|Height:||185 cm (6' 1'')|
|Birth Day:||July 5, 1943|
|Birth Place:||Toronto, Canada|
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|185 cm (6' 1'')||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
He performed his music at local clubs. One of his first groups was called Little Caesar and the Consuls.
Robertson was born Jaime Royal Robertson on July 5, 1943. He was an only child. His mother was Rosemarie Dolly Chrysler, born February 6, 1922, a Cayuga and Mohawk woman who was raised on the Six Nations Reserve southwest of Toronto, Ontario. Chrysler lived with an aunt in the Cabbagetown neighbourhood and worked at a jewellery plating factory. It was at the factory that she met James Patrick Robertson. They married in 1942.
The first band Robertson joined was Little Caesar and the Consuls, formed in 1956 by pianist/vocalist Bruce Morshead and guitarist Gene MacLellan. He stayed with the group for almost a year, playing popular songs of the day at local teen dances before forming Robbie and the Rhythm Chords in 1957 with his friend Pete "Thumper" Traynor (who would later found Traynor Amplifiers). They changed the name to Robbie and the Robots after they watched the film Forbidden Planet and took a liking to the film's character Robby the Robot. Traynor customized Robertson's guitar for the Robots, fitting it with antennae and wires to give it a space age look. Traynor and Robertson then joined with pianist Scott Cushnie and became The Suedes. It was at a Suedes show on October 5, 1959, when they played CHUM Radio's Hif Fi Club on Toronto's Merton Street, where Ronnie Hawkins first became aware of the group, and was impressed enough to join them for a few numbers.
Drummer/singer Levon Helm was already a member of the Hawks and soon became close friends with Robertson. The Hawks continued to tour the United States and Canada, adding Rick Danko, Richard Manuel, and Garth Hudson to the Hawks lineup in 1961.
The Hawks left Ronnie Hawkins at the beginning of 1964 to go on their own. The members of the Hawks were losing interest in playing in the rockabilly style in favour of playing blues and soul music. In early 1964, the group approached agent Harold Kudlets about representing them, which he agreed to do, booking them a years' worth of shows in the same circuits as they had been in before with Ronnie Hawkins. Originally dubbed The Levon Helm Sextet, the group included all of the future members of The Band, plus Jerry Penfound on saxophone and Bob Bruno on vocals.
Bruno left in May 1964, and at that time the group changed their name to Levon and the Hawks. Penfound stayed with the group until 1965. Kudlets kept the group busy performing throughout 1964 and into 1965, finally booking them into two lengthy summer engagements at the popular nightclub Tony Mart's in Somers Point, New Jersey, where they played six nights a week alongside Conway Twitty and other acts.
The members of Levon and the Hawks befriended blues artist John P. Hammond while he was performing in Toronto in 1964. Later in the year, the group agreed to work on Hammond's album So Many Roads (released in 1965) at the same time that they were playing the Peppermint Lounge in New York City. Robertson played guitar throughout the album, and was billed "Jaime R. Robertson" in the album's credits.
Levon and the Hawks cut a single "Uh Uh Uh" b/w "Leave Me Alone" under the name the Canadian Squires in March 1965. Both songs were written by Robertson. The single was recorded in New York and released on Apex Records in the United States and on Ware Records in Canada. As Levon and the Hawks, the group cut an afternoon session for Atco Records later in 1965, which yielded two singles, "The Stones That I Throw" b/w "He Don't Love You" (Atco 6383) and "Go, Go, Liza Jane" b/w "He Don't Love You" (Atco 6625). Robertson also wrote all three of the tracks on Levon and the Hawks' Atco singles.
Toward the end of Levon and the Hawks' second engagement at Tony Mart's in New Jersey, in August 1965, Robertson received a call from Albert Grossman Management requesting a meeting with Bob Dylan. The group had been recommended to both Grossman and to Dylan by Mary Martin, one of Grossman's employees, who was originally from Toronto and was a friend of the band. Dylan was also aware of the group through his friend John Hammond, whose album So Many Roads members of the Hawks had performed on.
On November 30, 1965, Dylan cut a studio session with members of the Hawks, which yielded the non-LP single "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?" Dylan completed the Blonde on Blonde album in Nashville in mid-February 1966, employing Robertson for one of these sessions, which took place on February 14.
