drawing by the numbers (literally) Rockin Robins
signs of spring
did you know?
The genesis of “Rockin’ Robin” was a rock ‘n’ roll story of legend. Leon René wrote the song after his wife complained about a bird keeping her awake at night.
“She asked me to chase him away so that she could get some sleep,” Leon explained. “I told her I couldn’t unless I threw a rock at him. But the next night the bird flew into a tree outside my window and woke me up…and about 2 a.m. every morning thereafter.” (The culprit was actually a mockingbird, and not a robin.) René was a university-educated, middle-aged musician whose songwriting credits included the classic “When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano.” When he decided to turn his nocturnal annoyance into a pop novelty, he started with the term “mockingbird,” which morphed into “rockin’ mockin’ bird” and, finally, “rockin’ robin.” The song proved a godsend to Bobby Day’s career (whose real last name was coincidentally Byrd). René, though, would later admit, “I thought so little of the song that I decided not to put my name on it. Instead, I gave it to my wife, Irma, and she put my mother-in-law’s name down as the writer—Jimmie Thomas.” René never renewed the copyright and no doubt lost a fortune in royalties when Michael Jackson sold a million copies of “Rockin’ Robin” in 1972.
watercolor paper 8x8" watercolor brushes blue liquid watercolor paint facial tissues (1 per artist) Bird drawing guide salt brown tempera paint small portion cups watercolor paints scissors blowdryers glue sticks