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Obit: Abu Talin aka Freddy Robinson (Oct 2009)

GUEST,Mary Katherine, cookieless this morning 10 Oct 09 - 09:36 AM
katlaughing 11 Oct 09 - 12:01 AM
Nick 11 Oct 09 - 05:35 PM
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Subject: Obit: Abu Talib aka Freddy Robinson (Oct 2009)
From: GUEST,Mary Katherine, cookieless this morning
Date: 10 Oct 09 - 09:36 AM

Bluesman who recorded as Freddy Robinson dies

LANCASTER, Calif. - Bluesman Abu Talib, who recorded and toured with Ray
Charles and Little Walter under his given name, Freddy Robinson, has died.
He was 70.

His daughter, Linda Chaplin, said Talib died of cancer Thursday at a
hospital in Lancaster, about 70 miles north of Los Angeles.

Talib was born Fred Robinson in Memphis, Tenn., and changed his name to Abu
Talib in the 1970s when he converted to Islam.

Chaplin said her father first heard the blues when her grandfather, Otis
Robinson, took him along to a "juke joint." He was too young to go in but
he'd watch the musicians through a window.

He was inspired to play and improvised an instrument out of bailing wire
attached to the wall of a barn when he was nine, she said.

His former manager, Vernell Jennings, said he saved his money and ordered
his second guitar from the Sears catalog at age 13.

"He had that guitar his whole life and still played it. It was called
Bessie," Jennings said.

Talib could play well by ear, and he was always in demand at clubs, Chaplin
said. When he moved to Chicago, he had to go to school to learn how to read

He played with Ray Charles, Howlin' Wolf and pianist Monk Higgins and
recorded and wrote several songs including "Black Fox," "At the Drive-In,"
"Bluesology" and the blues instrumental, "After Hours."

Chaplin said one of her father's f
avorite songs, "Sister Sharp Eye," was
based on a real person he knew from childhood, a friend of his aunt's who
used to run a gambling house and tell people that she had eyes in the back
of her head to spot cheaters.

Jennings said Talib would tell funny stories between songs and have the
audience in stitches.

"He had a song called 'Double Ugly' about his best friend who married an
ugly girl, about how they had to hide all the mirrors. He had a great sense
of humor," Jennings said.

Recently, he recorded a jingle for Southwest Airlines, and dressed up in a
funky suit for the commercial, she said.

He had seven children with his first wife, Mary Robinson, who died, and one
daughter with his second wife, Zakiyyah Talib.

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Abu Talin aka Freddy Robinson (Oct 2009)
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 12:01 AM

Thanks for letting us know. I keep learning about these guys after they've passed. Thankfully I can still hear them. My condolences to his family.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Abu Talin aka Freddy Robinson (Oct 2009)
From: Nick
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 05:35 PM

I have a few albums from when he played with John Mayall and Blue Mitchell and he had a distinctive style. I didn't know he was still recording so recently.

kat - check out Coco Montoya who is very much alive or Aynsley Lister who is a mere nipper if you have missed either of them.

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