HI family said in a post: With deep sadness and broken hearts, we bring the news that our beloved Dad, Red Robinson, passed this morning at 8:15 am after a brief illness.
Red Robinson — the legendary Vancouver disc jockey for decades — has passed away.
In a Twitter post Saturday evening, the family said: “With deep sadness and broken hearts, we bring the news that our beloved Dad, Red Robinson, passed this morning at 8:15 am after a brief illness. We’re so glad we got to spend his final moments with him, and having his brother Bill there made it extra special, Kellie and Sherrie Robinson posted.
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“Most people knew our Dad as a rock ‘n’ roll DJ, a TV personality, an ad agency owner, a spokesperson, or through his philanthropic work. He was larger-than-life in a lot of ways, but to us he was a devoted father and grandfather, a loving husband to our late mom Carole, and a loyal friend to everybody.”
“Red’s departure leaves a huge hole in our lives, as well as the lives of everybody he touched in the worlds of radio, TV, music and entertainment.”
His family said an event celebrating Red’s life will be announced soon.
His family said: “We can’t think of a better way to sum up Dad’s life than the lyrics to one his favourite Elvis songs, If I Can Dream: “Out there in the dark, there’s a beckoning candle… and while I can think, while I can talk, while I can stand, while I can walk… while I can dream, oh, please let my dream come true… right now.”
Red retired in 2017 from his on-air job of 64 years.
One of Red’s memorable interviews was with Buddy Holly, the upstart rock ‘n’ roll star who was killed in a plane crash in 1959 at the age of 22.
Holly had performed once in Vancouver, on Oct. 23, 1957. Holly was in town with the Show of Stars, a revue that featured eight acts now in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame — Holly, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, the Everly Brothers, the Drifters, Eddie Cochran, Clyde McPhatter and LaVern Baker — as well as Frankie Lymon, Paul Anka, Jimmy Bowen and Buddy Knox.
In an interview with Postmedia’s John Mackie in 2017, Red recalled that interview.
“They each got to do two songs, and if they had a lot of applause they did one more,” said Robinson.
“It was put together by Irvin Feld, who owned Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey circus. I think he had watched (rock and roll DJ) Alan Freed in New York and decided to do his own (travelling show).”
Robinson interviewed Holly backstage, and shared with Mackie one of many highlights of his career.
“I’d run out, do an interview, then (go back onstage) and introduce the next act,” Red recounted.
“In my interview with Buddy Holly I asked, ‘How long do you think rock and roll is going to last?’ He said, ‘Oh, I think ’til Christmas but not much later.’ Those were his exact words.”
Red also had an Elvis Presley autograph from when Elvis played Empire Stadium on Aug. 31, 1957. Red was emcee of the show, and there’s a great photo of Red and Elvis with a giant teddy bear that Elvis’s fans gave him, in honour of his hit Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear.
With files from John Mackie