American rock n roll and R&B singer/songwriter Bobby Day was a former member of the L.A.-based Hollywood Flames (who was known for their hit single “Buzz, Buzz, Buzz” in 1957) and the Satellites, entering the 60s music era. The songs he wrote, such as “Over and Over” and “Little Bitty Pretty One” has been covered by several artists, notably Thurston Harris. During the late-50s music era he achieved his one and only hit “Rockin Robin” that peaked at #2 on the pop chart. The 60-year old Day died of cancer July 27 1990. His classic rock n roll was definitely considered as one of the oldies music gems.
Bobby Day’s early musical career
Best remembered for his smash hit “Rockin Robin” in 1958, the American rock n’ roll and R&B musician Bobby Day was born Robert James Byrd on July 1, 1930 in Fort Worth, Texas. Day relocated to Los Angeles, California when he was 15 years old. In 1949, he initially led the R&B group Hollywood Flames, one of Los Angeles’ top performers during that time. The group enjoyed some hits including “Buzz, Buzz, Buzz” in 1957.
After that, Day formed his own group called the Satellites, releasing original classic rock n roll tune “Little Bitty Pretty One.” The song was soon covered by Thurston Harris who surpassed the original in terms of chart performance (#6 pop, #2 R&B) in 1957. Clyde McPhatter’s version was issued in 1962 and registered on the pop chart at #25 while Jackson 5’s version peaked at #13 on the same chart in 1972.
Day was also a member of the duo Bob and Earl, where he used his real name Bobby Byrd. In 1963 the duo scored a minor hit with “Harlem Shuffle,” which was sampled nearly 30 years later by House of Pain in their breakthrough hit single “Jump Around.”
“Rockin’ Robin” – Day’s only major hit as a recording artist
Billed as Bobby Day, he was signed as a solo recording artist to Class imprint in 1957. He scored a Top 10 Billboard hit with “Rockin Robin” the following year. It became Day’s only major hit, peaking on both pop and R&B chart at #2 and #1 respectively. The million-selling single was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA.
Day also wrote the song “Over and Over” which he also recorded in 1958. It almost made the Top 40 pop chart. British pop group the Dave Clark Five released their own version which topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1965.
Day’s death and legacy
Day passed away due to cancer at the age of 60 in Los Angeles, California on July 27, 1990.
One of his songs, “Beep-Beep-Beep” may not have made the charts by the time it first came out. However, it was later used as a soundtrack music for Kia the Sorento TV ad in 2012-2013.