Bob Dylan and the Hawks toured the United States throughout October–December 1965, with each show consisting of two sets: an acoustic show just featuring Dylan on guitar and harmonica, and an electric set featuring Dylan backed by the Hawks. The tours were largely met with a hostile reaction from fans who knew Dylan as a prominent figure in the American folk music revival, perceiving his move into rock music as a betrayal. Helm left the group after their November 28 performance in Washington, D.C. Session drummer Bobby Gregg replaced Helm for the December dates, and Sandy Konikoff was brought in to replace Gregg in January 1966.
Dylan and the Hawks played more dates in the continental United States in February–March 1966 of the 1966 world tour, and then played Hawaii, Australia, Europe, and the UK and Ireland, from April 9 – May 27. Drummer Sandy Konikoff left after the Pacific Northwest dates in March, and Mickey Jones replaced him, staying with the group for the remainder of the tour. The Australian and European legs of the tour received a particularly harsh response from disgruntled folk fans, and the May 17 Manchester Free Trade Hall show, best known for an angry audience member audibly yelling "Judas!" at Dylan, became a frequently-bootlegged live show from the tour; it was eventually released officially as The Bootleg Series Vol. 4: Bob Dylan Live 1966, The "Royal Albert Hall" Concert. The European leg of the tour was filmed by documentary filmmaker D. A. Pennebaker, and the footage was edited into the documentary Eat the Document.
On July 29, 1966, Dylan sustained an injured neck from a motorcycle accident, and retreated to a quiet domestic life with his new wife and child in upstate New York. Some of the members of the Hawks were living at the Chelsea Hotel in New York City at the time, and were kept on a weekly retainer by Dylan's management.
In February 1967, Dylan invited the members of the Hawks to come up to Woodstock, New York to work on music. Robertson had met a French-Canadian woman on the Paris stop of Dylan's 1966 world tour, and the two moved into a house in the Woodstock area. The remaining three members of the Hawks rented a house near West Saugerties, New York that would later be dubbed "Big Pink" because of its pink exterior.
Dylan and the members of the Hawks worked together at the "Big Pink" house every day to rehearse and generate ideas for new songs, many of which they recorded in "Big Pink"'s makeshift basement studio. The recordings were made between the late spring and autumn of 1967. Previous Hawks member Levon Helm returned to the group in August 1967. By this time, Robertson's guitar style had evolved to be more supportive of the song and less devoted to displaying speed and virtuosity.
In late 1967, Dylan left to record his next album, John Wesley Harding (1967). After recording the basic tracks, Dylan asked Robertson and Garth Hudson about playing on the album to fill out the sound. However, when Robertson heard the tracks, he liked the starkness of the sound and recommended that Dylan leave the songs as they were. Dylan worked with the members of the Hawks once again when they appeared as his backup band at two Woody Guthrie memorial concerts at Carnegie Hall in New York City in January 1968. Three of these performances were later released by Columbia Records on the LP A Tribute to Woody Guthrie, Vol. 1 (1972).
In 1967, Robertson married Dominique Bourgeois, a Canadian journalist. They later divorced. They have three children: daughters Alexandra and Delphine and son Sebastian.
In time, word about these sessions began to circulate, and in 1968, Rolling Stone magazine co-founder Jann Wenner brought attention to these tracks in an article entitled "Dylan's Basement Tape Should Be Released".
Over the course of the "Basement Tapes" period, the group had developed a sound of their own, and Grossman went to Los Angeles to shop the group to a major label, securing a contract with Capitol Records. The group went to New York to begin recording songs with music producer John Simon. Capitol brought the group to Los Angeles to finish the album. The resulting album, Music From Big Pink, was released in August 1968.
When Music from Big Pink was released in 1968, the Band initially avoided media attention, and discouraged Capitol Records from promotional efforts. They also did not immediately pursue touring to support the album, and declined to be interviewed for a year. The resulting mystery surrounding the group led to speculation in the underground press. Music from Big Pink received excellent reviews, and the album influenced many well-known musicians of the period.
