Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Dick Robertson--one of the busiest big band and studio singers from the late '20s through the early '40s--eventually pushed the microphone away, sat down and got busy writing songs of his own. This catalog of songs includes the slightly melancholy "I'm a Little on the Lonely Side" as well as "We Three", a melody-a-trois that has been mistakenly interpreted as a precursor to David Crosby's notorious "Triad". Robertson's career opened up in the Roaring Twenties: he was active in live performances as both a soloist and in duo with Ed Smalle before realizing that his voice was perfectly suited for the newly developing recording industry.
Robertson kept so busy cutting vocal tracks that he apparently made use of a stack of pseudonyms in order to quell potential rebellion amongst label managers and audience alike. The trick would not phase future jazz critics, who tend to pan his vocals under whatever name. Pianist Eubie Blake may have made the most vivid use of the Robertson pipes, presenting the vocalist as basically the main solo voice in a large ensemble grouping. The singer also recorded with Duke Ellington, The Mills Blue Rhythm Band, Benny Goodman, Andy Kirk and many others. Robertson also cut a variety of sides as a leader, organizing ensembles dubbed the Dick Robertson Orchestra with the type of studio musicians who kept as busy as he did during this era. Aliases for this performer, who also played violin on records every now and then, include Ray Carroll and Bobby Dick. His final recording session under his real name took place in 1949 for the Coral label with Owen Bradley producing--suggesting that Robertson may have been on the verge of going country.