27 January 2020

Frank Robinson

The BIB editor writes:

With the deepest regret, we learn from Tony Curran and Tony O'Brien that Frank Robinson of Derry died on Sunday night (26 January), after years of serious health issues, which he bore with exemplary fortitude and good humour.

Frank would have laughed at the idea that he was any kind of renaissance man, but he was a guitar hero of the showband era, jazzman, film buff, aficionado of science fiction, writer, walking encyclopedia of country music, and for decades a linchpin of bluegrass in the north-west. A dedicated scuba diver in earlier years, he was also an imaginative and skilled handyman. Walking on the streets of Derry city, he seemed to know everyone. And along with his lively and keen wit went an unfailing and active generosity: he was always looking out for other people.

Frank was my oldest bluegrass friend in Ireland - we first met late in 1969 - and I owe him more than I can repay. Carol and I send our heartfelt condolences to Florence and her family.

The photo above shows Frank (centre) with Tony Curran, Dessie Crerand, and his 1988 Dan Crary Signature Model Taylor guitar. Frank was a longtime friend of Dan Crary, a major figure in the development of bluegrass lead guitar playing. Regrettably, health problems obliged Frank to part with the guitar some years ago.



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