Frank Edward Robinson
30th Dec 2010 - "It is with deep regret that the Merseysippi Jazz Band have to tell you that Frank Robinson, the band's only remaining Founder Member and the author of its inspirational title way back in 1949, died peacefully in Whiston Hospital in the early hours of Thursday 30th December, 2010. Although his health had been deteriorating for some time, he was still playing with the band up to only a few weeks ago. Frank was born in Liverpool in August, 1925. A tremendous innings. He will be very sadly missed indeed and, as we sincerely believe he would have wished, the band will resume its regular Monday night residency at the Liverpool Cricket Club on Monday, 3rd January, 2011. Details of his funeral arrangements will be sent to JazzNorthWest as soon as they become available." - Derek Vaux.
30/12/10 - Word has reached me today that the last remaining founder member of The Merseysippi Jazz Band, pianist Frank Robinson, passed away earlier this morning. Frank was a great character, and I recall chatting with him at a couple of the Llandudno Jazz Weekends where we shared a table at dinner time. I asked him if he ever felt like not making the effort on a Monday night, and he said, "Many a time, but once I start playing, it all goes away". Frank was often to be found not only playing our kind of music, but supporting it at other venues where he enjoyed relaxing and listening to it too. Frank had been ill in hospital since having a bad fall on November 21st, but as he was a private man who shunned publicity, I kept the details off the site.
How sad it was to hear the news about Frank Robinson. He was one of the great stalwarts of traditional jazz in the North-West and of course had been with the Merseysippi Jazz Band throughout its illustrious history. He was a courteous, unassuming and gentle man who was always friendly and helpful. This was particularly true if you were depping with the Merseys, because it was Frank who would quietly lean across and tell you how they approached a particular tune or provide you with chords if they were playing one of those numbers that very few other bands do, like Original Rags. He was a true lover of jazz, as shown by the way he would often turn up at other band's gigs. There will be many, many people who will be sorry to hear of his passing.
Thank you putting our dear friend
Frank's death announcement on your website. As Derek said, his funeral will be
at St. Helens Crematorium on 10th January at 2.30 p. m. He will be very much
missed by us all. He was a super chap in all respects. He was the band treasurer
for many years, was utterly trustworthy and honest and a real gentleman as well
as being a fine pianist and founder member of the band, who thought of the
band's name. It has not been a good month for pianists with two well-known
players owning up in December, the other being Bob Hayward, the only surviving
founder-member of the Blue Magnolia Jass Orchestra of course.
Visits to Frank in Hospital
confirmed how ill he was ,but we all live in hope don't we?
Such sad news. A fine musician
and a real gentleman . He was a very warm person and so unassuming. He had a
vast knowledge of our music. Condolences to his family and the Merseys.
I was saddened to hear of the passing of Frank. I will always remember him as not only a fine musician but a very warm and friendly guy even when he wasn't feeling all that well. He offered me great encouragement when I first depped with the Merseys and always made me welcome. He will be missed by all.
It's very sad that dear old Frank
(Robinson) has passed away. I had a look for him on Youtube by searching for the
Merseysippi Jazz Band, and there's some good 'footage' of him playing Basin
Street Blues in 2008, and what's more his piano playing can be clearly heard.
This is the way I shall remember him, relaxed and doing a good job!
I was so sorry to hear of the
passing of Frank. The many tributes regarding his kindness, helpfulness,
courteousness and friendliness are a measure of the respect he has gained. Ian
Warm and affectionate memories of
playing alongside Frank with the Tony Davis Band at Fort Perch Rock shortly
before Christmas 2009. It was raining cats and dogs, and Frank and I were there
well in advance of everyone else, which gave us time for a chinwag and a bit of
catching up beforehand. I didn't realise at the time how much that all too brief
conversation would come to mean. He was a wonderfully accommodating pianist and
very good company. My condolences to his family.
I wish to add my own tribute to the many already given on the late Frank Robinson. Frank deputised many times with the Harlem Hot Stompers and we knew him as someone who could be relied on to play any tune at a moment's notice and play it well. A good man, he will be missed.
I wanted to say something about Frank but I just couldn't find the words somehow, and I still can't. He was a great bloke. He was a lovely, kind, genuine and very funny man. When I joined the Wirrorleans JB in August 2000, he was at that time the pianist with the band and I was very happy to renew my friendship with him after having not been on the scene for several years. Frank brought something special to every band he played with; his knowledge of chord sequences was invaluable (I was certainly very glad of it) and he was a great, stabilizing influence in the band. When the band broke for their interval Frank and I would have a quiet drink together and discuss the last episode of "The Simpsons" that had been on the telly; I had discovered to my surprise that Frank was a big fan of the programme.
Frank left the band because he
wanted to cut down on the amount of playing he was doing and I thought I
wouldn't see much of him. Unlike a lot of other jazz musicians however, he was
often to be seen in the audience at other bands residencies. One such band was
the Tony Davis Band, where Frank was both a welcome sight in the audience and as
a sitter-in with the band. I will miss him greatly and I'm sure that, without
question, everyone else who knew him will do the same. I feel very fortunate
that I existed at the same time as him and even more fortunate to have known
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