Hometown Son Oscar Connection

2-18-16 PG4

Eric Dennis Robinson was born in Pensacola, Florida. He began singing at the very young age of four years old.  His grandmother, Mrs. Hattie Dennis, who raised Robinson, was his greatest influence.  She told him that he could be anything he wanted to be and he never forgot it.  By the time he was 11 years old, he had performed in many talent shows of which he was very successful at winning. He recalls when he was in the musical group called ‘Gentleman 3’ in his hometown Pensacola and while performing at the historical Bunny (night) Club, he saw an Oscar award on the shelf behind the bar and asked the owner, JP Newton, where did he get it?  He said that the legendary actor Sidney Poitier gave it to him.  Robinson never got the chance to ask JP Newton why Sidney gave his Oscar award to him but a few days later, while speaking to his business partner, Ambus Harvey about the subject, he was informed that before JP Newton owned the Bunny Night Club in Pensacola, he owned a restaurant in New York City.  Sidney Poitier worked as a dishwasher there and attended acting classes as well.  In Mr. Poitier’s biography he mentioned that it was Mr. Newton that told him never to accept a role beneath his character, and he never did. Robinson’s professional performance was with the legendary group called the Chi-lites, known for such hits as ‘Have You Seen Her’, ‘A Lonely Man’, and ‘Oh Girl’.  Robinson’s recording career started in 1979 when he recorded his first two singles on his own label entitled, ‘P-Cola Records’.  The songs were ‘Too Many Love Pains’ and ‘The Next Best Thing To Love’.  Both are collectibles today, selling all over the world.  They have been featured on Amazon and ranked as their number one best seller along with such artists as Adelle, Michael Jackson, Pharrell, Taylor Swift, Frank Sinatra and many more.  Robinson has also produced legendary artists on Coca-Cola and Pepsi jingles, such as Denise Williams, The late Ali-Ollie Woodson (former lead singer of the legendary group, The Temptations) and the group Blue Magic.  Robinson recorded a single with the legendary singer, Little Anthony of the group The Imperials.

Eric Robinson has worked with India’s icon artist Bappi Lahiri on four projects.  His nominated CD entitled “World, Peace, Love and Harmony” is the title song with Grammy nominated saxophonist, Gerald Albright, as the lead vocalist.   Another project was completed in honor of Somalia entitled ‘Rise up and Shine Again’ which featured legendary rapper, MC Hammer.  Robinson’s current project entitled the ‘Mandy’ project, which is the rendition of the song ‘Mandy’, along with the music video has already won a gold Remi Award in the 47th Annual Worldfest  Houston International Film Festival in 2014.  Other interesting facts about Pensacola’s native son Robinson is his relationship with Oscar nominated Film Director and producer, Evgeny Afineevsky, who through Bennett Hardeman of Visuali Entertainment, asked him to listen to Robinson’s remake of ‘Mandy’ (made famous by Barry Manilow in 1974) and after listening asked if he could help produce the music video and the rest is history. Afineevsky connected with the Pensacola natives resulting in a successful collaboration.  His new film, ‘Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom’ has earned him an Academy Award nomination for 2016. Robinson also connected with their wonderful music producer, Jeeve Ducornet, a Grammy winner in 2013 and Producer of the Year. Robinson also worked with Jimmie Paschal, who was one of the executive producers for the Mandy Music Video and a top Hip-Hop music producer. As you can see, Robinson knows how to connect and they believe at Pela & P-Cola Records that Teamwork makes a Dreamwork.  Some of the people mentioned here will be attending and/or recognized at the 2016, 88th Academy Awards will air on Sunday, February 28th.

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