Harry Robinson

Born: November 19th, 1932, Elgin (Scotland, UK)
Died: January 17th, 1996, Wandsworth, London (England, UK)
Nationality: British

Harry Robinson (pseudonym of Henry MacLeod Robertson) entered the music business in the late 1950s, when, under the aegis of producer Jack Good, he became musical director of teenage music programmes, firstly ‘Six-Five Special’ (from 1957 onwards, on BBC), and, two years later, ‘Oh Boy!’ (on ITV). In these shows, rock ‘n roll music was showcased for the first time on British television. Robinson’s 13-man-band became known as the Lord Rockingham’s XI, including, amongst others, saxophonists Benny Green and Red Price. The band scored a surprise number-one-record with a creation of Robinson, the novelty instrumental ‘Hoots mon’ (1958).

In the early 1960s, Harry Robinson worked as an arranger and conductor on stage shows (‘Fings ain’t wot they used t’be’ and ‘Maggie May’) as well as in the recording business for labels EMI and Decca, helping artists such as Nick Drake, Sandy Denny, and Craig Douglas. He made TV shows with the likes of Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli and the Beatles.

From 1966 onwards, Robinson worked as a film composer for Hammer Film Productions. He specialized in the horror genre, writing the score of movie pictures such as ‘Twins of evil’ (1972) and ‘There goes the bride’ (1980). He also co-write some movie scripts, including ‘Hawk the Slayer’ (1980) and ‘Prisoners of the lost universe’ (1982). Moreover, he co-composed the music to the musical on the life of Elvis Presley which premiered on West End in 1977 and penned the tunes to many a promotion campaign.

Harry Robinson was the conductor of the UK entry to the 1961 Eurovision Song Contest in Cannes, ‘Are you sure’, which was performed by The Allisons and finished second. Robinson never returned to the international contest, but conducted two more songs in the UK pre-selection: ‘The girl next door’ for Craig Douglas (1961) and ‘My kingdom for a girl’ for Doug Sheldon (1962). The latter song was co-composed by Robinson.

In due course, a more extensive biography of Harry Robinson will be published on this website


Songs conducted
1961: Are you sure?