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Obit: Gil Robbins

pdq 10 Apr 11 - 01:41 PM
Wesley S 10 Apr 11 - 01:45 PM
gnu 10 Apr 11 - 01:52 PM
pdq 10 Apr 11 - 01:59 PM
Stilly River Sage 12 Apr 11 - 11:40 PM
Desert Dancer 13 Apr 11 - 01:48 AM
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Subject: Obit: Gil Robbins
From: pdq
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 01:41 PM

10 April 2011 from BBC source

Musician Gil Robbins dies at 80

Robbins, the father of Hollywood actor and director Tim Robbins, died at his home in Esteban Cantu, Mexico.

In a statement to the Associated Press Tim Robbins described Gil Robbins as "a fantastic father", "a great musician" and "a man of unshakeable integrity".

Robbins joined The Highwaymen in 1962.

He played and sang baritone on five albums until their 1964 break-up.

The group's most notable hit was Michael, recorded before Robbins joined.

With Robbins a member, the group began to perform more political music, singing songs with a greater focus on social justice.

Tim Robbins, star of the Shawshank Redemption, worked with his father on the 1992 film Bob Roberts - about a right-wing, folk-singing US Senate candidate.

The actor starred in and also directed Bob Roberts while his father was vocal coach and choral consultant and took a small role.

Gil Robbins also had a small role in Dead Man Walking, which was directed by his son.

Tim Robbins said of his father: "His commitment to social justice was evident to us from an early age, as was his infectious mischievous sense of humour.

"His passing has created great sadness for all of us and our mother but we take comfort in knowing that the angels will soon be soothed by the songs coming from his beautiful baritone voice."

Gil Robbins was born in Spokane, Washington and grew up in Southern California, where he studied music at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Before joining the Highwaymen, he was already a well-known musician on the folk scene around New York's Greenwich Village as a member of the Cumberland Three and the Belafonte Singers.

After the Highwaymen, Robbins managed the Gaslight Club on Greenwich Village's MacDougal Street.

He directed the choir at the Church of St Joseph in Greenwich Village and founded a choral group called the Occasional Singers.

He also acted in off-Broadway productions and in the ill-fated Broadway musical Rainbow Jones, which closed after one performance at the Music Box Theatre in 1974.

As well as his work with his son, he had small roles in the films Cradle Will Rock and Wide Awake.

Other than Tim Robbins, the musician is survived by his other son David, daughters Adele and Gabrielle, his brother Tom and four grandchildren.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gil Robbins
From: Wesley S
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 01:45 PM

I just saw this in the paper a few minutes ago. I never knew he was the father of Tim Robbins. He'll be missed.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gil Robbins
From: gnu
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 01:52 PM

Indeed. RIP


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gil Robbins
From: pdq
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 01:59 PM

With the 150 year aniversary of the start of the Civil War coming April 12, it might be a good idea to find a copy of the Cumberland Three's Civil War songs. Two LPs on one CD, with many songs that are seldom heard. Gil Robbins was a founding member, perhaps the leader of the group, before John Stewart left to join the Kingston Trio.


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Subject: Obit: Gil Robbins, folk singer, Tim R's Dad
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 11:40 PM

Another Washingtonian. . .

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Gil Robbins, a folk singer, guitarist and member of the early 1960s group the Highwaymen, has died. He was 80.

Robbins died Tuesday at his home in Esteban Cantu, Mexico, Tracey Jacobs said Saturday night in an email to The Associated Press. Jacobs is a publicist for Robbins' son, the actor and director Tim Robbins.

Shortly before Gil Robbins joined the Highwaymen, the group had a major hit with "Michael," its version of "Michael, Row the Boat Ashore." When Robbins joined in 1962, he took the group in a more political direction, playing and singing baritone on five albums until their 1964 breakup. (A country music supergroup with Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash later shared the same name.)

Tim Robbins, star of "The Shawshank Redemption and director of "Dead Man Walking," said in a statement to the AP that Gil Robbins was "a fantastic father," "a great musician" and "a man of unshakeable integrity."

