BYRD, ROBERT JAMES, SR. [BOBBY DAY]
Listen to this artist
BYRD, ROBERT JAMES, SR. [BOBBY DAY] (1928–1990). Bobby Day, rhythm-and-blues singer and bandleader, was born Robert James Byrd, Sr., on July 1, 1928, in Fort Worth. He was the son of Julia Jennings. About 1947 Byrd, not to be confused with a funk musician named Bobby Byrd, moved to Los Angeles and began his performing career under the stage name Bobby Day at Johnny Otis's Barrelhouse Club. By 1950 he had helped form the Hollywood Flames, with whom he made a hit recording, "Buzz Buzz Buzz" (1957). In 1957 he formed a second musical group, the Satellites, which backed him on his hit "Little Bitty Pretty One," which Day wrote. He was also the first to record Jimmie Thomas's "Rockin' Robin" (1958), the song by which most pop music lovers recognize Day. The song became a Number 2 hit on the Billboard charts.
As Bobby Day,Byrd was also the original Bob of the R&B duo Bob and Earl, when he performed with Earl Nelson from 1957 to 1959. Day and Nelson met in 1957, when the latter joined the Hollywood Flames. As the Flames' lead singer, Nelson was spotlighted on Day's "Buzz Buzz Buzz." Byrd's unique baritone voice kept him in demand with a variety of recording labels, including Rendezvous, RCA, and Sure-Shot. For Jama Records he sang lead with the Day Birds. His "doo-wop" style was revived by performers of the 1960s and 1970s. The Dave Clark Five had a hit with his song “Over and Over” in 1965, and the Jackson 5 rerecorded "Rockin' Robin" in 1972. Byrd established Byrdland Attractions and Quiline Publishing, songwriting enterprises. He died on July 27, 1990, in Los Angeles and was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California. He was survived by his wife, Jackie, and four children.
Colin Larkin, ed., The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Chester, Connecticut: New England Publishing Associates, 1992). Los Angeles Times, July 30, 1990. Norm N. Nite, Rock On: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock n' Roll (New York: Crowell, 1974–).
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Peggy Hardman, "Byrd, Robert James, Sr. [Bobby Day]," accessed May 02, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fbywe.
Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Modified on October 1, 2015. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history every day,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles