in a show that also features the Dell Tones, a musical group of five girls and a boy. (Jimmy Welch, Tony Bell, Bill Robinson, Bernard "Pee Wee" Taylor)

MIAMI—The Magic City's newest spot, Club Basin Street, had a highly successful opening Wednesday night in a fast-moving show that featured Bill Robinson And the Quails, the Dell Tones and Rudy Ferguson's orchestra.

The club, now operated by Monty Gardner who formerly had an interest in Ciro's on Miami Beach and Washington's famous Club Ball, is featuring a fast-moving revue with dancing.

The Quails, a group headed by Bill Robinson, drew tremendous applause, as they featured numbers in the Rock and Roll with clever Tony Bell, a rather rangy second tenor, giving comedy relief to a very fine singing aggregation....

Above: Photo of Bill Robinson And The Quails from the mid-1960s.

Jet Magazine, February 25, 1960: "Bill Robinson, a Miami musician and leader of a vocal group, the Quails, is the substitute for missing Ink Spot singer Essix Scott Jr., who was lost on a fishing trip."
(Essex Scott, also known as Essix Scott, was part of Charlie Fuqua's Ink Spots in 1960, when he drowned during a fishing trip in the Florida Keys.)

The Obituary for William Dennis Robinson Jr. (February 10, 1931 - March 3, 2012):
He was the sixth and youngest child born to the late Mr. William and Mrs. Olivia Robinson. His siblings were Wilson, Donnell, Early, Joe and Bernice Robinson. They all preceded him in death. Bill Robinson was a native Floridian, a home town guy, born and raised in Tampa, Florida. He attended Booker T. Washington, Jr. High School. Bill, who might be better known as “Theoda” by the locals, had a reputation for being a great basketball player with a three point shot that made a difference on the court.

Bill was also known for having a beautiful, melodic voice. Bill later took special interest in music and pursued a career in entertainment. He started his own singing group and aptly named it “Bill Robinson and the Quails.” He and his group traveled around the world with the Leon Claxton show as part of the Harlem Review. During his career, he recorded several records and albums such as “The Cow,” “Lay Your Head On My Shoulder,” etc. Many of these songs are still being played in Europe and elsewhere. He worked closely with well-known artists in entertainment such as Lou Rawls, Flip Wilson, Red Fox, Smokey Robinson, Sam Cooke, Sam & Dave, etc. He also sang lead for two of the top quartets in the country at that time, The Ink Spots and the Platters.

He was an inspiration to all with whom he came in contact. William “Bill” Robinson, Jr. was married three times and has been married to his current wife, Carroll Robinson, for the past 36 years. They have resided in Miami, Florida for this entire time. From his first marriage he had two children, Gwendolyn Robinson Leno (Charles) and Linda Robinson and from his second marriage there were three children, William Robinson III (Debra), Reginald Robinson and Rhonda Jackson. His sixth child is Brenda Wilson (Michael), a resident of Tampa, Florida. Bill is survived by 14 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren, and 4 step children, Jimmy, Mark, Michael and Michelle Robinson of Miami Florida.

Above: Knight Beat advertisement from 1963. The club was located in the Sir John Hotel in Miami. Coming Attractions are Little Esther, Jimmy Ricks, Count Basie and the Fascinations.


6030 Quit Pushin'/Lonely Star - 1/54
6047 I Know She's Gone/Baby Don't Want Me No More - 3/54
6057 A Little Bit Of Love/Somewhere Somebody Cares - 7/54
6059 Why Do I Wait/Heaven Is The Place - 8/54
6074 Love Of My Life/Oh Sugar - 1/55
6085 The Things She Used To Do/Pretty Huggin' Baby - 4/55

1023 The Cow/Take Me Back, Baby - 63
1024 You're Mine/Congo Dance Party - 63
6000 The Cow/Take Me Back, Baby - 12/63

(The American masters were purchased in November 1963.)

2-1620 Do I Love You/Lay My Head On Your Shoulder - 8/68

(The Date masters were purchased from Bob Yorey on August 1, 1968.)

Above: Label image of DeLuxe 6047 recorded on November 12, 1953 and released in March 1954.

The Billboard Review (4/10/54):

I Know She's Gone
(75) The style of the group here is close to that of the Dominoes, altho not either as sharp or classy. The lead singer does a great job, and this could help the disc get some attention.
Baby Don't Want Me No More (72) Vocal group, with Robinson handling the lead, comes thru with an okay rendition of a peppy rhythm effort, backed by a big beat.

(NOTE: Ratings had a range of 0-100 with 0-49 as "poor," 50-59 as "limited," 60-69 as "satisfactory," 70-79 as "good," 80-89 as "excellent," and 90-100 as "tops.")

Above: Label image of DeLuxe 6057 recorded on May 24, 1954 and released in July 1954. It is interesting that composer credits are shown as "Robinson-Robinson," possibly Bill and his wife at the time? BMI currently credits "Ed Cheek-Linda Robinson" as composers for this title and shows a different publisher than on the label.

The Billboard Review (7/17/54):

Somewhere Somebody Cares
(74) Slow and moody ballad is sung with lots of feeling by chanter and the group. Many should like the waxing and it ought to gain spins.
A Little Bit Of Love (70) Robinson is supported by a group called the Quails in a musical appeal for romance. The grunts they insert might intrigue juke listeners.

(NOTE: Ratings had a range of 0-100 with 0-49 as "poor," 50-59 as "limited," 60-69 as "satisfactory," 70-79 as "good," 80-89 as "excellent," and 90-100 as "tops.")

Listen to this week's selections by Bill Robinson And The Quails on the DeLuxe label from 1954:
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]

          1. I Know She's Gone
          2. Baby Don't Want Me No More
          3. Somewhere Somebody Cares
          4. A Little Bit Of Love
          ALL FOUR played in sequence

     B. Download RealAudio...
          1. I Know She's Gone
          2. Baby Don't Want Me No More
          3. Somewhere Somebody Cares
          4. A Little Bit Of Love

     C. Stream/Download Media Player...
          1. I Know She's Gone
          2. Baby Don't Want Me No More
          3. Somewhere Somebody Cares
          4. A Little Bit Of Love

     [To download audio files, right-click on link and then select "Save (Link) Target As..."]


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