"His commitment to social justice was evident to us from an early age, as was his infectious mischievous sense of humor," Tim Robbins said. "His passing has created great sadness for all of us and our mother but we take comfort in knowing that the angels will soon be soothed by the songs coming from his beautiful baritone voice."

Father and son worked together on the 1992 film "Bob Roberts." Tim Robbins directed and played the title role of a right-wing, folk-singing U.S. Senate candidate from Pennsylvania. The actor's brother David Robbins wrote and recorded the film's ultra-conservative folk songs, and Gil Robbins was listed in the credits as a vocal coach and choral consultant.

Robbins was born in Spokane, Wash., and raised in Southern California, where he studied music at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Before joining the Highwaymen, he was already a well-known musician in the folk scene that surrounded New York's Greenwich Village as a member of the Cumberland Th ree and the Belafonte Singers, and as a friend to famous folkies like John Stewart and Dave Van Ronk, according to The New York Times, which first reported his death.

After the Highwaymen, Robbins managed the Gaslight Club on Greenwich Village's famously musical MacDougal Street.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gil Robbins, folk singer, Tim R's Dad
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 01:48 AM

Gil Robbins, Folk Singer With the Highwaymen, Dies at 80

By WILLIAM GRIMES
April 9, 2011
The New York Times

Gil Robbins, a singer, guitarist and songwriter with the folk group the Highwaymen and a fixture on the folk-music scene, died on Tuesday at his home in Esteban Cantú, Mexico. He was 80.

The cause was prostate cancer, his wife, Mary, said.

Mr. Robbins, who was a singer and bass guitarist with the Cumberland Three and the Belafonte Singers and a performing partner with Tom Paxton, joined the Highwaymen in 1962. The group, formed in 1958 at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, had become one of the top collegiate-style folk groups, scoring hits with "Michael" ("Michael, Row the Boat Ashore") and the Leadbelly song "Cotton Fields."

With Mr. Robbins aboard, singing baritone and playing the guitarrón, an oversize Mexican six-string guitar, the group maintained its popularity while continuing a transition to more socially conscious music. Mr. Robbins performed on the five albums that the group recorded for United Artists before disbanding in 1964, including the live albums "Hootenanny With the Highwaymen," "One More Time" and "Homecoming."

Gilbert Lee Robbins, the father of the actor Tim Robbins, was born on April 3, 1931, in Spokane, Wash., and grew up in Los Angeles.

After playing percussion with the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra while still in high school, he won a music scholarship to the University of California at Los Angeles, where he was the drum major of the marching band. He left school before graduating and enlisted in the Air Force, where he was the drum major and band conductor for the 542d Division, based in Selma, Ala.

In 1960 he joined the Cumberland Three, which was formed at the behest of Roulette Records by John Stewart, a singer and guitarist who later replaced Dave Guard in the Kingston Trio. The label sent the trio to New York, where Mr. Robbins quickly became active in the Greenwich Village folk-music scene and befriended musicians like Dave Van Ronk and Ronnie Gilbert of the Weavers.

After recording three albums, two of them devoted to Civil War songs, with the Cumberland Three, he joined the Belafonte Singers, a 12-man group of singers and musicians that toured with Harry Belafonte.

After the Highwaymen broke up, Mr. Robbins managed the Gaslight Club, on Macdougal Street, in the late 1960s. He directed the choir at the Church of St. Joseph in Greenwich Village and founded a choral group, the Occasional Singers, that performed avant-garde works.

He also acted in Off Broadway productions and in the ill-fated Broadway musical "Rainbow Jones," which closed after one performance at the Music Box Theater in 1974. He later appeared in small roles in the films "Bob Roberts" (which starred Tim Robbins), "Dead Man Walking," "Cradle Will Rock" and "Wide Awake."

In addition to his wife, a flute player he met at U.C.L.A., and his son Tim, of Manhattan, he is survived by another son, David, of Los Angeles; two daughters, Adele, also of Los Angeles, and Gabrielle, of San Rafael, Calif.; a brother, Tom, of Thousand Oaks, Calif.; and four grandchildren.


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