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Cleveland Robinson

Cleveland, early 1960s-80s

Cleveland Robinson was a one man wonder, recording over a dozen 45s and a LP, most all self-distributed on his own Nosnibor label. Cleveland's sound was 'big city' soul not unlike the productions coming out of NYC in the 1960s and early 70s. 

He made his first known 45 in 1963, with no label other than the notation "Cleveland Robinson Sings". That 45 was repressed on the Debra label. Just about everything he recorded was also his own compositions. He then started using the Nosnibor label for 13 more 45s, roughly about one a year until 1971 or so, then a couple on the mid-late 70s, along with his lone LP. A few of his records got local airplay, with one of them, his take on the standard "Work Song" was picked up fot national release by Ascot records, another one of the Redda Robbins - United Artists connection products.

The records all seem to have been recorded locally, although it's possible some of the songs were recorded in New York. A Schneider Recording acetate exists of one of his early 45s. One of his songs, "Boy", was recorded 4 different times, starting off with a slow version, than a fast dance groove version, and then two more done around 1970/1 with a contempory feel with some jazz influence. 

There doesn't seem to be a lot of club listings for him performing locally, even in the early-mid 1970s when Cleveland's soul scene was at its peak. We don't have a lot of personal details about him either, an online search includes a lot of vague rehashed info.