Local Radio Personality Hosts Book Signing at Groovy Donuts

Tuesday, September 11, 2018, 7:46 am
By: 
Sarah Spohn

Photo courtesy of John Robinson.

If you live in East Lansing, chances are good that you’ve heard John Robinson on the radio. He’s a veteran, having been in Lansing area radio for 40 years altogether.

After four decades of researching rock ‘n’ roll music and Michigan’s Motown glory days, and interviewing famous musicians and actors, Robinson is releasing his second book, “Johnny’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Q&A.” He will be selling and signing copies at Groovy Donuts in East Lansing on Saturday, Sept. 15 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Robinson is no stranger to rock ‘n’ roll, he even played bass in 1966 for a local rock band called The Concussions, a name he’s still proud of some 50 years later. Robinson recalls when he was growing up, listening to ‘50s rock and playing Blueberry Hill by Fats Domino on his family record player.

“When I was 10 years old, my dad bought a reel-to-reel tape recorder,” Robinson said. “I used to do mock shows and pretend I was a DJ, play records and that kind of stuff, and do different types of shows.”

This hobby led to Robinson receiving his radio license in the ‘70s. Soon after, the Michigan native spent time at local stations WVIC, Q106, WJIM, and a short stint in Cleveland. Robinson is currently on the WFMK 99.1 FM airwaves.

After writing a rock ‘n’ roll trivia column in Albion’s The County Press for 20 years, Robinson has answered thousands of questions. After releasing his first book, “Johnny’s Jukebox Trivia,” he realized he had enough material for a second book, this time to be in Q&A format.

The nearly-300-page-book is broken down into different categories, with topics ranging from music before the fifties, ‘50s and Elvis, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, ‘70s and ‘80s, garage bands, and psychedelic music. The book also features pictures from some of the people Robinson has gotten to meet and interview, including snapshots with the Beatles original drummer Pete Best, The Beach Boys, Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent, Huey Lewis, and Chubby Checker.

Robinson spoke about his journey of researching fun facts, obscure questions, and deep dives into the depths of long lost rock and roll, and he’s only been stumped once.

“I’ve done thousands of questions and answers,” he said. “There’s one I could not find the answer for. It dealt with some radio station, some Michigan radio station and some jingle that the station had for themselves. It’s a very rare, obscure question. I looked and looked, searched all over the place and could not find any information on this particular radio station jingle, but only once has that ever happened.”

Trivia intrigues Robinson because it’s lighthearted fun – something he hopes his listeners and readers can enjoy.

“That’s my goal -- is to make people forget their problems, because they’ve got to get back to their problems anyway,” Robinson said. “I don’t want to add to them, I just want to give them a little vacation from all the politics and everything else they’re going on.”

More information on “Johnny’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Q&A” trivia book is available here.