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Robert "Count Rabbit" Robinson

Born on 8-22-1932. He was born in AL. He later died on 2-19-2011.
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Robert "Count Rabbit" Robinson died one day after he was honored in a Black History Month tribute by Buffalo's Mayor, Byron Brown. Mayor Brown declared February 18, 2011 "Count Rabbit Day" in Buffalo, New York. Robinson attended the Black History Program but was too weak to speak. About 100 people, including friends, family members, musicians and City Hall dignitaries attended the event. George K. Arthur, former Buffalo Council President and a close friend of Robinson's described the musician as one of the greatest blues musicians in Buffalo's history.
He was a native of Alabama, whose parents were Idella and Robert Skipper. When his mother married Henry Robinson, Robert took the name of his stepfather. He was 8 years old when his family moved to Buffalo from Pittsburgh. Robinson began playing guitar and singing around this same time. By the time he was 14, he and his brother Skip, played on the streets of the East side, earning money contributed by their listeners. In fact, he came from a musical family. His mother was a singer in the legendary Butterbeans and Susie minstrel troupe that performed throughout the South.
Mr. Robinson was discovered by the old Club Moonglow, a popular nightspot that eventually hired him to perform. He also was a popular performer at the Little Harlem and the Lucky Clover. In 1959 Robinson joined Eugene Washington to form the duet, Robert and Gino. They recorded the hit "Why did You Go". The song helped to launch him as a nationally acclaimed musician. The team toured Canada with a gospel group, and then turned to blues at the suggestion of a preacher. While visiting a cousin in Pittsburgh, Robinson impressed a club owner there who offered him and Washington to play in his club.
During the six year period that the duo stayed in Pittsburgh, they were mentored by the club owner and the local musicians' union president, who became their manager and let them live in one of his houses. In the 60s, Robinson and Washington toured the country. Robinson returned to Buffalo in 1969, fronting the house band in the Club Shalamar. While there he often greeted many of the performers he'd met while in Pittsburgh, including George Benson and the Ohio Players. Robinson was inducted into the Buffalo Music hall of fame in 1996.
Mr. Robinson was the father of twelve sons and eight daughters. Three of his sons predeceased him. He was buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo, New York.