Formed by brothers David Donaldson (aka Dee Robb), Robert Donaldson (aka Bruce Robb), and George Donaldson (aka Joe Robb) in Wisconsin, The Robbs released a succession of obscure 45s before coming to Dick Clark’s attention when playing a show in Chicago.
They became a house band on Clark’s national television show, Where the Action Is, for much of 1966, replacing Paul Revere and the Raiders.
In mid-1966 they issued their first Mercury single, Race with the Wind. It became the first of their five singles to peak just outside the Top 100, reaching #103. A second single, I Don’t Feel Alone, missed the charts entirely.
For their third Mercury 45, PF Sloan and Steve Barri provided Bittersweet but it too failed to crack the national charts, despite local success in various regions of America.
Their final singles two on Mercury were released in 1967: Rapid Transit was sophisticated sunshine pop that showed the influence of The Five Americans-style vocal harmonies but only reached #123, while Girls, Girls was out of step with the progressive trends of late 1967.
Mercury issued The Robbs’ sole (self-titled) album in 1967. It reached #200 on the Billboard charts and stayed there for a single week in January 1968.
The Robbs moved to Atlantic, Dunhill, and ABC, releasing half a dozen subsequent singles between 1968 and 1971, finally changing their name to Cherokee and moving to a country rock-influenced sound.
The three Robb (Donaldson) brothers went on to open Cherokee Studios in Hollywood in the mid-1970s where their clients included David Bowie, The Go-Go’s, Tom Petty, Frank Sinatra, Mötley Crüe, Michael Jackson, Jane’s Addiction, Ringo Starr, Harry Nilsson, Aerosmith, Devo and Warren Zevon. Craig Krampf became a top session drummer.
Dee Robb (David Donaldson) died in 2008.
David Donaldson (Dee Robb)
George Donaldson (Joe Robb)
Robert Donaldson (Bruce Robb)
Craig Krampf (Craig Robb)