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  • Richard Conniff writes about behavior, in humans and other animals, on two, four, six, and eight legs, plus the occasional slither.

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Animal Music Monday: Rockin’ Robin

Posted by Richard Conniff on July 25, 2016

Leon René, a West Coast R&B producer and composer, had an ornithological hit with this song, released in 1958 by Bobby Day. It fits with a tradition, dating back to the Middle Ages, of trying to imitate birdsong in music. Both René and Day found gold in the animal music theme.  Just the year before, Day sang “Buzz Buzz Buzz” with the Fabulous Flames.  René, born in 1902, had written the very 1940s hit “When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano,” later performed by musicians from Glenn Miller to Pat Boone.  Here’s the original, from the Ink Spots.

And it’s worth checking out this pretty fabulous 1972 version of “Rockin’ Robin” by Michael Jackson:

 

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