In 1969, a bootleg album with a plain white cover compiled by two incognito music industry insiders featured a collection of seven tracks from these sessions. The album, which became known as The Great White Wonder, began to appear in independent record stores and receive radio airplay. This album became a runaway success and helped to launch the bootleg recording industry.
In early 1969, the Band rented a home from Sammy Davis Jr. in Hollywood Hills, and converted the pool house behind it into a studio to recreate the "clubhouse" atmosphere that they had enjoyed at "Big Pink" previously. The band began recording every day in the pool house studio, working on a tight schedule to complete the album. An additional three tracks were recorded at The Hit Factory in New York in April 1969. Robertson did most of the audio engineering on the album.
The Band began performing regularly in spring 1969, with their first live dates as the Band being at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. Their most notable performances that year were at the 1969 Woodstock Festival and the UK Isle of Wight Festival with Bob Dylan in August.
The Band's album The Band was released in September 1969, and became a critical and commercial success. The album received almost universal critical praise, peaked at #9 on the US pop charts, and stayed in the Top 40 for 24 weeks. The Band works as a loose concept album of Americana themes, and was instrumental in the creation of the Americana Music genre. It was included in the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry in 2009.
Several other tracks from The Band received significant radio airplay, and would become staples in the group's concert appearances. "Up on Cripple Creek" peaked at #25 in late 1969 in the United States, and would be their only Top 30 hit there. "Rag Mama Rag" reached #16 in the UK in April 1970, the highest chart position of any single by the group in that country. "Whispering Pines", co-written by Richard Manuel, was released as a single in France in 1970, and would become the title of a 2009 book about Canadian contributions to the Americana music genre by Jason Schneider. On November 2, 1969, the Band appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, one of only two television appearances they would make.
On January 12, 1970, the Band was featured on the cover of Time magazine. This was the first time a North American rock band featured on the cover of the magazine.
Robertson produced Jesse Winchester's debut self-titled album, which was released in 1970 on Ampex Records. The album features Robertson playing guitar throughout the album, and co-credits the track "Snow" to Robertson as well.
The song with the strongest cultural impact on The Band album was "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down". The song tells a fictional story of a Confederate citizen's experiences at the end of the American Civil War, and features actual historical events worked into the song to create a larger American mythos. Although the Band's original version was not released as a single, a cover version by Joan Baez went to #3 on the charts in 1971 and helped to popularize the song.
The Band's next album, Cahoots, was recorded at Albert Grossman's newly built Bearsville Studios and was released in October 1971. The album received mixed reviews, and peaked at #24 on the Billboard charts, only remaining in the Billboard Top 40 for five weeks.
The Band continued to tour throughout 1970-71. A live album recorded at a series of shows at the Academy of Music in New York City between December 28–31, 1971, was released in 1972 as the double album Rock Of Ages. Rock of Ages peaked at #6, and remained in the Top 40 for 14 weeks.
After the Academy of Music shows, the Band again retreated from performing live. They returned to the stage on July 28, 1973, to play the Summer Jam at Watkins Glen alongside the Allman Brothers Band and the Grateful Dead. A recording of the Band's performance was released by Capitol Records as the album Live at Watkins Glen in 1995. With over 600,000 people in attendance, the festival set a record for "Pop Festival Attendance" in the Guinness Book of World Records. The record was first published in the 1976 edition of the book.
In October 1973, the Band released an album of cover songs entitled Moondog Matinee, which peaked at #28 on the Billboard charts. Around the time of the recording of Moondog Matinee, Robertson began working on an ambitious project entitled Works that was never finished or released. One lyric from the Works project, "Lay a flower in the snow," was used in Robertson's song "Fallen Angel", which appeared on his 1987 self-titled solo album.
In February 1973, Bob Dylan relocated from Woodstock, New York to Malibu, California. Coincidentally, Robertson moved to Malibu in the summer of 1973, and by October of the year the rest of the members of the Band had followed suit, moving into properties near Zuma Beach.
After moving to Malibu in 1973, Robertson and the Band had discovered a ranch in Malibu near Zuma Beach called "Shangri-La", and decided to lease the property. The main house on the property had originally been built by Lost Horizon (1937) actress Margo Albert, and the ranch had been the filming and stabling site for the Mister Ed television show in the 1960s. In the interim, the house had served as a high-class bordello.
