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Monday, May 14, 2007

Early Departure - Michael Robinson

I didn't know Michael, but he had a strong reputation as a fine blues and soul guitarist in Chicago. He was alone in his apartment when he died and wasn't discovered for over a week. This aspect of his passing is quite depressing. When your friends or family go missing, check on them, folks.

Here is the obituary from the Gary IN paper:

Michael Robinson, 50, was standout guitarist

May 11, 2007

BY BOB KOSTANCZUK Post-Tribune staff writer

Michael Kevin Robinson was a guitarist who played for standouts in the fields of blues and rhythm and blues.

Robinson, 50, was found dead in his Gary apartment on Saturday. He is believed to have died on Wednesday, May 2, according to his family.

Robinson died of respiratory complications, said his sister, Edith Sheila Robinson-Elane of Chicago.

Known as a polished lead guitarist, Robinson toured extensively with Chicago blues queen Koko Taylor.

"There will never be another Michael Robinson," Taylor said in a prepared statement. "It was a real pleasure to have him as my bandleader and lead guitarist for six years."

Robinson's guitar skills were also utilized by other notables, including Buddy Guy, singer Deniece Williams, the Staple Singers and Earth, Wind & Fire.

"He was a really, really great guitar player," said close friend Ernest Hall of Columbia, Mo. "He was one of the best kept secrets in Gary."

Hall said he graduated with Robinson in 1975 from Emerson High School in Gary.

Robinson toured Europe with the Kinseys -- Gary's first family of blues.

Kenny Kinsey said Robinson was a rhythm guitarist for his clan, which encompassed Lester "Big Daddy" Kinsey and his sons, known as the Kinsey Report.

Now living in Merrillville, Kenny Kinsey remembered Robinson as a musician who studied a respected guitarist.

Robinson leaves behind sons Michael and Edward, and daughter Kawana.

A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Luke Baptist Church, 7262 S. Coles Ave., Chicago.

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