Monday, February 7, 2011

Oldies Week: Rockin' Robin

The Jackson 5 recorded several cover versions of old songs that were classic doo-wop. This week, we'll take a closer look at them, starting with one of Michael's solo release that was released as a single 39 years ago this month.

In February of 1972, Michael released his second solo single, "Rockin' Robin." The song hadn't originally been scheduled as a single, and it was only after radio djs started playing the song from Michael's first LP, Got to Be There, that Motown decided to release it as the second single, instead of of "I Wanna Be Where You Are."

The djs who has originally played the album cut in the first place probably chose it because it was a familiar song to them, having first been released as a single back by Bobby Day back in 1958, the year Michael was born.

Here's Bobby Day's version for comparison.

The Jackson 5 performed the song live on Top of the Pops when they were in England in November 1972. Tito has a nice guiar solo, and be sure to check out the very end where Marlon, Jackie, and Michael do a little bit of the funky chicken.

The song was released as a single not just in the United States but in other countries, as well. Here are some of the foreign pressings I have in my collection.

Germany, Japan, Spain, and Sweden all issued the single with different picture sleeves. All were backed with "Love Is here and Now You're Gone," as was the U.S. pressing.

Greece didn't issue it with a picture sleeve, but this is one the few Greek pressings I have in my collection. They issued it as the B-side of "Got to Be There."

The picture sleeve from Spain had an interesting back cover, too, showing the different photo they used on the LP release of Maybe Tomorrow (MS-9030) -- a rarity I have so far been unable to find.

The search never ends for a Jackson 5 collector.


  1. I love your blog. It's always so very informative and brings back a lot of wonderful memories. Thank you so much!

  2. Great post!

    I totally love the live version of Rockin Robin over the studio version. I love Michael's slightly rusty style on the live version, and u have the brothers on background. It put a little more soul into this ditty and I enjoyed it.

    I I'm pretty sure that MJ's version of Rocking Robin is the most common version of the song. Am I mistaken?