Amongst the rehearsals and preparations, the Band went into the studio with Bob Dylan to record a new album for Asylum Records that would become the Bob Dylan album Planet Waves (1974). Sessions took place at Village Recorder in West Los Angeles, California, from November 2–14, 1973. Planet Waves was released on February 9, 1974. The album was #1 on the Billboard album charts for four weeks, and spent 12 weeks total in the Billboard Top 40. Planet Waves was Bob Dylan's first #1 album, and the first and only time Bob Dylan and the Band recorded a studio album together.
The 1974 tour began at the Chicago Stadium on January 3, 1974, and ended at The Forum in Inglewood, California on February 14. The shows began with more songs from the new Planet Waves album and with covers that Dylan and the Band liked, but as the tour went on, they moved toward playing older and more familiar material, only keeping "Forever Young" from the Planet Waves album in the set list. Dylan and the Band played a number of tracks from the controversial 1965–1966 World Tour, this time to wildly enthusiastic response from the audience where there had been mixed reaction and boos a mere nine years previously.
The final three shows of the tour at The Forum in Inglewood, California were recorded and assembled into the double album Before the Flood. Credited to "Bob Dylan/The Band", Before the Flood was released by Asylum Records on July 20, 1974. The album debuted at #3 on the Billboard charts, and spent ten weeks in the Top Forty.
Following the 1974 reunion tour with Bob Dylan, rock manager Elliot Roberts booked the Band with the recently reunited Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. On September 4, both artists played Wembley Stadium in London, appearing with Jesse Colin Young and Joni Mitchell.
Rehearsals for The Last Waltz concert began in early November. Warner Bros. Records president Mo Ostin offered to finance the production of The Last Waltz film in exchange for the rights to release music from The Last Waltz as an album. However, the group were contractually obligated to supply Capitol Records with one more album before they could be released to work with Warner Bros. So in between rehearsing, the Band worked on the studio album Islands for Capitol. Robertson wrote or co-wrote eight of the ten tracks. One of the songs, "Knockin' Lost John", features Robertson on vocals, and was the first Band song Robertson had sung on since "To Kingdom Come" from Music From Big Pink. "Christmas Must Be Tonight" was inspired by the birth of Robertson's son, Sebastian, in July 1974.
Robertson played guitar for Joni Mitchell on the track "Raised on Robbery", which was released on her album Court and Spark. In 1974, Robertson also played guitar on Carly Simon's version of "Mockingbird", which featured Simon singing with her then-husband James Taylor.
In 1975, Robertson would produce an official compilation, The Basement Tapes, which included a selection of tracks from the sessions. An exhaustive collection of all 138 extant recordings was released in 2014 as The Bootleg Series Vol. 11: The Basement Tapes Complete.
The album release of The Basement Tapes, credited to Bob Dylan and the Band, was the first album production that took place in the new studio. The album, produced by Robertson, featured a selection of tapes from the original 1967 Basement Tapes sessions with Dylan, as well as demos for tracks eventually recorded for Music From Big Pink album. Robertson cleaned up the tracks, and the album was released in July 1975.
Northern Lights – Southern Cross was released on November 1, 1975. The album received generally positive reviews, and reached #26 on the Billboard charts, remaining in the Top 40 for five weeks.
In 1975, Robertson produced and played guitar on singer/guitarist Hirth Martinez's debut album Hirth From Earth. Bob Dylan had heard Martinez, and recommended him to Robertson. Robertson identified strongly with Martinez' music, helped him to secure a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records, and agreed to produce Martinez' debut album. He also played guitar on Martinez' follow-up album, Big Bright Street (1977).
In 1975, Eric Clapton recorded the album No Reason to Cry at the Band's Shangri-La Studios with help from members of the Band. Robertson played lead guitar on the track "Sign Language".
The Band began touring again in June 1976, performing throughout the summer. The members of the Band were splintering off to work on other projects, with Levon Helm building a studio in Woodstock and Rick Danko having been contracted to Arista Records as a solo artist.
