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Jimmie Lee Robinson
Jimmie Lee Robinson is proud of the fact that he is one of the original Chicago born blues players. Born April 30, 1931 he started playing the guitar on Maxwell Street at the early age of 11. He grew up just a few blocks away from this rich musical melting pot and is one of the few remaining links to this remarkable blues heritage. During the early 1950's he was part of the Every Hour Blues Boys band which featured a young Freddy King on guitar. In the mid to late 50's he played with Elmore James and Little Walter and began his solo recording career in 1958. By 1960 he had a fairly big regional hit called "All My Life," which was later recorded by John Mayall. He acquired his nick name "The Lonely Traveler" from one of his first recordings called "The Lonesome Traveler" that somehow, during the passing years, got changed to "The Lonely Traveler." After playing with Howlin Wolf for a short time he retired from the music scene except for an occasional tour until 1991 when he returned full time. In 1993 he recorded a CD called "Lonely Traveler" on Delmark, and recently released 2 self-produced CD’s called "Guns, Gangs, and Drugs" and "Maxwell Street Blues" on his own Amina label.

Robinson is known for his warm personality, engaging storytelling, superb ballad singing, exceptional guitar playing, an occasional whistle and his trademark jingling spurs. His performances feature an enticing mixture of blues, rags, country and soul with a voice that swings from a low guttural growl and moan to some lilting melodic highs. Today Jimmie Lee Robinson remains one of Chicago’s hidden blues treasures and you can see him perform on the Bayfront Boogie Train.

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Copyright © 1998 by Ray M. Stiles
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