Robinson, James H.
Origin: Sudbury, Ontario - Calgary, Alberta
Jim started his career in the Ottawa area, playing coffee houses and gigs as a solo. He met Ian McLeish, Ian Petrie and Adeline Petrie in 1972 and they formed the Eligh James Band, an acoustic band that wrote and performed an 80-minute rock oratorio “Mirrors” about the First Nations’ dealings with the settlers arriving.
After the band broke up, Jim performed solo again, but worked on and off with both Ians in Eligh James II and R.P.M. In 1978 had two tracks on a demo compilation album released by Starfish Records. The track “One Time Flyer” from the album proved popular, so Jim went into the studio with R.P.M. to record it as a single. The song was a hit in the Ottawa Valley and Jim toured Ontario on the strength of it.
After 5 years of bars and clubs and festivals, he was noticed and signed by Skyhigh Records, who released “I Guess That’s Only Natural” in 1985. That song, and the singles that followed got airplay across Canada, making the thirties in the national country charts, as well as getting airplay in the U.S., England and Australia. But Jim had a falling out with Skyhigh and his recording career stalled.
He moved to Calgary in 1987 and played with Songsmith and the Law; opened for big-name touring artists, and started recording new material when his health began to fail. James H. Robinson died of cancer in May 1969.
In 2003 Mousehole Music released a CD that contained all of Jim’s singles, plus demos and unreleased sessions.