In the mid-1970s, Robertson connected with singer Neil Diamond, and the two began collaborating on a concept album about the life and struggles of a Tin Pan Alley songwriter. The resulting album, entitled Beautiful Noise, was recorded at Shangri-La Studios in early 1976. It reached #6 on the Billboard charts and remained in the Top 40 for sixteen weeks. Robertson produced the album, co-wrote the track "Dry Your Eyes" with Diamond, and played guitar on "Dry Your Eyes", "Lady-Oh", and "Jungletime". He produced Diamond's live double album Love at the Greek (1977), which was recorded in 1976 at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. Love at the Greek reached #8 on the Billboard charts and remained in the Top 40 for nine weeks.
After The Last Waltz concert event was finished, director Martin Scorsese had 400 reels of raw footage to work with, and began editing the footage. The film was then sold to United Artists. In the meantime, Robertson and Scorsese continued to brainstorm more ideas for the film. In April 1977, country singer Emmylou Harris and gospel vocal group the Staple Singers were filmed on a sound stage at MGM performing with the Band. Emmylou Harris performed on "Evangeline", a new song written by Robertson, and the Staples Singers performed on a new recording of "The Weight," which they themselves had recorded a version of in 1968. Scorsese's next idea was to intersperse the concert footage with interviews of the Band that told their story. Scorsese conducted the interviews.
In 1977, Robertson contributed to two album projects from the Band alumni. Robertson played guitar on "Java Blues" on Rick Danko's self-titled debut album, and also played guitar on the Earl King-penned "Sing, Sing, Sing" on the album Levon Helm & the RCO All-Stars.
Also in 1977, Robertson contributed to the second self-titled album by singer-songwriter Libby Titus, who was the former girlfriend of Levon Helm. Robertson produced the track "The Night You Took Me To Barbados In My Dreams" (co-written by Titus and Hirth Martinez), and produced and played guitar on the Cole Porter standard "Miss Otis Regrets".
The Last Waltz album was released by Warner Brothers Records on April 7, 1978, as a 3-LP set. The first five sides feature live performances from the concert, and the last side contains studio recordings from the MGM sound stage sessions. The album peaked at #16 on the Billboard charts, and remained in the Top 40 for 8 weeks.
The Last Waltz film was released to theatres on April 26, 1978. The film fared well with both rock and film critics. Robertson and Scorsese made appearances throughout America and Europe to promote the film. Over time, The Last Waltz has become lauded by many as an important and pioneering rockumentary. Its influence has been felt on subsequent rock music films such as Talking Heads' Stop Making Sense (1984), and U2's Rattle and Hum (1988).
Although Robertson was initially only intended to be the producer of Carny, he ended up becoming the third lead actor in the film, playing the role of Patch, the patch man. Gary Busey played "Frankie", the carnival bozo and Patch's best friend. Jodie Foster was selected to play the role of Donna, a small town girl who runs away to join the carnival and threatens to come between the two friends. The film cast real life carnies alongside professional film actors, which created a difficult atmosphere on set. Carny opened to theaters on June 13, 1980. Also in 1980, Warner Bros released a soundtrack album for Carny, which is co-credited to Robertson and composer Alex North, who wrote the orchestral score for the film. The soundtrack was rereleased on compact disc by Real Gone Music in 2015.
Robertson worked with Scorsese again on his next film, The King of Comedy (1983), and is credited in the film's opening credits for "Music Production". Robertson contributed one original song, "Between Trains," to the film's soundtrack. The song was written in tribute to "Cowboy" Dan Johnson, an assistant of Scorsese's who had recently died. Robertson produced the track, sings lead vocals, and plays guitar and keyboards; the Band alumni Garth Hudson and Richard Manuel appear on the track was well. A soundtrack album for the film was released by Warner Bros. in 1983.
In 1984, Robertson co-produced the track "The Best of Everything" with Tom Petty for the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers album Southern Accents. Robertson also worked on the horn arrangements for the track, and brought in Band alumni Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson as guests.
In June 1986, Robertson began working with Scorsese on his next film The Color of Money. In addition to sourcing music for the film, Robertson also composed the film's score; it was the first time Robertson had ever written a dramatic underscore for a film. Robertson brought in Canadian jazz composer Gil Evans to orchestrate the arrangements.
