Robert Gordon

Singer Robert Gordon – born in Bethesda, Maryland on March 29, 1947 – was best known for his rockabilly recordings in the late 1970s and early 1980s, most of which were released before the rockabilly revival of the early ‘80s. His classic recordings from this period featured iconic guitarists Link Wray and Chris Spedding. Robert Gordon’s music career began in the mid-1960s when he was a member of Maryland-based groups The Confidentials and the Newports. Moving to New York City with his family in 1970, he eventually became involved in the burgeoning punk rock scene and joined the band Tuff Darts as their lead vocalist. The group recorded several live songs for the Live at CBGB’s compilation album before Robert Gordon left the group to pursue a solo career. Tuff Darts continued with a new vocalist and recorded a self-titled album in 1978 before splitting up. Now focused on performing music heavily influenced by 1950s rockabilly, Robert Gordon and producer Richard Gottehrer recruited legendary guitarist Link Wray, and the duo recorded two critically acclaimed albums together: Robert Gordon with Link Wray (1977) and Fresh Fish Special (1978). The second album is well-known for featuring Elvis Presley’s former backing vocalists The Jordanaires and for including the song “Fire,” which was originally written for Presley by Bruce Springsteen. Signing to RCA Records, Link Wray’s guitar spot was filled by Chris Spedding and Robert Gordon released the albums Rock Billy Boogie (1979) and Bad Boy (1980) before guitarist Danny Gatton stepped in as his lead guitarist. In 1981, Robert Gordon released the album Are You Gonna Be the One, which blended his rockabilly style with a more commercial pop edge. The single “Someday, Someway” (written by then-unknown songwriter Marshall Crenshaw) rose to Number 76 on the Billboard Hot 100. Although he had recorded enough material for another album for RCA (later released by Bear Family Records as The Lost Album+), Robert Gordon and the label parted ways after the release of the 1982 compilation Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die. After a short break, Robert Gordon signed with the French label New Rose and released Live at Lone Star (1989) and All for the Love of Rock’n’Roll (1994). In 2005, he reunited with guitarist Chris Spedding for a European tour which resulted in the live album Rockin' the Paradiso (2006). They also recorded an album of Elvis covers entitled It's Now or Never (2007). In 2009, Robert Gordon and Chris Spedding formed an all-star band - The Gang They Couldn't Hang - with Stray Cats’ Slim Jim Phantom and Sex Pistols’ Glen Matlock and toured in 2009 and 2010. Robert Gordon returned to his solo career with the albums I'm Coming Home (2014) and Rockabilly for Life (2020). Suffering from leukemia, Robert Gordon died on October 18, 2022, at the age of 75.

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Stations Featuring Robert Gordon

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