Robin Luke Biography

20 March 1942, Los Angeles, California, USA. Luke was a rockabilly-style singer who had one Top 5 success, ‘Susie Darlin’’, in 1958. His family moved frequently, and in 1953 settled in Hawaii, where he learned to play guitar and ukulele. He was discovered by entertainer Kimo McVay, who introduced him to Bob Bertram, who then recorded Luke in his own Bertram International studio. The simplistic ‘Susie Darlin’’, named after Luke’s younger sister, was recorded using a great deal of echo, with Bertram singing behind him and percussion created by simply banging two pens on a box (Bertram later reported that some 75 takes of the song were recorded). The single was issued on the Bertram International label and became a local favourite. It was then picked up by the larger Dot Records and began its 1958 ascent to number 5 (a few other singles were issued on Bertram while the Dot contract was already in effect). In 1959, Luke moved to California and continued to record, now backed by top session musicians such as Glen Campbell and Barney Kessel. Luke remained with Dot until 1962, but never had another hit, possibly because the more elaborate productions lacked the charm of the minimal Bertram record. In the early 60s, Luke moved to Missouri to complete his education and he subsequently became a university tutor. His only recording after leaving Dot was a remake of ‘Susie Darlin’’ for K-Tel Records in the 70s.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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