Robertson began work on his first solo album, Robbie Robertson, in July 1986 after signing to Geffen Records. Robertson chose fellow Canadian Daniel Lanois to produce the album. Much of the album was recorded at The Village Recorder in West Los Angeles, California. He recorded at Bearsville Studios near Woodstock, New York, and also in Dublin, Ireland, with U2, and in Bath, England, with Peter Gabriel. He employed a number of guest artists on the album, including U2, Gabriel, the Bodeans, and Maria McKee. Garth Hudson and Rick Danko also made appearances on the album. Robertson wrote one track, "Fallen Angel", in honor of Richard Manuel, after his passing in March 1986.
In 1986, Robertson appeared as a guest on the album Reconciled by the Call, playing guitar on the track "The Morning".
Also in 1986, Robertson was brought on as creative consultant for Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll (1987), a feature film saluting Chuck Berry. Robertson appears in film, interviewing Chuck Berry, and then playing guitar while Berry recites poetry.
The best known song on The Color of Money soundtrack is Eric Clapton's "It's in the Way That You Use It", which was co-written by Robertson. "It's in the Way That You Use It" reached #1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs chart in January 1987. Robertson produced a song for the film with blues player Willie Dixon entitled "Don't Tell Me Nothin'"; Dixon's track was co-written with Robertson. The Color of Money's soundtrack album was released by MCA Records.
Released on October 26, 1987, Robbie Robertson peaked at #35 on the Billboard 200, remaining in the top 40 for three weeks. The album charted even higher in the UK, peaking at #23 on the UK Albums Chart and remaining on the chart for 14 weeks. Robbie Robertson received overwhelming critical acclaim at the time of its release, being listed in the Top-Ten Albums of the Year by several critics in Billboard magazine's 1987 "The Critics' Choice" end of the year feature. The album was listed as #77 in Rolling Stone's 1989 list "100 Best Albums of the Eighties."
In 1988, Robertson collaborated as a songwriter with Lone Justice lead singer Maria McKee. One of the songs, the co-wrote "Nobody's Child", was released on McKee's self-titled debut album in 1989.
In 1989, Robertson recorded and produced a new version of the Band's "Christmas Must Be Tonight" for the Scrooged soundtrack. In 1990, Robertson appeared as a guest on the Ryuichi Sakamoto album Beauty, playing guitar on the song "Romance". He also contributed to the world music video and album production One World One Voice.
In 1989, the Band was inducted into the Canadian Juno Hall of Fame. In 1994, The Band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 1997, Robertson received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Songwriters. At the 2003 commencement ceremonies at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Robertson delivered an address to the graduating class and was awarded an honorary degree by the university. In 2003, Robertson received the Indspire Aboriginal Lifetime Achievement Award.
In the US, Robbie Robertson produced several hits on the Billboard Mainstream Rock charts, with "Showdown At Big Sky" coming in the highest (#2) and "Sweet Fire Of Love" the second highest (#7). The album was nominated for a Grammy Award for "Best Rock / Vocal Album", and was certified gold in the United States in 1991. In Canada, Robertson won Album Of The Year, Best Male Vocalist Of The Year and Producer Of The Year at the Juno Award ceremony in 1989.
In 1991, Rod Stewart recorded a version of "Broken Arrow" for his album Vagabond Heart. Stewart's version of the song reached #20 on the Billboard 100 chart in the US and #2 on the Billboard Top Canadian Hit Singles chart in Canada. "Broken Arrow" was performed live by the Grateful Dead with Phil Lesh on vocals.
Storyville was released on September 30, 1991. Robertson headed to New Orleans to collaborate with some of the city's natives like Aaron and Ivan Neville and the Rebirth Brass Band. Once again, Robertson brought in Band alumni Garth Hudson and Rick Danko as contributors. The album reached #69 on the Billboard 200 chart. Storyville received numerous positive reviews, with Rolling Stone giving it 4 1/2 stars out of 5, and the Los Angeles Times awarding it 3 stars out of 4. Two tracks from the album, "What About Now" and "Go Back To Your Woods", charted on the Billboard Mainstream Rock charts at #15 and #32 respectively. The album was nominated for Grammy awards in the categories "Best Rock Vocal Performance (solo)" and "Best Engineer".
