The Courier-Journal Louisville, KY
July 30, 1990
LOS ANGELES -- Singer and bandleader Bobby Day, who recorded
"Rockin' Robin," "Little Bitty Pretty One" and other "doo-wop" hits, has died of cancer at age 60.
Day, who had been hospitalized since July 15, died Friday, family friend Karen Castillo said yesterday.
"He wasn't one of these kids that popped up and got lucky," said Castillo, of Desert Rose Productions and Solid Gold Entertainment Management. "He was extremely talented. . . . His rhythm and blues voice was dynamic and captivating."
Born Robert James Byrd, the Texas native founded two songwriting firms in Los Angeles, Byrdland Attractions and Quiline Publishing.
He formed the Hollywood Flames in the 1950s, whose "Buzz-Buzz-Buzz" and "Crazy" were hit singles in 1957. He also recorded "Gee Wiz" as part of the duo Bob & Earl.
Day wrote "Little Bitty Pretty One" and recorded it in 1958.
But Thurston Harris, who recorded a more up-tempo version of it, had the bigger hit that same year.
Day was the first to record the Jimmie Thomas song "Rockin' Robin," and his version hit No. 2 on the billboard charts in 1958.
The song became a hit again many years later for the Jackson 5.
Other Day recordings included "Over And Over" in 1958 and "The Bluebird, The Buzzard & The Oriole," "Gotta New Girl" and "That's All I Want" in 1959.
Day recently appeared in the nationwide tour "Thirty Years of Rock 'n' Roll" with Donnie Brooks and Tiny Tim.
"You never saw him without a smile," said Castillo. "The number one thing for him was entertaining people."
He is survived by his wife, Jackie, and four children.