Born: July 1, 1930
Birthplace: Forth Worth, TX
Died: July 27, 1990
Zodiac Sign: Cancer
Career and Life
Robert James Byrd aka Bobby Day, was an American rock and roll and R&B singer, multi instrumentalist, music producer and songwriter. He is best known for his hit record "Rockin' Robin", written by Jimmie Thomas.
Day moved to Los Angeles, California, at the age of 15. His first recording was "Young Girl" in 1949 as "The Flames" released 1950 on the Selective Label. He went several years with minor musical success limited to the West Coast. He recorded under numerous other names, as The Jets, The Voices, The Sounds, The Crescendos, including being the original "Bob" in the duo Bob & Earl with singer Earl Nelson. As a member of the R&B group the Hollywood Flames he used the stage name Bobby Day to perform and record. In 1957 Day formed his own band called the Satellites, following which he recorded three songs that are seen today as rock and roll classics. Despite the similarity in personal and group names, this is not the Bobby Byrd that sang with, and was the founder of, the Famous Flames, the vocal group with which James Brown first began his career.
Day's best known songwriting efforts were "Over and Over", later made popular by The Dave Clark Five in 1965, and "Little Bitty Pretty One", popularized by Thurston Harris in 1957 Clyde McPhatter in 1962, and the Jackson Five in 1972. However, Day is most remembered for his 1958 solo recording of the Billboard Hot 100 No. 2 hit, Rockin' Robin, written by Leon Rene under the pseudonym Jimmie Thomas. It sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold record. "Rockin' Robin" was a song covered by Bob Luman at Town Hall Party on October 28, 1958, The Hollies in 1964, Gene Vincent in 1969, Michael Jackson in 1972, and by McFly in 2006.
Harris' version of "Little Bitty Pretty One" appears in the 1996 motion picture Matilda as Matilda learns to control her telekinetic powers.
In 2012–2013, his uncharted recording, "Beep-Beep-Beep", was the musical soundtrack for a Kia Sorento television commercial shown nationwide in the U.S.
Day died of prostate cancer in 1990 and is buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.