In 1992, Robertson produced the song "Love in Time" for Roy Orbison's posthumous album King of Hearts. "Love In Time" was a basic demo Orbison had recorded that was believed to be lost, but had just recently been rediscovered. Robertson set about augmenting Orbison's basic vocal track with new arrangements and instrumentation, with the intent of making it sound like the arrangements were there from the beginning instead of later additions.
Music for the Native Americans (1994): In 1994, Robertson returned to his roots, forming a Native American group the Red Road Ensemble for Music for the Native Americans, a collection of songs that accompanied a PBS television documentary series. Like his songs, "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," and "Acadian Driftwood," Robertson touches on history that connects to his life and family. The Battle Of Wounded Knee and the near extinction of the buffalo in the United States are outlined in the song, "Ghost Dance." Robertson was recognized with a Juno Award for Producer of the Year. The international success of "Mahk Jchi (Heartbeat Drum Song)" inspired a concert in Agrigento, Italy, celebrating Native American music. Robertson headlined the festival along with other Native American musicians, and portions of the live performance appeared in the PBS documentary.
In 1996, as executive soundtrack producer, Robertson heard a demo of Change the World and sent it to Clapton as a suggestion for the soundtrack of Phenomenon, starring John Travolta. Babyface produced the track. Change the World won 1997 Grammy awards for Song of the Year and Record of the Year. In 1999, Robertson contributed the music and score to Oliver Stone's film, Any Given Sunday.
In 2000, David Geffen and Mo Ostin convinced Robertson to join DreamWorks Records as creative executive. Robertson, who persuaded Nelly Furtado to sign with the company, is actively involved with film projects and developing new artist talent, including signings of A.i., Boomkat, eastmountainsouth, and Dana Glover. On February 9, 2002, Robertson performed "Stomp Dance (Unity)" as part of the opening ceremony of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. In 2004, Robertson contributed the song "Shine Your Light" to the Ladder 49 soundtrack.
In 2003, Robertson was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame.
Robertson supplied three newly recorded instrumental jazz tracks for sourced music, which he also produced. These three tracks feature Robertson playing guitar, along with performances from the Band alumni Garth Hudson and Richard Manuel. One of the tracks, "Webster Hall", is co-written by Robertson and Garth Hudson. Robertson also worked with Scorsese on selecting the film's opening theme music, choosing the intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana by Italian opera composer Pietro Mascagni. The soundtrack was finally released by Capitol Records in 2005 as a 37 track, 2-CD set.
In 2005, Robertson was executive producer of the definitive box set for the Band, entitled A Musical History. In 2006, Robertson recorded with Jerry Lee Lewis on Last Man Standing on the track "Twilight", a Robertson composition. On July 28, 2007, at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival in Bridgeview, Illinois, Robertson made a rare live appearance. Also in 2007, Robertson accepted an invitation to participate in Goin' Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino (Vanguard). With the group Galactic, Robertson contributed his version of Domino's "Goin' to the River".
In 2005, Robertson received an honorary doctorate from York University. In 2006, he received the Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement, Canada's highest honour in the performing arts. In 2008, Robertson and the Band received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
In 2011, Robertson was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. On May 27, 2011, Robertson was made an Officer of the Order of Canada by Governor General David Johnston.
In 2014, the Band was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame.
Robertson co-authored Legends, Icons and Rebels: Music That Changed the World with his son, Sebastian Robertson, and colleagues Jim Guerinot and Jared Levine. He also wrote Hiawatha and the Peacemaker, illustrated by David Shannon. His autobiography, Testimony, written over the course of five years, was published by Crown Archetype in November 2016.
In the 2019 Martin Scorsese movie, The Irishman, Robertson provided the score, and consulted with the music supervisor Randall Poster on the entire soundtrack.
In 2019, Robertson was given a key to the city of Toronto by Mayor John Tory during a TIFF press conference for Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band, a documentary about Robertson.
Currently, Robbie Robertson is 78 years, 11 months and 24 days old. Robbie Robertson will celebrate 79th birthday on a Tuesday 5th of July 2022.
Find out about Robbie Robertson birthday activities in timeline view here.